Volvo To Make Cars Out Of Batteries

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

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.

Join the conversation
  • HerrKaLeun HerrKaLeun on Sep 26, 2010

    it also would help cooling the battery since it is spread out over the entire car...

  • JimC JimC on Sep 26, 2010

    Anyone who's lived in the rust belt has driven cars made of batteries for years... the trouble has always been twofold: one, harnessing that electricity, and two, "recharging." Har har har. I'll be here all week, folks.

  • Daanii2 Daanii2 on Sep 26, 2010

    Battery company A123 was originally based on a similar idea. They were going to build their batteries into the car by spraying the battery layers onto structural material. The idea is elegant. In practice, it did not work. This idea, I predict, will be the same.