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 ")

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

Stratuscent Electronic Nose
'It's picking up diphenyl compounds and tetra hydrocarbons.' - Michael Crichton, 1985.

Smart Contact Lenses Charges With 3D Printed Antenna
'He realized that it was not quite a clear lens.' - Vernor Vinge, 2001.

Physicist Inspired By SciFi And Seeing Back In Time
'Here is the chronoscope... Scansion depends upon a special curved field...'

 

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

Prototype Robotic Masseur Has The Touch
'The automatic massager began to fumble gently...'

Trash Sorting AI Robot Presages Skynet, Thanks A Lot
Keep your head down, Kyle Reese.

Electric Unicycle Is A Tumblebug
'A tumblebug does not give a man dignity, since it is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel.'

Another Soil Bacterium Eats Plastic
'...the plastic was dissolved before his eyes.'

reLive Memorial Come Back As A Tree
'It was time - time to go again. She touched the leaf. She was wanted.'

Engineered Living Building Materials
'... it was the cheapest building material known.'

Draw Circuits With Conductive Ink
'It's rewiring things... squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon along the printed circuitry.'

Arkangel: Automatic Visual Censoring
It's whatever the Party says it is, Winston.

NASA Competition To Design A Bucket Drum For Moon Mining
'There was a heap of discarded ore where Grantline had carted and dumped it...'

Medical Assistant Robot May Roam The Halls Of Hospitals
'Take care, sir.'

No Autonomous Trucks? Wait, What?
'...it resembled conventional human-operated transportation vehicles, but with one exception -- there was no driver's cabin.'

As Big As A Biltong - World's Largest 3D Printer
'Huge and old, it squatted in the center of the settlement park... On the concrete platform... lay a heap of originals to be duplicated.'

Drones Used To Smuggle Contraband Into Prison
'And some mega chip inside so it never runs into anything and no cop ever sees it.'

Are You Ready For Commercial Space Travel?
'It wasn't a pleasant trip; it was a miserable trip on a miserable, undersized tourist rocket...'

Amplified Nerves Lead To Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Hands
'The electrical impulses generated by your brain command everything...'

FlyCroTug Micro Drones Do Heavy Lifting
'It extended three of its tiny arms sideways to lock on...'

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.