Quantum computers use the quantum states of subatomic particles to store information. They use superposition, entanglement, and interference to process the information at a much faster rate than conventional computers. Because of this increase in processing speed, quantum computing has generated a lot of research into quantum technology and its potential applications. Such a computer would have a large impact on many industries.
One burgeoning area of research is the use of quantum computers in clean technology, e.g. battery research for electric and smart cars. The idea is to increase the battery life and efficiency of green cars in order to make them more efficient and better for the environment.
Battery research is incredibly complex, and presents a substantial number of practical issues and variables that researchers and manufacturers will have to overcome. While it is simple to theorize which materials will make the best anodes and cathodes, the reality couldn’t be more complicated.
Energy, power, longevity, charge number and discharge cycles, recyclability, availability of resources, toxicity and ease of manufacture are just some of the variables that need to be considered when constructing a battery.
Development has been very slow. Researchers believe that quantum computers can decrease the time needed to bring the next generation of batteries to the market. Theoretically, quantum technology can shorten the amount of work from years to days, using computer simulations.
The aim is to be able to easily adjust the completed model according to weight, cell assembly details and power density, which would allow the company to move straight to production and avoid time-consuming and financially-draining battery research.
This green technology could make electric cars more efficient and appealing to consumers. The ultimate goal of many automobile companies is to increase the number of electric cars on the road, and therefore decrease the amount of carbon dioxide - a known causer of global warming – being released into the atmosphere.
Green Car Congress. (2018, June 08). Volkswagen testing use of quantum computing in battery research. Retrieved from Green Car Congress: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2018/06/20180608-vwquantum.html
Hanley, S. (2018, June 18). Volkswagen Turns To Quantum Computers For Advanced Battery Research. Retrieved from CleanTechnica.com: https://cleantechnica.com/2018/06/18/volkswagen-turns-to-quantum-computers-for-advanced-battery-research/
Simonite, T. (2018, August 24). THE WIRED GUIDE TO QUANTUM COMPUTING. Retrieved from wired.com: https://www.wired.com/story/wired-guide-to-quantum-computing/