|A sample of Cambridge Crude |
(photo courtesy of Dominick Reuter).
While this newest innovation doesn't sound very different from a conventional battery, there's one terribly clever bit that could potentially render present technology obsolete. Once the charge has been completely used, all that is necessary is to make a stop at the nearest goo station. There, the old goo will be sucked out to be replaced by new, charged goo much in the same way gasoline is pumped. If that sounds wasteful, the goo still retains the function of a rechargeable electric cell, so that a charge overnight in the garage will render the goo fully charged and ready to go. So it's like having all the advantages of being able to pump gas, with the added advantage of being able to fill up at home as well.
The alternative power source has an additional bonus: the goo batteries are cheaper to build than conventional lithium-ion batteries, and they're not dependent on any particular goo chemistry. When a more advanced goo is created, it can readily replace the old goo. DARPA bestowed a grant upon the MIT team to make this all happen, and by 2013, they should have a reduced-scale system operational and serving as a prototype replacement for electric car batteries.
New Battery Design Could Give Electric Vehicles A Jolt | MIT News