With the help of several independent research teams, Volvo is developing a new way of energy storage for electric cars that eliminates the extra weight of mega-sized car battery packs and super capacitor systems. Replacing the batteries of traditional electric cars, the new panels will be molded to fit the exterior shell of the car, and sandwiched between an advanced nanomaterial that is made of reinforced carbon fibers and a polymer resin.
These new panels are said to be extremely durable, because it is protected by layers of carbon fiber. Not only that, the panels will charge more quickly than the batteries in today’s cars.
While the panels are revolutionizing the design of electric cars, they still employ the same effective charging techniques of conventional batteries. Charging is still done through either regenerative braking or by plugging the car in.
Powerful enough to replace a car’s 12 volt battery, the special panels give off enough power for an estimated range of 80 miles. Panel technology has already been put to use in a prototype model of the Volvo S80.