Revolutionary new battery extends EV range by 35%
23rd Sept 2011. A battery breakthrough offers the potential to make EVs a significantly better buying proposition.
Advanced battery manufacturer Axeon and its partners have developed a battery that extends the range of electric vehicles (EVs) by more than 35% compared to existing technologies.
The £1.3m funding for the project includes over £680k awarded by the Technology Strategy Board for the development of a high energy density battery system for emission-free EVs.
The battery uses Nickel Cobalt Manganese (NCM) electrochemistry which theoretically requires 50% less volume and 30% less mass when compared to Lithium Iron Phosphate chemistry (at cell level).
A key goal of the project was to confirm that these cell level benefits pass through to the battery pack level when taking into account overall packaging, cell retention, cooling and interconnects, battery management system components and overall system functionality.
Prototype batteries have been subjected to automotive environmental validation testing to ensure a robust solution.
Test vehicle increases range, functionality and performance
Axeon and its partners, Ricardo and Allied Vehicles, have delivered an advanced demonstrator that has been deployed into a test vehicle, increasing its range, functionality and performance. The project has confirmed that it is feasible to replace Lithium Iron Phosphate technology with NCM and that the majority of cell level benefits migrate to battery pack level.
The demonstrator pack uses NCM ‘pouch’ cells that have been innovatively packaged in modular building blocks which support a range of thermal management options and allow Axeon to support rapid prototyping into a range of other vehicle types with significantly reduced development lead times.
Added benefits of the new system, which was tested on a vehicle platform from Allied Vehicles, include increased ground clearance, better driver experience due to improved weight distribution and more power giving better drivability.
The new battery also integrates a management system developed by Ricardo. This works with multiple cell chemistries, has active balancing and delivers diagnostic and prognostic information to the vehicle control system.
The partners are now in active discussions on commercialisation of the new technologies.
A real step forward
Lawrence Berns, CEO of Axeon said: ‘This new battery represents a real step forward in the development of electric vehicles and is highly versatile, being suitable for applications for many vehicle manufacturers and across a wide range of platforms.’
John Laughlin of the Technology Strategy Board said: ‘Investing in such cutting-edge development helps to put the UK at the forefront of low carbon vehicle technology.’
Ricardo chief technology and innovation officer, Professor Neville Jackson, said, ‘The new battery will improve the potential for more widespread vehicle electrification, a process that has the potential to significantly reduce global dependence on fossil fuels and minimize carbon dioxide emissions.’
Allied Vehicles’ managing director, Paul Nelson said: ‘We are very excited about the possibilities afforded by this new battery technology and what this can offer our customers.’
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