MIT Battery Research To Enable 'Electric Phaetons'

I keep thinking that there is something missing from hybrid cars that would make them even more useful. What if they had enough battery power to let you choose, maybe just for the day, not to buy gas? As it happens, MIT researchers have been working on a new type of lithium battery for hybrid cars.

Existing lithium batteries take too long to charge, or they are unsafe for use in cars. Researchers, led by Gerbrand Ceder, R.P. Simmons Professor of Materials at MIT's Department of Materials Science and Engineering, have modified the lithium nickel manganese oxide material's structure to make it capable of charging and discharging more quickly. The material has a structure that has an ordered crystalline structure, allowing lithium ions to freely flow between layers.


(Lithium nickel manganese oxide: layers of nickel and manganese {blue} separated from lithium {green} by oxygen {red} [Ceder Lab])

A battery made from the new material can charge or discharge in about ten minutes - about ten times faster than current, unmodified lithium nickel manganese oxide technology. It is also significantly safer than the lithium cobalt oxide batteries used to power many small devices like cell phones and laptop computers. Cobalt is also a relatively expensive material compared to manganese and nickel.

In his prophetic 1894 story A Journey in Other Worlds, John Jacob Astor referred to amazing vehicles that would silently carry passengers to their destination. All that was required was a source of power:

Another change that came in with a rush upon the discovery of a battery with insignificant weight, compact form, and great capacity, was the substitution of electricity for animal power for the movement of all vehicles. This, of necessity brought in good roads, the results obtainable on such being so much greater than on bad ones that a universal demand for them arose. This was in a sense cumulative, since the better the streets and roads became, the greater the inducement to have an electric carriage.
(Read more about John Jacob Astor's electric phaetons)

If you are interested in innovative battery technologies, take a look at the Smallest Implantable Body Batteries, related to Alfred Bester's internal body power pack from The Stars My Destination. Read more about MIT devises improved hybrid car battery or Dr. Gerbrand Ceder.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/19/2006)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Engineering ")

ODYSSEUS Solar-Powered Stratospheric Plane Flies Forever
'The planes flew continuously, twenty-four hours a day...' - EB White, 1950.

Phil Nuyttnn's City Under The Sea
''Under the lower roof there was no water, but a clear and luminous atmosphere...' - Andre Laurie, 1895.

Stick-On Tape Speakers, As Predicted By Bruce Sterling
Flexible tape speakers, someday.

Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
'I had explained," said Nessus, "that our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.' - Larry Niven, 1970.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Wound Healing With Wearable Nanogenerators
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to ... erase the other internal-external damage.'

Flying Dragon Robot Transforms In Mid-Air
Terrific prototype video.

Negative Matter Fluid Theorized In New Paper
'Of course, being negative matter, when you push it, it comes toward you..'

Grow Structures Upon Planetfall - Myco-Architecture
'They'll also start pulling in gases and liquids from the local atmosphere...'

MXene Hydrogel Skin For Robots Flexes And Senses
'The plastex swam and whirled like boiling toothpaste...'

EXPLORER, The First Total-Body Scanner
'The object is built up of an infinite series of plane layers, at the focus of the ray...'

UK Police AI To Stop Criminals Before They Strike
'... the computing mechanisms that studied and restructured the incoming material.'

Sonitus Audio Interface Positioned Beyond The Noise
'... an instrument having relatively small bit pieces adapted to be gripped between the teeth.'

Volvo's Self-Driving Mining Trucks
'A procession of automatic ore carts was racing over the bleak slag'

Audi Pop.Up Autonomous Electric Flying Car
'The cab was an egg-shaped bubble of light metals and plastics...'

Music Not Impossible (MNI) Vibrotactile Wearable Experience
Don't you want to experience the 'feely' effects?

Chinese Face Recognition Mistakes Bus Ad For Jaywalker
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.'

A Look Back At Apollo's Emergency Escape Vehicle
'A simple mechanism... it drove the iron ball through space like a ship.'

InMotion Glide 3 Electric Unicycle For The Last Mile
'...gyro-stabilized on a single wheel.'

China's Social Credit System - A Facebook-1984 Mashup
'Prestige, face, mana, repute, glory: the Sirenese word is strakh.'

Musk Declares Tesla Supercharger Capacity Will Double By Next Year
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.