The question of where to put the heavy, bulky battery is central to electric vehicle design. Tesla pioneered the "skateboard" approach – mounting the battery at the bottom – and other EV-makers including BMW and Audi have followed the trend.
But what if the body panels of a vehicle could form part of its battery? Researchers at Sweden's Chalmers University of Technology have been exploring the possibility of using carbon fiber as a structural battery. The team has studied the relationship between carbon fiber's microstructure and electrochemical capacity, and is working to develop a combination that is both mechanically sound and energy-dense.