Volvo, now in the hands of China’s Geely, may revolutionize the way electric and hybrid cars are built. Currently, you have to shove a big honking battery into an electric car, and a simple honking battery into a hybrid. This adds weight, and obesity is a killer when in come to mileage. Volvo, working with the Imperial College in London has a wild idea: Why not dispense with the big honking battery and use the whole auto body to store electricity. Say what?
Volvo and the Imperial College developed a carbon-based material that also stores electricity, reports Automobilwoche [sub]. Imagine: Your car doesn’t use a battery, it’s made out of a battery. Using the material would make the car about 15 percent lighter, and most likely indestructible. Did you ever see rust on carbon fiber? And if they play their car(d)s right, they might save the money on the car alarm: Thieves get zapped when they just as much touch the car.
The new material is not a done deal yet, and about three years of research will be needed to release the material into the wild – barring unforeseen circumstances, such as the whole scheme being a bad idea.