Mercedes-Benz Intends To Use Quantum Computers To Find New Battery Materials

- Oct 12, 2019-

According to foreign media reports, the research and development department of Mercedes-Benz is studying how to use quantum computers to discover new materials that can be used in advanced batteries for electric vehicles in the next decade. Benjamin Boeser, director of open innovation at the Mercedes-Benz North American R&D Center, said: "The discovery of new battery materials opens up billions of dollars in opportunities. We can use quantum computers to simulate the actual behavior of batteries, which today's computers can't."


Traditional computers store information in the form of 0 or 1. Quantum computers use qubits to store information, which can store information in both 0 and 1. It also means that quantum computers have the potential to be in less than a second. A large number of possible solutions are classified within.


No one has ever produced quantum computers that can be used for large-scale applications, but companies and governments around the world are investing heavily in the development of this technology. According to technology research firm Gartner Inc., by 2023, 20% of institutions will budget for quantum computing projects, compared to less than 1% in 2018.


Currently, Mercedes-Benz and Daimler are working with the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM)'s quantum computing division with the goal of deploying next-generation computing power in some use cases over the next five to ten years. . However, the current scale of investment has not been disclosed.


Like other car companies, Daimler is also experimenting with possible applications of quantum computing. Ford Motor Co. (FordMotor Co.) is investigating how to use quantum computing to quickly optimize travel paths and improve electric vehicle battery construction. Volkswagen AG is developing a quantum computing-based traffic management system that may be offered to customers as a commercial service. In addition, Volkswagen is interested in using this technology to develop more advanced batteries.


Today, because there is no simulation software, experts need to build battery prototypes first during battery development and testing. Quantum computers can help Mercedes-Benz find new battery materials or new material combinations that provide better electrochemical performance and longer life cycle times for batteries, but are still in their early stages. Some of these innovations may also include safer, more energy-efficient, and more environmentally friendly organic batteries.


Later in the year, Daimler said that its investment in global battery production exceeded 1.13 billion US dollars (about 7.57 billion yuan) to build 9 battery factories. Daimler expects that by 2025, electric vehicle sales will account for 15% to 25% of Mercedes-Benz's total sales. By 2022, Mercedes-Benz will also introduce various types of electric vehicles. In addition, Daimler is experimenting with the possibility of using quantum calculations to simulate various welding scenarios in production plants, such as determining whether the machine needs to be recalibrated on the spot before a warranty problem occurs.