A European Union-funded research project on improving energy storage involving eight major participants including Volvo has developed “revolutionary” lightweight structural energy storage components that could be used in future electrified vehicles.
Components are molded from a material consisting of carbon fiber in a polymer resin, nano-structured batteries and super capacitors. The result, says Volvo, is an eco-friendly and cost-effective structure that stands to substantially cut vehicle weight and volume.
Volvo is already at work with an S80 that uses components made form the material that serve structural functions and replace a conventional battery at the same time. The company says that by completely substituting an electric car’s existing components with the new material, overall vehicle weight could be reduced by more than 15 percent.
“The way it works is reinforced carbon fibers sandwich the new battery and are molded and formed to fit around the car’s frame such as door panels, the trunk lid and wheel bowl,” said the company in a statement.