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Cars of Tomorrow: Energy-Storing Body Panels

Car Body Panels Serve as Battery

Electric cars have been on the market for decades now. Their lack of speed, endurance, massive space and weight of the batteries have been a problem for engineers and manufacturers. Even with the advances in lithium-ion batteries, the batteries still add have a significant amount of weight.

Energy-storing body panels are being researched and tested as a solution to the battery problem. The body panels being tested are made of polymer fiber and carbon resin. They are strong enough to be used in vehicles and pliable enough to be molded into panels. Volvo is the manufacturer in the forefront of this advancement and predicts that the panels could reduce a car’s weight by up to 15 percent.

How Will It Work?

The panels, would be designed to absorb energy from multiple means, including plugging in overnight and regenerative braking then feed the energy back into the car when it’s needed.  

Toyota is launching a car with an energy storing panel, but they're taken it one step further with the solar panel on the roof of the car on the 2017 Prius Prime.

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