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Magna Steyr Developing Li-Ion Energy Storage Systems For Range of Hybrid Applications

18 May 2007

Magna Steyr, the vehicle engineering, assembly and component provider, is developing a series of lithium-ion energy storage systems for a range of hybrid electric vehicle applications including mild (10-30kW); full (30-70kW—also for use with a fuel cell vehicle); and heavy duty (70-200 kW).

In a presentation at AABC 07, Peter Pichler, Product Manager for Battery Systems at Magna Steyr, said that the company will put its lithium-ion packs into series production in 2009, and that it is developing a pack for plug-in hybrids using prismatic cells (the current cells are cylindrical) with a 2010 target.

The current li-ion energy storage system (ESS) prototype for mild hybrids has 36 4 Ah cells and a nominal voltage of 115V. Peak power is 15 kW. The pack uses air cooling.

The ESS packs for the full-hybrid and the heavy-duty hybrids are liquid cooled (water/glycol). The larger packs are built with 10-cell modules. Magna Steyr has been working with Saft cells, although it is evaluating cells from other providers as well. The ESS for the full hybrid consists of 10 modules. The has an energy capacity of 2.9 kWh.

Magna Steyr is pushing to increase the power and reduce the size of the final production module, compared to earlier versions.

Specifications for Magna Steyr Full Hybrid Li-ion ESS
  Early sample Production target
Power 60 kW 70 kW
Energy capacity 2.9 kWh 2.9 kWh
Voltage range 200V - 410V 200V - 410V
Weight 80 kg 60 kg
Volume 102 liters 75 liters

The 70 kW full hybrid ESS is currently integrated in Magna’s full hybrid demonstrator, HySUV.

The 200 kW heavy-duty pack currently has a capacity of 7 kWh and nominal voltage of 630V. It weighs 230 kg, and has a volume of 350 liters.

May 18, 2007 in Batteries, Hybrids, Plug-ins | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)


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46 pounds per kWhr capacity is excessive. That would require 550 pounds for a 12 kwhr battery pack,
for a 40 mile PHEV. GM won't accept any battery pack greater than 270 pounds. Even the vastly superior Altair NanoSafes weigh only 28 pounds per kWhr, and they're considered too heavy for some applications.

Yup, 7 kWh in 230 kg is worse than lead acid!

Um its designed to belt out 70 kw power in a 60 kg package that is only 75 liters in size AND is liquid cooled to boot and has more energy capaxity then typical nimh packs...

That makes it perfect in many hybrid designs assuming its cheap enough too.

70 kW in 60 kg is only 1.16 kW per kg. Even the old-skool NiMH in the current Prius gives out 1.3 kW per kg. The new A123 and Altair batts get 3-4+ kW per kg.

Clett, Prius NiMH battery pack is 45 kg and delivers about 25 kW, or 560 W/kg. I see the 1300 W/kg number a lot; I don't know where it comes from.

NOTE: Some people use the 50 kW rating for the main traction motor (MG2) to indicate battery power. This is incorrect. Toyota's power split device (PSD) can route power from the engine to the wheels via both mechanical and electrical paths. The electrical path uses MG1 to generate electricity which can be sent directly to MG2. In these modes MG2 receives electricial power from the battery and MG1 simultaneously. This is why MG2 is sized to handle 50 kW instead of merely the 25 kW the battery can supply. It's also why the Prius, with a 57 kW engine and 50 kW traction motor is only rated at 82 kW total. 57 kW (engine) + 25 kW (battery) = 82 kW.

doggydogworld, the often cited 1300 W/kg and 46 Wh/kg Prius battery specs come from Panasonic EV technical data:

The cited 45kg weight of the pack actually includes much packaging, wiring and accessories. The cells inside only add up to 28 kg (multiplied by their 46 Wh/kg to give the 1300 Wh of the Prius battery).

The pack is capable of delivering 36 kW, but Toyota limit that to around 25 kW for longevity purposes.

Clett, thanks for the good info.

1300 W/kg is at the cell level. The numbers in this article for Magna Steyr are, of course, at the pack level. Based on your info, an apples-to-apples comparison of Magna Steyr pack vs. Prius pack looks like this:

Magna Steyr pack = 1160 W/kg
Prius pack (rated) = 36000 W / 45 kg = 800 W/kg
Prius pack (actual) = 25000 W / 45 kg = 556 W/kg


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