Feeds

Volvo: Need a new car battery? Replace the doors and roof

Super capacitor sandwich built into body panels

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Volvo reckons it has a better place to locate an e-car’s power storage: in the vehicle’s body panels.

The technique throws out traditional lithium-based batteries in favour of a carbon fibre and polymer resin sandwich. What Volvo, boffins from Imperial College and researchers from seven battery and materials companies together call “a very advanced nanomaterial” is embedded in the resin, which is sealed in between two layers of carbon fibre to form a “super capacitor”.

Volvo car power store

Using carbon fibre means the units can be formed into car body panels: doors, roof and bonnet. As such, they replace the steel panels used today, reducing the car’s weight by up to 15 per cent - more since the car then doesn’t need a bulky lithium battery.

The very large size and weight of e-car batteries are the key limitations on the vehicles’ range and performance.

The new material is charged using brake energy regeneration. Or you can plug it into the mains, of course.

Volvo, of course, has yet to build a test car equipped in such a fashion, though it has made a couple of test panels - boot and bonnet - on one of its S80s with which to evaluate the technology.

Volvo car power store

The carbon-fibre boot battery

It believes the boot panel alone has the potential to replace a standard lead-acid car battery, while the bonnet panel is also “powerful enough to supply energy to the car’s 12V system” and stand in for the S80’s stop-start battery, and is sufficiently rigid to replace the rally bar.

Volvo said this week that tests “showed that this material not only charges and stores faster than conventional batteries can”.

The car maker also claimed the process was “cost-effective”, though it hasn’t detailed how much this “concept” costs to make and install - or when it might introduce the technology into cars it can sell.

More to the point, perhaps, it didn’t discuss the safety implications of placing the power storage system in the car parts most likely to be damaged during collisions. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Will BlackBerry make a comeback with its SQUARE smartphones?
Plus PC PIMs from company formerly known as RIM
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK
What vast digital media repository could possibly need 64 TERABYTES?
Soundbites: News in brief from the Wi-Fi audiophile files
DTS and Sonos sing out but not off the same hymnsheet
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.