Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT in Pfinztal, Germany are looking to help electric vehicles shed a few pounds – the lighter the car, the further it can travel on one charge. The researchers have thus far developed a new lighter electric vehicle battery that is also virtually crash-proof — it sustains no damage in an accident. Even more, this is the first time ever that researchers have developed a method of mass-producing this type of lightweight fiber composite material for the battery’s casing.

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Previously, one had to meticulously construct lightweight fiber composite materials, making electric vehicle batteries constructed from them extremely expensive. This new method could bring down the cost of batteries as well as make electric vehicles get more from their battery charges. Manfred Reif, the project manager, said his team wants to gradually replace electric vehicle components with lighter weight ones, but the replacements “cannot affect the stability or the safety of the passenger.

The components also must be feasible to make on a wide scale, and they should be able to manufacture several thousand of them on a daily basis. “It must be possible to mass-produce the lightweight components,” explained Reif. “Up to now, this has not been possible in this form.” According to preliminary testing, the battery is able to withstand an impact from a sharp object at 45mph and the lithium ion components on the inside are protected from humidity through the breathable casing. The researchers involved in the project believe this is a great first step in helping electric vehicles everywhere shed a few pounds.

Via Science Daily