Several companies in the automotive sector are talking about using the body of a car as the batteries for hybrid automobiles. Volvo seems to be leading the charge or at least is one of the companies which has been promoting the concept in Public Relations pieces. Indeed, I suppose the military is all over this sort of research and development, perhaps in their aerospace "black-projects" and we just haven't heard about this.
Years ago, the concept came to mind and I was trying to reason just how this might work. I had conceived a graphene/carbon nanotube composite covered with a non-conductive material outer and inner skin as part of the composite strategy. This would keep the material from shocking occupants or anything it touched. Since carbon nanotubes and graphene conduct electricity, and if copper was put inside the nano-tubes, or some other such material, these sheets could become not only part of the car's structure but also its battery.
Why bother you ask? Well, several reasons.
Space: batteries take up a lot of space in modern-day hybrid cars. That space could be used for luggage and storage, or the cars could be made smaller, or have additional pop-up seats in case extra passengers were to be taken.
Weight: batteries weigh a lot, even ion lithium batteries or nickel hydride batteries weigh quite a bit. By reducing the weight, you could also reduce the size of the motor for the car. Remember also that carbon Nanotubes for this could be part of the structure of the car and eliminate many large frame pieces which are generally made out of steel, reducing the weight even further. And remember carbon Nanotubes are 50 times stronger than steel, and they don't rust.
Efficiency: it has been estimated that batteries made from carbon nanotube structures, and carbon foam would be more efficient than the insides of the current ion lithium batteries.
Cost: since the skin of the car would be the battery for the car, and the superstructure as well, this would lower the cost of the car. Currently many hybrids such as the Toyota Prius have batteries which cost between 7,500 and 10,000 dollars. And often they need to be re-replaced every eight years.
Indeed, there are a lot of reasons why graphene and carbon nanotube composites are a better choice for car batteries. Please consider all this and think on it. If you are an engineer, scientist, or an expert on hybrid Automobiles, please shoot me an e-mail at your earliest possible convenience.
Lance Winslow is the Founder of the Online Think Tank, a diverse group of achievers, experts, innovators, entrepreneurs, thinkers, futurists, academics, dreamers, leaders, and general all around brilliant minds. Lance Winslow hopes you've enjoyed today's discussion and topic. http://www.worldthinktank.net/ - Have an important subject to discuss, contact Lance Winslow.