Cheap Car Hire Worldwide

Volvo develops new body panel material that could replace batteries


Volvo has been working on developing a method of storing energy in car body panels that might actually make conventional hybrid and electric vehicle batteries history.

This has been the result of a three-and-a-half year project which was funded by the European Union and it included eight other technical partners. This collaboration led to the development of a new advanced nanomaterial made up of carbon fibres, nano-structured batteries and super capacitors that claim to light, space efficient as well as cost effective and environmentally friendly; it definitely sounds like a great thing.

The material can be recharged through brake energy regeneration or by plugging the car into the electric grid, and just like a normal battery, it will transfer energy to the electric motor which in turn will power the vehicle.

According to Volvo, their trials have proved that the material charges and stores energy faster than conventional batteries while at the same time it is still strong and pliant. The way in which they tested it was in the form of a boot lid and plenum cover in a Volvo S80 prototype.

Now keep in mind that these panels work as batteries, so that’s a massive added functionality to something that used to be just part of the exterior design, but besides this, the boot lid is lighter than the standard boot lid panel so when you add this to the potential of replacing standard batteries, the significant weight savings become even more apparent.

The new plenum showed itself to be both strong enough to replace the car’s rally bar as well as strong enough to replace the start-stop battery.

According to Volvo says the complete substitution of an EV’s component with the new material will cut the total weight of the car by more than 15 percent, which would in turn prove to be both cost effective and better for the environment.

It is yet unknown when this technology will reach production stage, but one would hope that this development will help lower the costs of EVs so as to make them more palatable to more consumers.

Related articles:

No tags for this post.
Read more:
2013 Renault Kangoo revised range

The Renault Kangoo van range has been overhauled for 2013 and has seen the introduction of the longer Kangoo Maxi variant as well as a $3500-lower starting price.