Posts Tagged ‘Electric car’

Fuel for Electric Cars

June 21, 2011

Here is something amazing from MIT. Some students have learned how to store the electrons, (that provide the electricity for electric cars, and everything else for that matter), in a semi-solid “gel” that can fill up an electric car, not unlike filling up a car with gasoline.

Forgoing the traditional route of storing electrons in either nickel or lithium-ion, the MIT students have figured out a way to store electricity in semi-solid flow cells. Called “Cambridge Crude,” the charged particles are stored in an electrolyte gel that can be removed and refilled when drained, not unlike how we currently fill our cars with gasoline. The gel would move between a charging area, and dispensing area, sending electrons straight to the drivetrain. Perhaps even more importantly though, this technology can (supposedly) store 10x more electricity, at half the price of current conventional battery technology.
They are working on building a prototype in about 18  months. As the article says, this could be a game-changer that actually makes the electric car feasible.
There is one problem that I can see. If  electric cars do become common, maybe even only 10% of the cars on the road, then the demand for electricity will go up. Since we are not building many power plants, it is likely the price of energy will go up, making the electric car less economical than a regular car and sort of defeating the purpose of introducing them in the first place.
Anyway, there is more information here.
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