Driving range, safety, and cost remain the biggest hurdles inhibiting mass adoption of electric vehicles (EV). Innovative approaches to EV battery manufacturing present the opportunity to maximize stored energy relative to the weight of EVs, improving driving range and efficiency. By integrating battery systems into a vehicle structure, significant savings in cost and weight can be accomplished compared to conventional batteries, thus bolstering widespread adoption of EVs.
Project Innovation + Advantages:
Stanford University is developing an EV battery that can be used as a structural component of the vehicle. Today’s EV battery packs only serve one purpose: electrical energy storage. They do not carry structural loads during operation or absorb impact energy in the event of a collision. Stanford’s new battery design would improve upon existing technologies in four key areas: 1) structural capabilities, 2) damage and state sensing systems, 3) novel battery management and thermal regulation, and 4) high-capacity battery cells. Stanford’s research will result in a multifunctional battery chassis system that is safe and achieves high efficiency in terms of energy storage at low production cost. The integration of such a battery system would result in decreased overall weight of the combined vehicle and battery, for greater EV range.
If successful, Stanford’s battery system would reduce overall vehicle weight more than 40% by serving as a structural component, resulting in increased driving range.
The mass adoption of EVs would diminish the demand for petroleum, dramatically reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
Greater use of EVs would reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, 28% of which come from the transportation sector.
Technological advancements from the RANGE program could enable EVs to travel significantly further on a single charge at a much lower cost than that of current EVs and conventional vehicles.