Electric Air Transportation Takes Off
Light-weight aerospace engineering coupled with new battery technologies power electric vehicle transportation - on land and in the air.
For a look ahead, Thomson Reuters analysts consulted the Web of Science and Derwent World Patents Index to identify rapid progress and emergent trends in scientific research and technological innovation, gauging the advances most likely to affect health and the quality of life in the next decade.
The nature of travel will change, as improvements in battery storage and efficiency, coupled with the use of strong, lightweight materials, will not only transform automobiles but literally give rise to a new class of aircraft for the masses.
Getting from point A to point B will be significantly different in 2025 from how it happens today.
Cars and airplanes will still exist, but they will be smarter, battery-powered, able to travel longer distances and more light-weight. Advancements in non-carbon-basedfuel sources, including lithium-ion batteries, reversible hydrogen storage options, nanomaterials in fuel cells and thin-film batteries will all contribute to this reality.
Distributed power sources that recharge 10 times more than today and store much more energy than current sources will be the norm in transportation vehicles.
Lightweight aircraft and cars will be powered by the new, improved lithium-ion batteries. These aircraft will also utilize new materials that bring down the weight of the vehicle and have motors with superconducting technology. Micro-commercial aircraft will fly the skies for short-hop journeys.
As these new planes will be able to take off and land in much smaller spaces, getting a pilot’s license could become the new rite-of-passage to adulthood in the 21st Century.
Ultrafast charging and discharging energy systems, such as in supercapacitors, top scientific literature
“High-performance lithium battery anodes using silicon nanowires” in Nature Nanotechnology is cited more than 1,300 times
Note to Editors and Writers: For images and other resources, please visit our Editorial Resources page.
The data and citation records included in this report are from Thomson Reuters Web of ScienceTM. Web of ScienceTM is a registered trademark of Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.