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uni'wissen 01-2012_ENG

Bye-Bye Gasoline Prices by Felix Austen Plug it in, charge it up, drive away: This could be the key to mobility in the future. But electric cars need better energy storage solutions in order to establish themselves on the market. Photo: arsdigital/Fotolia It’s a phenomenon known to many: You drink too much at the party, have too little to eat, or eat too many potato chips and then forget to drink a glass of water when you get home. The consequences are a lack of electrolytes and a headache. Prof. Dr. Ingo Krossing from the Uni­ versity of Freiburg has a similar problem. He too is suffering from headaches due to electrolytes, but for a different reason. Electrolytes are liquids containing dissolved salts that make them elec­ trically conductive. Krossing holds the universi­ ty’s chair in molecular and coordination chemistry and is developing a completely new kind of electrolyte at the Freiburg Materials ­Research Center to help the electric car finally achieve its breakthrough. Plans for electric motors to displace the com­ bustion engine in cars have not been very success­ ful so far. Despite considerable research efforts, only a fraction of the one million electric cars the German federal ­government Scientists at the University of Freiburg Are Developing Chemicals to Make Batteries More Powerful and Electric Cars More Popular 32