IBM and Mercedes are working on a quantum battery with a range of 1 million kilometers (without recharging)

It will not have passed you by that it has become a luxury to fill up with petrol or diesel. We are almost all reduced to limiting our trips as fuel prices have risen sharply in France. Some have turned to bioethanol or bought an electric car in an attempt to reduce the cost of their travels. But the biggest problems with electric cars, even if the latest innovations improve them, are battery charging time and battery life. How about a quantum battery that could travel 1 million miles between charges? The dream, right? We explain how this can be made possible!

Quantum physics for saving batteries?

Quantum physics is a set of physical theories born between 1900 and 1930, which seeks to explain the behavior of atoms and particles (the electrons orbiting the nucleus of an atom, for example). Currently, the most autonomous electric car is the Mercedes Vision EQXX, a concept car presented at CES 2022. If it had existed, it would have a range of 1000 kilometers thanks to a 100 kWh battery. If quantum physics came into the dance, this record of 1000 kilometers could well be broken. Many researchers around the world are working on the development of quantum batteries to achieve quite staggering autonomy figures, it must be acknowledged.

A graphic representation of a quantum electric battery. Illustrative photo not contractual. Image credit: Shutterstock

Why should it be revolutionary?

Quantum physics is a world where the laws of gravity no longer really exist, and IBM or Mercedes-Benz in particular are currently working on the development of these batteries of the future. If this battery were to see the light of day and be reliable, it would not only make it possible to achieve autonomy, but will also limit maintenance costs and of course any changes. In the world, there are countless scientists, start-ups or companies working on the subject … Above all, you need to know that batteries have a complex technology and that even button batteries remain a mystery to scientists, as it explains doctor Jeanette Garciasenior manager, quantum applications and algorithms at IBM.

“We do not really know what is going on inside the batteries. This thing is a mystery. Of course we know how to make batteries. But you can’t really see what’s going on inside a battery, at the molecular level, while it works. ” IBM

The idea of ​​IBM and Mercedes Benz

The two computer and automotive giants are working together to try to create quantum computer systems capable of simulating molecular interactions inside a battery. If they succeed, quantum batteries could first replace them in our smartphones would no longer experience battery failure … So in another step, they would equip electric cars. To do this, researchers are exploring a concept called “superabsorption”. Currently, batteries operate on an intuitive principle, that is, the larger they are, the longer they are autonomous, but the longer it takes to recharge them.

Superabsorption would then reverse the progress of the charge … The more molecules you concentrate in a battery of this type, the faster it will charge. If you extrapolate a bit, this would mean that a “car” size battery would be charged faster than your smartphone. These quantum batteries could have another equally important benefit … If the battery can travel 1 million kilometers, it would also be beneficial to the planet. We know that the outage of current electric batteries can cause problems in the near future because they are difficult to recycle … Quantum batteries would therefore require fewer building materials and would last a very long time before they become unusable! Whether quantum batteries will come out in a year or in twenty years, no one knows, but scientists all over the world are working on it!

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