Quantum computers could analyze and help build highly specialized electric vehicle batteries in the future, Volkswagen announced this week.
Using the highly complex computing tech, researchers simulated industrially relevant molecules in EV batteries that could help shape the next generation of compounds for use in green cars.
Researchers said that quantum algorithms may help create batteries that prioritize weight savings, power density, or cell arrangement, depending on need. Future EVs could rely on different battery chemistries tailored to their specific use, VW said.
Additionally, quantum chemistry could create a "chemical blueprint" for battery production that would speed up development time and minimize environmental impact.
Volkswagen will present the findings from their initial research this week at the CEBIT Expo this week in Hanover, Germany.
The findings are among the first since VW announced a partnership with Google to purchase and use the complex computers to help certain aspects of car ownership and building. Quantum computing can help lay the roadmap for new materials development inside the car, and out.
Last year, VW announced a partnership with Google to use the computers to develop specialized batteries, study traffic flow, and create deeper artificial intelligence systems for their cars.
Now, those investments are starting to bear fruit, although any material benefit may be many years away. Identifying the chemistries is only the first step.
“We are working hard to develop the potential of quantum computers for Volkswagen. The simulation of electrochemical materials is an important project in this context. ... In this field, we are performing genuine pioneering work. We are convinced that commercially available quantum computers will open up previously unimaginable opportunities," Florian Neukart, principle scientist at Volkswagen’s CODE Lab in San Francisco, said in a statement.