Battery an integrated part of the vehicle body
In electric cars of the future, the battery will be an integrated part of the vehicle body. This reduces weight and saves both fuel and money. Swerea has helped to develop the battery, which is made of carbon fibre.
Since 2009, Swerea has been developing a battery made of carbon fibre composite. The so-called structural battery concept integrates battery function into the structural material. The many application areas include laptops, mobile phones, aircraft and vehicles. Since the battery is part of the car body, total vehicle weight is reduced.
“In urban traffic, weight is the sole determining factor for how much energy is used. Lower weight will make driving considerably cheaper and significant gains can be realized. In Sweden our fossil free-fuel vision entails greater use of electric vehicles. This is a political ambition and many are aware of the importance of environmental efforts. Research on structural batteries contributes in that context. The background for work with structural batteries began several years ago. During our work with composites we realized that there are certain similarities between the architecture of a composite laminate and a battery. In addition, the materials are similar; battery electrodes also consist of graphite. Based on this, our work on the concept continued,” says Leif Asp.
The concept has now entered a commercialization phase and the research group has applied for several patents. “The patent has been approved in Sweden and we are now in the process of seeking international patent protection in a number of countries. We hope that structural batteries will be on the market within ten to fifteen years,” concludes Leif Asp.