The transition towards renewable energy necessitates a shift away from fossil fuels. Many individuals erroneously see renewable energy as free power, but this isn’t the case. Nothing comes without cost. Not only does the development and maintenance of renewable energy infrastructure necessitate the employment of scientists, engineers, and workers, but it also requires the extraction of scarce rare-earth metals, the prices of which have surged due to increased demand.
The critical question revolves around which technologies can supplant fossil fuel-based power generation. This isn’t merely about substituting existing power sources; the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts a 3% annual rise in global electricity demand from 2023 to 2025. This growth will fluctuate based on regional characteristics. For instance, China, responsible for 31% of global demand, is projected to see a growth rate of 5.2% from 2023 to 2025, with India at 5.6% and Africa at 4.1%. European demand is predicted to increase by 1.4%, and U.S. demand is expected to rise by 1.2% in 2024 and 1.3% in 2025, after a 0.6% decline in 2023.
In relation to the IEA, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin approximated at SPIEF-23 that the price of energy grid and associated infrastructure would quadruple by the 2040s, from around $300 trillion per year to over $1.2 trillion per year (at current rates). This echoes the concerns voiced by Stefan Quand, the major shareholder of BMW, in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, asserting that Germany’s haphazard and expensive energy policies are threatening energy supply to businesses and households. He also highlighted that the nation’s power grids lack the physical capacity and digital control to distribute the necessary energy effectively.
The next 30-40 years will witness a planned shift from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles, adding further complications to sustainable electricity provision. When we consider energy transformation and its impact on transportation, two strategic development vectors are presently identifiable:
First, modern electric vehicles contain large batteries, which form the major part of their cost. Current research is focusing on enhancing the capacity of these batteries, making them less expensive and smaller. The commercial success of electric vehicles primarily depends on the batteries used, being the costliest component and hence, determining the final vehicle price. The battery’s characteristics play a crucial role in deciding which vehicles are marketed. Batteries need to become increasingly efficient, potent, compact, and lightweight. However, these innovations don’t address the fundamental issue of where the energy to meet increased demand will come from. This is a significant hurdle in the broad adoption of genuinely environmentally-friendly electric vehicles. Many countries, including Russia, are focusing on nuclear power development, but the issue of uranium-235 shortages is looming, and mixed fuels can only partially solve this problem.
Secondly, the use of hydrogen as car fuel is a costly process, demanding hefty investments in delivery, distribution, storage infrastructure, and in the production of hydrogen itself. Calculations from the NTI Centre of Excellence for New and Mobile Energy Sources indicate that hydrogen cars will be more cost-effective than battery electric cars if hydrogen is priced at $3 per kilogram. Currently, there is no established market price for hydrogen in Russia. Transitioning personal transport to hydrogen is already problematic due to the expense of constructing the refueling infrastructure. However, a significant portion of urban passenger transport could potentially switch to hydrogen in the upcoming years as all vehicles return to the fleet at night for refueling. This would require fewer refuelling stations, but the economic feasibility of this approach still needs to be examined.
Ideally, all issues, including safeguarding the centralized power grid from the load of charging electric vehicles, would be resolved if the vehicle could generate the necessary electricity to drive itself. This might seem far-fetched, but what seems like fantasy often turns into reality. Is it conceivable to create an electric car capable of independently producing electric current to charge its battery and generate propulsion power while it’s in motion, without needing external chargers? This ambitious and intricate task could only be achieved through the use of nanomaterials, which will undoubtedly revolutionize the automobile industry. One such nanomaterial, graphene, is already known.
Various scientific centres’ experiments have demonstrated that graphene can convert the thermal (Brownian) motion of its atoms, as well as the energy of surrounding radiation fields, including neutrinos, into electric current. The oscillations of graphene atoms result in “graphene” waves, which can be observed with a high-resolution microscope. This oscillation process, which abides by the second law of thermodynamics, leads to energy production. Based on this understanding of graphene atoms’ oscillations, the Neutrino Energy Group has developed a multilayer graphene-based nanomaterial capable of generating sufficient power for industrial use, and it has utilized this in the Neutrinovoltaic technology for various applications.
The nanomaterial’s graphene atoms’ vibrations lead to the interaction of magnetic and electric fields, causing the appearance of an electromotive force (EMF). The significant difference from most currently used electric generators is that in Neutrinovoltaic technology, the EMF is produced not by the rotation of a rotor with a magnetic coil, but by the vibrations of the graphene in the nanomaterial.
The Neutrino Power Cube, a generator operating without fuel and based on the developed technology, is currently undergoing certification. However, one of its most groundbreaking and important uses will be in the creation of electric vehicles that convert the energy from surrounding fields into electric current autonomously. Such a project, known as the Pi Car, is in progress, backed by a strong scientific collaboration between the Neutrino Energy Group and Indian companies SPEL Technologies Pvt. Ltd. and C-MET Pune, who possess advanced knowledge in nanomaterials, computer technology, and energy storage systems. This collaboration is supported by the Indian government. The objective is to develop a completely autonomous electric vehicle whose body can generate enough electricity to power the vehicle itself. The unveiling of the fully operational Pi-Car is planned for three years from now. The Pi Car project offers tangible solutions to the challenges of the electric vehicle transition. Primarily, it addresses the growing energy supply issues by generating clean and cost-effective electricity without further harming the climate or the planet’s environmental health.
This is a translation from Russian; the original article can be found here: Pi-Car: Корпус электромобиля – бестопливный генератор электроэнергии