BAE Systems, the global firm that specialises in the development of advanced defence, security and aerospace systems, has revealed that it is using torches, drones and an electric Le Mans racing car as test-beds for a new kind of "structural battery" made from carbon fibre.
The firm, currently testing the technology in the Lola-Drayson B12/69EV, which it hopes will be come the world's fastest electric car, explained that it can save weight by building the battery into an object. Long-term, BAE hopes that the power source material will eventually be as easy to work with as existing carbon fibre.
Stewart Penney of BAE Systems explained to the BBC that the cutting-edge technology is much more than merely a traditional battery in a different shaped case.
"There are number of people that will build a battery shaped like a beam, for example, but fundamentally that is just an odd-shaped battery, it isn't a structural battery," he said. "The beauty of what we've got is that, when it's fully developed, a company will be able to go out and buy what is a standard carbon-composite material, lay out the shape, put it through the curing process and have a structural battery."
BAE was able to achieve this, according to Mr Penny, by merging battery chemistries into composite materials. "You take the nickel base chemistries and there are ways you can integrate that into the carbon fibre," he added.
The firm, which started work on the technology when it was seeking to help lighten the load on British troops carrying electronic objects, hopes to help make structural batteries relatively inexpensive in the long-term.
Given that the nickel-based batteries were initially intended for use in the military, they have been specifically designed to be resistant to fire and have a long working life. And going forward, BAE said that it hopes to develop lithium-based batteries capable of storing more power.