The move toward alternative transportation options requires significant new thinking and lots of failed experimentation. But all that experimentation does sometimes lead to monumental discoveries. This week on Gas2, our top stories focused on innovators who were trying out different routes to make green transportation more efficient.
First, there are the researchers at Drexel University who say they’ve come up with an experimentation method of achieving very high electronic conductivity with a two-dimensional material; if all goes as planned, it will produce much faster battery charging. Then there are the folks over at Sono Motors, whose experimentation has resulted in a car that adds 18 miles of range due to roof, hood, and rear hatch covered in in monocrystalline silicon solar cells.
A company called Continental is delving into experimentation that has the potential to reduce NOx emissions by 60% through a 48 volt electrical volt system. And, speaking of diesel, VW’s epiphanies about fossil fuels have led it to announce that, by 2025, at least one-quarter of the cars it sells will be electric, which will require a significant expansion of lithium-ion battery cell production.
The Hyperloop — that futuristic pod that travels through a tube in partial vacuum — was back in the news, after a successful test run at relatively low speeds. Here are those stories and more on this week’s edition of the “Gas2 Week in Review.”
A new highly conductive two-dimensional material may allow ordinary batteries to charge as fast as supercapacitors and, yet, have the energy storage potential of a conventional battery. The key is having more places to store electrons than today’s generation of electrodes, so that more electron storage would equal more electrical energy stored and transmitted. The researchers at Drexel say that, when ions actually reach their destination at fast charging rates, rapid charging “on the order of a few seconds or less” can result.