Battery cars have a number of potential advantages – including the ability to move the motor out from under the hood, something that could translate into a lot more space for passengers. On the downside, manufacturers struggle to find the right place to put bulky batteries that can eat up cargo and passenger space and, if poorly positioned, throw a vehicle’s weight balance horribly awry.
Volvo Car Group, the Swedish-based, Chinese-owned automaker, may have come up with an interesting alternative. The maker wants to build energy storage devices right into the body panels of vehicles like the prototype S80 shown here.
The experimental car is the culmination of a 3.5-year research project in which, Volvo says, “The project team identified a feasible solution to the heavy weight, large size and high costs associated with the batteries seen in hybrids and electric cars today, whilst maintaining the efficient capacity of power and performance.”