Thus far, KAIST, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, has mostly been in these pages for its work with in-road charging technology (see here and here). The latest out of KAIST is just as future-minded as roads full of charging devices: flexible batteries.

They won't be available to move cars for a long, long time – if ever – but the tiny batteries that KAIST researchers are working on are getting ever-higher energy density levels. Right now, as you can see in the video below, they can't do much more than light up an LED, but the list of potential uses for these batteries is high. Treehugger writes they, "could be used in things like e-paper, wearable electronics and improved piezoelectric devices for harvesting energy from movement. Imagine flexible gadgets that could be powered by bending them." It's that line about "harvesting energy from movement" that lets us imagine them being used in plug-in vehicles in interesting ways, perhaps powering infotainment systems by getting just enough energy from the car's movement down the road. They might not offer all that much assistance, but every little bit helps. Especially this early in the EV era, and KAIST researchers say they could be commercialized within a year.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      Displacement over distance is Work; bending a material, no matter how little it is bent, creates resistance on the object bending it (Newtonian physics), therefore requiring energy form that object. That energy has to come from somewhere. Even the praised flexible pavement slabs that transform motion into electricity create an external need for work from the vehicles passing, making them less efficient. There is no free energy.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Piezoelectrics won't make enough energy to run your infotainment system.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not only is the LED glowing blue... but even the hand has turned blue... amazing!
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