Volvo Envisions Body Panels as Energy Storage in S80 Experimental Prototype
Volvo has co-developed an outside-the-box method for energy storage in a plug-in vehicle.
Volvo, with backing from the European Union, has developed a material made from carbon fiber, polymer resins and nanostructured batteries and supercapacitors.
This material is moldable and could eventually allow a vehicle’s body panels and even its structural components to be energy storage devices.
Far fetched? Absolutely, but could it work? We don’t see why not.
As Volvo claims, the S80 protoype’s trunk lid, if made from this material, would allow the removal of the 12-volt lead acid battery found in today’s vehicles.
That means that the trunk lid alone could provide enough energy storage capacity to replace the 12-volt battery.
Volvo further says that a significant weight reduction (~15%) could be realized by using this material.
According to Volvo, the energy storage panels/components can be recharged through regenerative braking or by plugging in.
As of right now, this potential breakthrough material is in the early experimental stage, with Volvo just recently fitting an S80 with some of the material.
Further testing is of course necessary.
As for price for this material, we’re guessing it fits in that “don’t ask and we won’t tell” area.