THE FUTURE OF THE AUTOMOBILE

Multiply the charging capacity of a battery while dividing the cooldown … Graphene is a miracle material for the electric car and many other sectors.

Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov synthesized graphene 2004. In 2010, this invention (theorized as early as 1947 by Philip Wallace) allowed them to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics. What is it about? Of a material in the form of ultra thin slices of graphite crystal according to a hexagonal honeycomb structure. If we stack 3 million, we get a graphite pencil lead of one millimeter. Graphene alone is a great electric conductor and is incredibly rigid and lightweight. Its characteristics also make it an ideal support for the electrodes of a battery. Even better, such a compact size allows the craziest miniaturization ambitions since the scale of magnitude is the nanometer! So much so that the automobile industry (like others) is very attentive to answer this question: Does the future of the car pass through graphene by allowing to multiply the storage capacities of batteries while dividing the loading time? The answer may well be yes.

Much better and much faster.

Around the world, private and public sectors are working on the concrete application of graphene to everyday objects. Take the example of Samsung (via its Advanced Institute of Technology) which has managed to create graphene beads used to coat the inside of a standard lithium-ion battery. Result? An increased storage capacity of 45% and a full recharge of 18 minutes. The promise becomes a little more concrete. That of rendering has been silicon too.

And no doubt that a similar process could be adapted to the batteries of electric cars. Start-ups like big industrialists and the public sector are working on a battery that could, in short, provide 1,000 km of autonomy for a full recharge time of about fifteen minutes. This could greatly contribute to the development of the electric car in the long term while considerably reducing the problem of the resources needed to recharge a large scale car fleet. The famous peak of consumption of 19-20 hours.

What is the problem (because there is a problem)?

For now, the electric car with a battery powered by graphene is not relevant. Why ? Because in the state, the extraction of graphene is both very complex and absolutely not profitable. It was mentioned a cost in billions of euros to get a square meter … Today’s challenge for a singing tomorrow is to significantly reduce this bill and it is on track! The cost of getting one would be much smaller. There is no doubt that the joint applications of graphene to aerospace, aviation, medicine … could help a synergy of skills. You believe in it ?