18 October 2013

Conventional batteries a thing of the past

Volvo Car Group has developed a revolutionary concept for lightweight structural energy storage components that could improve the energy usage of future electrified vehicles.

The material, consisting of carbon fibres, nano structured batteries and super capacitors, offers lighter energy storage that requires less space in the car, cost effective structure options and is eco-friendly.

As part of an EU-funded research project, including nine other major participants, Volvo Car Group was the only car manufacturer in the project. This project identified a feasible solution to the heavy weight, large size and high costs associated with the batteries seen in hybrids and electric cars today, while maintaining the efficient capacity of power and performance. The research project took place over the last three years and is now realised in the form of car panels and a boot lid, within a Volvo S80 experimental car.

The boot lid is a functioning electrically powered storage component and has the potential to replace the standard batteries seen in today's cars. It's lighter than a standard boot lid, saving on volume and weight. It is believed that the complete substitution of an electric car's existing components with the new material could cut the overall weight by more than 15 percent, making it not only cost effective but more eco-friendly to the environment.