The concept of Lamborghini is futuristic in itself. Add a few nanotubes to act the supercapacitor and you have a vehicle that literally has the ability to time warp you into the year 2050. Ok, not literally, but close enough.
Though it could be years, scientists from MIT and Lamborghini are working to overcome the downsides of nanotubes in an effort to produce cars that no longer run off of even the likes of batteries. While the use of nanotubes comes with both negatives and positives, scientists such as Mauricio Reggiani, Lamborghini’s head of research and development, are overall pretty optimistic about incorporating the technology in the future.
Reggiani has stated that even the best of batteries won’t work in supercars due to their sheer size. They’re far too heavy and bulky, and would reduce the acceleration we commonly associate with the vehicles. While a more evident problem lies with larger batteries, a problem also exists when using smaller batteries. Reggiani stated that a supercar would surely drain the battery too quickly and would be unable to reach peak performance for very long.
If supercapacitors made from carbon are used and formed into body panels, which the car needs anyway, there will be minimal impact on the vehicles weight. Another positive of supercapacitors that factors is that they take in and release energy much quicker than batteries, which of course is helpful in a performance car. If a battery overheats the performance can suffer severely, specifically with those of us who are heavy footed drivers.
While supercapacitors do have several positives, there are also multiple drawbacks, such as storing large amounts of energy for an extended amount of time. This is why today we primarily see them used in roles that serve as quick bursts, such as to start a gasoline engine. Scientists’ toughest test will lie in the opposition that this presents.
If scientists are able to improve the abilities of supercapacitors, they have the ability to truly make the line of luxury vehicles supercars. The vehicles’ four wheels would be individually powered by an electric motor, giving the car all-wheel-drive. They would also have the potential to be self healing with the incorporation of the nanotube body. Sensors would detect cracks in the vehicle that could be filled through small internal tubes.
Reggiani and the other scientists are hard at work to not only give the concept life, but to make the vehicles feasible for production. With the amount of money being poured into efforts to globally reduce emissions we’re sure they’ll receive the funds to see their efforts through.