Volkswagen Enlists Quantum Computers to Develop Better Batteries

Following Volkswagen’s diesel scandal, the German automaker went all-in on electric cars and electrified powertrains. In the future, VW wants to enlist quantum computers to help develop better batteries.

The automaker announced last Friday that it plans to use quantum computers to simulate battery development and create tailor-made electric-car batteries. Right now, VW’s technology at its CODE Lab in San Francisco, California, can simulate the structure of an electric car’s battery; experts in the lab have successfully simulated molecules such as lithium-hydrogen and carbon chains.

But, that’s not where VW wants the technology to stop. Rather, the quantum computers will one day give VW engineers and experts the ability to simulate a full battery and take weight reduction, maximum power density, or cell assembly into account. When the technology is capable, VW could create an entire battery design with a quantum computer.

Not only would this reduce costs associated with developing batteries physically, but it will also reduce the time needed to bring new battery-pack technology to market. VW said the computer could, ultimately, provide a final production design and configurable chemical blueprint.

The German automaker has grand plans for its electric-car portfolio in the coming years. Beginning in 2022, the automaker plans to introduce one electric car per month.

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