Researchers Say Cars of the Future Will Be Powered by Their Bodywork

February 5, 2010

Scientists at Imperial College of London claim they've made a breakthrough which could be truly revolutionary: they've created a material which is not only strong, light, and flexible, but can also store and discharge electricity. So what does that mean? It means say "adios" to batteries.

Carbon fiber is a material often found in race cars and aircraft, due to its strength and light weight versus that of steel and other metals. British researchers say they've found a way to create a version of carbon fiber that will also feature the notable trick of being able to store electrical charges.

This material could be used all over the car, for body panels, frame reinforcement, etc. and turn the car itself into a battery at the same time, eliminating the need for heavy and inefficient batteries altogether.

But the miracle material's use wouldn't be exclusive to just the automotive world. These guys see a future where cell phones, laptops, and all sorts of other devices could be powered this way. Don't expect to find it in the next iPhone revision, but, as shown in the demo, the stuff works, so it's not science fiction. Welcome to the future.

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Source: Engadget

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