One of the greatest challenges hybrid automobiles have faced is the perception that battery-powered or battery-assisted vehicles do long have a long life and therefore are unreliable. Researchers are working on identifying, analyzing, and improving materials to create better batteries to combat this issue.
The main issue is energy storage, and researchers feel it is a major obstacle and agree that innovations in chemistries, architectures, and even battery materials must be overcome to surmount the issues.
Gary Koenig, assistant professor of chemical engineering at the University of Virginia is working toward identifying and solving these problems, and he is partnering with Rolls Royce to do it. The Rolls Royce-funded project is based out of the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing in Prince George County and was created to practically apply campus laboratory technological innovations to manufacturing production lines. Besides, batteries for hybrid cars are a huge growth market, and there is a world of possibilities.
Koenig and his team dream of creating new materials and ways to use the these creations to optimize energy density and battery storage capacity. By lowering the weight, cost, increasing the time of charge, and improving the life span of rechargeable batteries, researchers believe they will become more attractive and will ultimately benefit hybrid vehicles.
Batteries have come a long way over the decades, and they will continue to get better with improved technologies. The will become lighter with greater energy storage capacity and cheaper as lower-cost materials are discovered and fabricated. It just may take time.