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Volvo’s Really Cool Idea That Could Solve Some Major Electric-Vehicle-Battery Issues [VIDEO]

Volvo believes electric and plug-in hybrids could draw their power from car panels by sandwiching supercapacitors between two layers of carbon fiber. Volvo

Electric and hybrid vehicles are lauded as clean cars, but perhaps a better way of putting it is that they’re cleaner cars. After all, unless you live near a volcano, electricity comes largely from coal and natural gas — your electric green machine may be zero-emission while you’re driving but charging an electric vehicle (EV) battery means spewing carbon gas and particulate matter somewhere else. Also, the batteries that are used to power electric vehicles are heavy and take up valuable space.

The engineers over at AB Volvo (STO:VOLV-A) have tackled this problem by making the car itself out of material that can store and discharge electrical power.

Here’s how it works: a thin layer of supercapacitors, which have long been considered the alternative to NiMH battery storage, is sandwiched between two layers of carbon fiber, the sturdy nanomaterial that’s starting to show up on some high-end cars because of its light weight.


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