Hyundai Motor partners with quantum computer firm IonQ for battery development


A Hyundai booth displays the company logo at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. January 16, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

(Reuters) - Quantum computer maker IonQ Inc said on Wednesday that it is partnering with Hyundai Motor Co to use quantum computers to develop more effective batteries.

The partnership will create a battery chemistry model to simulate the structure and energy of lithium oxide, to help improve the performance, costs, and safety of lithium batteries, IonQ said.

Better battery technology is key to advancing the use of electric cars.

Researchers believe quantum computers could operate millions of times faster than today's advanced supercomputers, potentially making tasks such as mapping complex molecular structures and chemical reactions much faster.

For that to happen, the quantum computers still need to scale up further, say experts. Still companies, from banks to pharmaceutical firms, are testing out different ways to start using the quantum computers to be ready for the day when they become more reliable.

(Reporting by Jane Lanhee Lee, Oakland, Calif; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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