27 September 2010, 14:47 BST
Volvo has found a new method to reduce the weight of electric vehicles and also a better place to install the power storage systems. Dubbed Tomorrow’s Volvo Car, the new project consists in the installation of a rechargeable battery into the car’s body panels.
“Tests are currently under way to see if the vision can be transformed into reality, ” said one of the company officials.
Volvo Cars is working on these batteries that could be implemented into the vehicle’s body as part of a three-year, 3.5 million Euro project started by the Imperial College in London. According to the company, the material is a composite blend of polymer resin and carbon fibers. Unlike conventional batteries, Volvo’s approach can store more energy, having the possibility to be molded into any shape.
A car made using this material is about 15 percent lighter compared with one built from steel body panels. Furthermore, using the battery panel in the roof, hood and doors, the car will have a range of nearly 80 miles.
Meanwhile, this is only a prototype battery but certainly it will have a bright future. Of course, the new material could be used in other applications, like mobile electronics but the interesting part would be to actually see a vehicle made from with stuff.
Source: Green Optimistic