Though the current oil prices have declined drastically over the last six months, experts agree that, once either the supply of petroleum is cut or the global economy begins to pick up pace again, the price of crude oil will rise. Naturally, this will take us back to the future, back to exorbitant gas prices and the search for the solution to the world’s insatiable appetite for fossil fuels.
In times of cheap gas we quickly forget that among the many choices for fuel conscious consumers, such as hybrid technology, clean diesel, hydrogen fuel cells, and even fuel-efficient tires, there is currently only one mass-produced option that can completely free people from the pump: electric cars. Though more manufacturers than ever are entering the increasingly competitive, and lucrative, market (recent additions include the Smart Electric Drive, the Renault Zoe, the Nissan Leaf, the Ford Focus Electric, the Tesla Roadster, and the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Coupe) electric cars still have a hard time convincingly addressing the two big limitations of electric vehicles: a lack of power and a limited range. Engineering an electric engine with comparable power to a gasoline-fueled engine has been successfully done by both Tesla and Mercedes, but how can we extend the range of fully electrical, zero-emission vehicles beyond 250 miles.
The answer might just be found in an unlikely place far away from the automotive centers of the world. In Australia, more specifically at Queensland University of Technology, a team of engineers are working with their colleagues from Rice University in the United States on a project aiming to develop a “super-capacitor” which can provide more power to a battery when needed and extend the range of current vehicles from less than 250 miles to approximately 310 miles- or an additional 24%. These super-capacitors can, by storing energy efficiently and being (relatively) inexpensively constructed, actually replace the expensive and quickly degrading lithium-ion batteries that are currently being used, thus lowering the overall investment that is currently necessary to own an electric car.
EVS Translations is a language service provider for global corporations with a special focus on the automobile and energy sectors. As a German company and long-standing translation partner of many automobile market leaders, EVS Translations understands the importance of effective multilingual communication in the automobile industry.
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