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Putting EV Batteries in Bodywork Is Brilliant — If You Don’t Crash

Weight is the enemy of efficiency. And when it comes to electric vehicles, nothing is heavier than battery packs. To spread out some of the tonnage, Volvo has concocted a way of baking super capacitors between sheets of carbon fiber to make bodywork into batteries. Great idea, assuming you don’t crash.

For the better part of four years, Volvo and an assortment of European companies took part in an EU-funded project to combine nano-structured batteries and super capacitors into a light, ecofriendly package for storing energy.

Super capacitors can charge and discharge energy quicker than the lithium-ion batteries currently used by automakers, while storing more juice in a smaller form. Depending on the application, you can get anywhere between 10 to 100 times more juice from a super capacitor compared to a traditional battery pack, all at a fraction of the weight. And that’s a very enticing proposition for automakers.


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