Making high-performance batteries for electric vehicles is a complicated, time-consuming process. So much so that engineers at Volkswagen have started using a quantum computer to simulate chemical structures like lithium-hydrogen and carbon chains much faster. The idea is to continue using quantum computing to eventually develop a sort of blueprint for tailor-made batteries that can be optimized for different features, like weight reduction, power density, or power cell assembly.
"We are working hard to develop the potential of quantum computers for Volkswagen," said scientist Florian Neukart in a statement. "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. We intend to acquire the specialist knowledge we need for this purpose now."
Volkswagen is collaborating with Google and D-Wave, who provide the quantum systems that can be used to speed up the development of algorithms. Teams in Munich and San Francisco realize they're only at the beginning of this kind of work, said the company in a statement. So don't expect these batteries to show up in your next electric vehicle.