Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have claimed a "big breakthrough" in the development of a battery that can function structurally as well as a power source. The load-bearing batteries are being developed with KTH Royal Institute of Technology for use in aircraft, vehicle and building design. Structural batteries, which are also known as massless energy storage, aim to significantly reduce the weight of battery-powered vehicles or other objects by incorporating batteries into the structure of the object. By so doing, the need for separate batteries is reduced or potentially even eliminated. This could result in significant efficiency gains. A lighter electric vehicle, for example, will require less energy to drive if all other things are equal. Development "taken a real step forward" In order to be viable, the batteries need to provide both power and structural integrity. According to Chalmers University of Technology , the latest prototype exceeds the energy storage, stiffness and strength of all its previous models. "The first attempt to make a structural battery was made as early as 2007, but it has so far proven difficult to manufacture batteries with both good electrical and mechanical properties," the university explained. Professors Johanna Xu […]

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