A European consortium known as SmartBatt believes that something critical and essential is missing for pure electric vehicle technology – battery packs that aren't heavy and bulky. Therefore, SmarBatt's objective is to develop an innovative, multifunctional, light and safe energy storage system smartly integrated into electric cars.

SmartBatt is made up of nine partners from five countries – corporations in manufacturing and technology along with research organizations, including Volkswagen, the Ricardo engineering and consulting company, the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, the Austrian Institute of Technology and the Vehicle Safety Institute. Reducing CO2 emissions and slowing down climate change by supporting EVs and "green" electricity are commitments that have been made by the participating countries.

The team says that it's dedicated to bringing experience and skill sets to cover all aspects of developing advanced battery technologies – vehicle competence, electrics, electronics, batteries, lightweight design, engineering, materials, safety, testing and validation. Whew. Results will be distributed through a project website, papers and training sessions, as well as face-to-face workshops and meetings with OEMs.

The group is working on battery pack design and optimization processes that could deliver a 20-kilowatt hour, 200- to 400-volt pack with a 15-percent reduction in weight compared to current systems and that can deliver a continuous power rating of 36 kw. The consortium says that its concept exceeds the capacity target by more than 10 percent, providing a total of 22.92 kwh of energy storage. A prototype of the battery pack designed for the SmartBatt project was displayed at the European Electric Vehicle Congress that ended November 22.

Like all of the other advanced battery technology projects, it will take a few years for these outcomes to enter the mainstream. But the test results are impressive and having a major engineering company like Ricardo engaged in the process could move it forward faster.
Show full PR text
Optimizing future battery pack technology for small electric vehicles

Release date: 19 November 2012

Research by the European 'SmartBatt' consortium on the production of next-generation battery technology for electric vehicles is revealed today by Ricardo.

The development of cost-effective, lightweight, high energy density and safe battery technologies is widely considered to be a crucial enabler for the successful and widespread take-up of pure battery-electric vehicles. In order to address this challenge the SmatrtBatt project – a collaboration between nine research partners from five European countries – has sought to develop battery pack design and optimization processes capable of delivering a 20 kWh, 200-400 volt pack with a 15 percent reduction in weight compared with current state-of-the-art systems, while delivering a continuous power rating of 36 kW, and a peak performance of 70 kW for up to 30 seconds. The battery pack delivered by the project exceeds the capacity target by in excess of 10 percent, providing a total of 22.92 kWh of energy storage.

The Ricardo Voltage Temperature Balancing Module on the SmartBatt unitAt the European Electric Vehicle Congress in Brussels – as a part of the European project day programme – a presentation will describe work carried out by Ricardo within SmartBatt to develop design processes that will deliver an optimized battery pack to meet the project's exacting specification. In addition to its functional requirements and weight reduction target, the team was responsible for the design and assessment of a battery pack offering a range of 120 km based on NEDC operation. The process considered cell selection based on the particular attributes of the target vehicle – assumed to be the size of a VW Golf – and was intended to deliver a solution capable of vehicle integration in a crash-safe manner. The electrical architecture was based on the Ricardo universal battery management system, providing integrated fault detection and charge optimization functionality.

"We were pleased to have been able to participate in the SmartBatt project and to have thoroughly explored many new and innovative approaches to the design and optimization of electric vehicle battery pack systems," said Dave Greenwood, head of the Ricardo hybrid and electric systems product group. "Through the work presented today, we have been able to demonstrate that a highly optimized pack design, fully integrated with vehicle requirements, is possible using a rigorous flow-down technique based on the application of advanced design software. This work has provided crucial enabling lightweight technology for the next-generation more efficient and functionally attractive electric vehicles."

A prototype of the battery pack designed by the project is on display at the European Electric Vehicle Congress which runs from today until Thursday November 22.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      Warren
      • 2 Years Ago
      So a 20 kWh+ pack. Let me guess. They will put it in one of the 1-2 ton, square boxes we currently consider normal transportation. And it will be as efficient as any other car. The problem is the vehicle, not the drivetrain.
        Dave
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Warren
        welcome back, dan
          Dave
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Dave
          I drive a Miata. I like small cars. I just couldnt resist the Dan comment.
          Warren
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Dave
          Dave, Cute. Dan's idea for a vehicle is a bit unrealistic. However, right down the road from me is an actual car that is driven 72 miles on the highway to work each day, on a 10 kWh pack. http://www.edison2.com/ It is more exciting than the English sports cars I drove as a kid. My neighbor's Leaf, by contrast, is as dull as any "transport unit" I have ever had the misfortune own.
        Ryan
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Warren
        I agree. The EV1 had a 21kWh battery in it, yet it could go as far as the Leaf. It could probably do 200 miles with a $10k LiFePO4 battery. Why isn't there a hypermiler type of car?
          HVH20
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Ryan
          Because the market is small, they are expensive, and hypermilers are generally cheap (hence hypermiling).
          Warren
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Ryan
          I have waited for a hypercar for forty years. I would gladly pay MORE for a super efficient two seater, than the half-hearted efforts on offer so far. None of the OEM EV's even have rear fender skirts. This is a trick they already knew back in the 1930's. Nobody is even trying.
      BipDBo
      • 2 Years Ago
      "can deliver a continuous power rating of 36 kw." So it's good for around 43 hp? *Assuming 90% efficiency
        SublimeKnight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BipDBo
        Keep in mind this is continuous power, not peak power. So we're talking about interstate cruising speed here, not 0-60. 43hp, in a reasonably light and aerodynamic car, is good for about 85mph continuous.
      bluepongo1
      • 2 Years Ago
      They could have saved R&D money and time and just called Elon.
        Dave
        • 1 Day Ago
        @bluepongo1
        Tesla doesnt make batteries. They appear to sell their battery packs for $400+ per kwh, judging by the price differentials between the Model S packs.
          bluepongo1
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Dave
          Battery manufacturing is integrated in the Silicon Valley site, in the old Toyota site it's an out building. Don't believe everything on the internet.*( if you ever get a tour, some of the lithium trays still say Aptera on them.)
          Dave
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Dave
          http://www.teslamotors.com/models/options 40kwh Model S starts at $49,900 60kwh Model S starts at $59,900; $10,000 / 20 = $500 per kwh for the upgrade 85 kwh Model S starts at $69,900; $20,000 / 45 = $444 per kwh for the upgrade vs 40kwh pack
          Dave
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Dave
          "IDG News Service spoke to JB Straubel, chief technology officer for Tesla, about the Model S, its design and technology, and his outlook on electric vehicle technology. Here's what he said......" "JBS: They are all Lithium Ion batteries, that gives us the best range and the best power and also life. We've exclusively used Lithium Ion batteries since the Roadster and into the Model S. These are made in Japan. We work with several notable companies in Japan and also elsewhere in Asia. We buy the cells and integrate that into a battery pack with cooling and electronics, and build that here." http://www.pcworld.com/article/260883/tesla_cto_talks_model_s_batteries_and_incar_linux.html
    • Load More Comments