Most buyers of electric vehicles are often surprised to find out how large and how heavy the batteries are in their electric cars. The bulky batteries may soon become a thing of the past if SmartBatt’s new technology to make lighter and better batteries comes to fruition. The company hopes to use innovation and new technology to create an electric vehicle battery that is light and has multifunctional features that will easily integrate into the electric vehicles being produced today. For those driving used cars in Brisbane, this development should have a significant impact on used car sales as well as beneficial impacts to the overall automobile industry.
As one of nine partners scattered across five different countries, SmartBatt has joined forces with companies that are at the forefront of research, manufacturing, engineering and technology. The companies include manufacturers such as Volkswagen, research organisations such as the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden and AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, and engineering companies such as Ricardo plc and Impact Design Europe.
These companies and their respective countries have embraced the goal to affect climate change and support “green” electricity through the development of the smaller and lighter battery. The technology that will go into the battery pack will focus on energy savings and friendliness to the environment due to the lighter and smaller design.
The SmartBatt group hopes to develop a battery design and optimisation process that will produce a battery pack that has 20-kilowatt hour, 200-400 volt pack capability and will be 15 percent smaller in weight that current battery packs. It would also have the ability to provide a continuous power rating of 36 kW. This design exceeds their goal by more than 10 percent of the target energy capacity. The total energy storage would be 22.92 kWh. The driving range that this battery would deliver would be 120 km based on New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) operation.
The development of the SmartBatt battery design was centred on a target vehicle that was assumed to have the size of a Volkswagen Golf. The process used the universal battery management system that was developed Ricardo that incorporated new innovative ideas and designs to optimise the output of the battery system. Full integration of the fault detection, charge optimisation and the capability to integrate it into a vehicle in a crash-safe way are some of the goals of the consortium.
The SmartBatt consortium hopes that the new battery will be a key component in the next generation of electric vehicles. Since it will be a few years before their development hits the mainstream, they hope that the interest gained while the battery pack was on display at the recent European Electric Vehicle Congress will bring greater awareness of the project to the general public. The event that occurred from November 19 to November 22 in Brussels provided the group with an opportunity to demonstrate a prototype and discuss the specifics of the design process.
With the partners that make up the consortium having great reputations in their specific areas, the SmartBatt project holds great promise for those interested in having electric vehicles with lighter and better battery packs. Their efforts will help to change the overall impression of electric vehicles and should help to generate more interest from manufacturers that will be able to use the new battery pack technology. Once this occurs, the consortium feels this will lead to greater acceptance and adoption of electric vehicles by the buying public.
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