Reuters - Video

EDITION: U.S. | U.K. | IN

Business

The future electric car may be one big battery

Sunday, Nov 11, 2012 - 02:03

Swedish researchers believe the problem of battery efficiency in electric cars can be solved by turning the car's entire frame into one, big battery. They say their solution would remove the drag created by today's heavy batteries, vastly increasing the range of electric cars. Jim Drury has the story.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

A common problem among electric cars is the size and weight of their batteries, which causes drag and reduces the distances they can travel. Researchers across Europe are working on a novel solution - turning the car's frame into a self-contained battery. Called the 'STORAGE' project, the plan envisages replacing much of the steel used in conventional car frames, with polymer composite materials that can store energy. Head of Research at Swerea research institute, Leif Asp, says it's a practical and inexpensive solution. SOUNDBITE (English) SWEREA-SICOMP HEAD OF RESEARCH LEIF ASP SAYING: "We conduct research on polymer composite materials which are multifunctional. That means that they can exhibit at least two functions at the same time. In this case it is energy storing and structural load carrying capacity...We can employ commercially available carbon fibres. Some of these carbon fibres have these multifunctional capabilities without anybody looking for it beforehand. So it is actually possible to use commercially available fibres for making structural batteries." This car model was built by scientists at Imperial College London. Its carbon fibre laminate roof would replace existing metallic components. SOUNDBITE (English) SWEREA-SICOMP HEAD OF RESEARCH LEIF ASP SAYING: "You can see that we have removed all the batteries that we had to usually drive the car. Now the only power source that we have in the demonstrator is the structural super capacity roof. If I unplug this rebuilt hand control I can light up the headlights of the car." But there are other places in the car, like the wheel-well, where carbon fibre laminate could be used to create and store power. Asp says that while such structural batteries might still take decades to produce commercially, they could eventually have widespread uses, not just in cars but in laptop computers or cell phones. Swerea is just one of several European research institutes involved in the project. Their aim is to increase the efficiency and popularity of electric cars, ultimately persuading a generation of car-buyers to leave fossil fuels behind.

The future electric car may be one big battery

Sunday, Nov 11, 2012 - 02:03

Top News »

Money »

S&P 500 to new record on improving economy S&P 500 to new record on improving economy

Fri, Aug 29, 2014 - (2:31)

Finding meaning in the S&P 500 2000 mark Finding meaning in the S&P 500 2000 mark

Mon, Aug 25, 2014 - (2:35)

S&P falls back from record high S&P falls back from record high

Fri, Aug 22, 2014 - (1:35)

S&P 500 closes at new high S&P 500 closes at new high

Thu, Aug 21, 2014 - (1:24)

S&P 500 just shy of record S&P 500 just shy of record

Wed, Aug 20, 2014 - (2:23)

Apple hits $100 a share Apple hits $100 a share

Tue, Aug 19, 2014 - (2:06)

Nasdaq closes at 14-year high Nasdaq closes at 14-year high

Mon, Aug 18, 2014 - (2:23)

Putin puts Wall Street in buying mood Putin puts Wall Street in buying mood

Thu, Aug 14, 2014 - (2:10)

We've become a promotional culture-RetailMeNot's Bodge We've become a promotional...

Thu, Aug 14, 2014 - (4:39)

The Exchange »

The Exchange: Hot commodity The Exchange: Hot commodity

Wed, Jul 16, 2014 - (9:25)

The Exchange: Constitutional crusade The Exchange: Constitutional crusade

Wed, Jun 25, 2014 - (11:35)

The Exchange: The value of money The Exchange: The value of money

Mon, Jun 02, 2014 - (9:53)

The Exchange: China’s Second Continent The Exchange: China’s Second Continent

Tue, May 27, 2014 - (9:35)

The Exchange: A master of business arts The Exchange: A master of business arts

Thu, May 08, 2014 - (8:24)

The Exchange: America's bankrupt cities The Exchange: America's bankrupt cities

Mon, May 05, 2014 - (8:52)

The Exchange: Let the rocking commence The Exchange: Let the rocking commence

Tue, Apr 08, 2014 - (8:13)

The Exchange: The Moneyball fallacies The Exchange: The Moneyball fallacies

Mon, Mar 24, 2014 - (9:54)

Is doing good a good business? Is doing good a good business?

Mon, Mar 17, 2014 - (7:38)

Reuters Investigates »

Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead" Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead"

Wed, Feb 19, 2014 - (8:24)

Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest

Fri, Jan 10, 2014 - (4:01)

"Passed around like a dog" "Passed around like a dog"

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (6:32)

Adopted, then abandoned online Adopted, then abandoned online

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (13:21)

How the DEA keeps its secrets secret How the DEA keeps its secrets secret

Mon, Aug 05, 2013 - (1:36)

How education lost its role as the great equalizer - Reuters Investigates How education lost its role as the great...

Mon, Dec 17, 2012 - (7:52)

Jihad Jane: From abused child to American jihadist - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: From abused child to American...

Sat, Dec 08, 2012 - (10:01)

Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters...

Sun, Dec 09, 2012 - (10:39)

Moving Pictures »

Images of August Images of August

Fri, Aug 29, 2014 - (1:00)

Mending dolls, teddies and hearts Mending dolls, teddies and hearts

Fri, Aug 22, 2014 - (3:12)

"Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay "Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay

Mon, Aug 11, 2014 - (2:27)

Burned memories Burned memories

Fri, Aug 08, 2014 - (3:02)

Images of July Images of July

Thu, Jul 31, 2014 - (1:20)

World Cup: passion on the pitch World Cup: passion on the pitch

Fri, Jul 11, 2014 - (1:00)

A refugee in America gives back A refugee in America gives back

Wed, Jul 02, 2014 - (3:25)

A long search for refuge A long search for refuge

Fri, Jun 20, 2014 - (3:04)

World Cup: Around the globe in 50 goals World Cup: Around the globe in 50 goals

Fri, Jun 06, 2014 - (1:08)

VIVID – Sydney’s spectacle of light VIVID – Sydney’s spectacle of light

Fri, May 30, 2014 - (1:37)