Taking a break from my usual vitriolic verbal tirades against doomers and their ilk (but still keeping in the spirit of "technology will save us from doom") here's yet another little gem:
Researchers in Tel-Aviv have created a bio-friendly, super-hard organic material which is lightweight, cheap and easy to produce.
Sounds like a *metal* substitute to me.
Since it's *strong* AND *light* that means we could get the weight down in vehicles.
And given that most of the energy used in an automobile is moving the weight of the vehicle around that makes today's batteries even more useful.
Take this very obvious back-of-the-envelope calculation as an example:
If we reduce the weight of today's Volt by half we go from 35 mile range to 70 mile range.
Likewise if we reduce the weight of today's Nissan Leaf electric vehicle by half we go from a 100 mile range to a 200 mile range.
The more important point in this calculation, however, isn't personal automobiles. It's large factor trucks.
Currently Smith Electric Vehicles has a medium duty truck that can go 100 miles on a full charge. That means effectively the same size truck would be able to go 200 miles on a charge. Now *that* is not too shabby.
Original story is here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201002037