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EV-Lite project closes with new EV battery design; lower weight, lower cost

Evlite
Click to enlarge.

Cenex, the UK-based not-for-profit consultancy focused on low carbon vehicles and associated energy infrastructure, announced the successful completion of the two-year project Sustainable Lightweight Low Cost Battery Systems for Extended Life Cycles (EV-Lite). (Earlier post.) The project was co-funded by the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board. The project consortium comprises the Manufacturing Technology Centre; Unipart Manufacturing; Electrovaya; RDVS; CRR; Bluebird Innovation Group; Loughborough University; and Cenex.

The project realized a 41% reduction in weight and a 63% reduction in cost of the non-cell components. This translates to a saving of 45 kg (99 lbs) at the battery pack level. The ultimate aim of the project is to enable volume manufacturing for electric vehicle battery packs in the UK through innovative design and, in doing so, help bring electrical vehicles to the mass market.

Innovative design and manufacturing ideas helped the consortium to achieve significant cost reductions and weight savings without sacrificing functionality.

The new battery design has no wire or screws; this step change in design has translated into significant improvements in battery pack assembly. When compared to a benchmarked battery the EV-Lite design has a parts count of 196 vs 807 for a 4 kWh-sized module. The project also devised a novel safety feature to isolate cells in an accident and a novel battery interface system. Five patent applications have resulted.

In the EV-Lite project, the main role of Cenex is managing the battery test and validation work package. The lead partner, the Manufacturing Technology Centre, has manufactured two prototype battery packs, utilizing a new Battery Management System designed by RDVS.

One of the battery packs has been tested by Loughborough University using real life test cycles developed by Cenex to ensure the new project battery design is tested within a performance envelope representative of conditions during in-service operation.

The prototype battery pack and the mobile robotic assembly cell used for automated assembly will be presented to the public at Cenex-LCV 2014 at Millbrook Proving Ground in September.

Comments

Jim McLaughlin

And the most daunting trade-off is serviceability, that would be my guess. What happens if you need to replace a cell and there are no screws? Didn't poor battery serviceability give the BAE hybrids with early lithium batteries a bad reputation?

Still, it sounds good if the reliability is high. Very good indeed.

HarveyD

Lighter battery packs, inverters, controllers, drive trains, HTC systems, bodies, wheels, tires, lights, cables etc are needed for future under 2000 lbs extended range EVs.

The days of 5000+ lbs monsters may be coming.

HarveyD

Correction:

Last line should read...may be coming to an end.

Bob Wallace

This is a reduction in the non-cell part of the battery pack. Not a decrease in cell weight.

HarveyD

Both +++ are required

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