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 ")

Blaux Your Personal Commuter Cooling Unit
A cooling unit had to be strapped to every commuter's back, by law.

SunnyFive 'Window' Has Full Spectrum Angled Natural Light
'On the ceilings are screens.' - Stanislaw Lem, 1961.

Liftware Level, Google's Smart Spoon
'The result was indeed marvelous... I did not stagger and I did not reel.' - Ellis Parker Butler, 1926.

Prufrock The Newest Boring Machine
'It sounds to me as though you had invented a kind of metal earthworm...'

 

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

TytoCare Offers Futuristic Home Care
'Immediately an enormous apparatus fell on to her out of the ceiling...'

Powdered Regolith Propulsion
'... filling their great tanks with the finely divided dust which the ionic rockets would spit out in electrified jets.'

Ford's SafeCap, Opposite Of Niven and Barnes' Napcap
'In the napcap a client became an instant yoga master...'

Would You Get 'Chipped'? Michigan May Ban Employers
'Employees above a certain level were implanted with advanced microprocessors...'

Tesla Autopilot: What Does An Autonomous Car See When It Looks At The Road?
'Jeremiah is a sports-model to begin with and that kind is awfully hot-tempered.'

DNA Controls Swarms Of Molecular Robots
'They exist in loose swarms...'

Tether Asteroids To Save Us All
'If anything can glue the asteroids back into the planet they once were, magnology will do it.'

Blaux Your Personal Commuter Cooling Unit
A cooling unit had to be strapped to every commuter's back, by law.

3D Printed Damascus Steel Now Possible
'...lined with durite, that strange close-packed laboratory product.'

R9X Hellfire Missile With Long Blades Kills Queda Leader
'He was still roaring when the knife missile flicked past him...'

Would You Swallow An Origami Robot?
'Swallow it in an emergency--it goes down easily and works just as well inside as outside.'

Perhaps You Might Be Interested In Habitable Exoplanet Moon Real Estate
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

Blurry Face Photos Made 60 Times Sharper
Perfect tool for blade runners.

SpaceX Will Build Floating Spaceports!
'...a single perfectly level platform, which rose so high above the water that it was not splashed by the waves.'

Fast Radio Bursts And Space Beacons For Interstellar Navigation
'Every beacon has a code signal as part of its radiation...'

Robot Garbage Trucks Visualized
'It was a bulky, shining cylinder over twenty metres long.'

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.