Superconductors power electric cars

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Japanese giant Sumitomo Electric has developed a prototype car which uses a superconducting motor.

That's according to nikkei.net, which has details of a prototype car fitted into a Toyota sedan.

The wire said that the superconducting motor has a liquid nitrogen cooling device and can chug along for 100 kilometers at a top speed of 85KPH just on one charge.

Superconducting wires can, in theory, carry 200 times more electric current than copper wires.

The motor includes six sets of superconducting coils made of bismuth and other metals including strontium and copper. The project has been 10 years in the making and is attracting interest from a number of major manufacturers, said nikkei.net.

A number of other electric machinery manufacturers are developing motors for car manufacturers, nikkei.net said, here (subscription needed).

http://www.nni.nikkei.co.jp/e/ac/tnks/Nni20090626D24HH416.htm