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New light and powerful battery hope for EVs

Researchers trying to develop new lightweight yet high energy batteries for electric cars-have excelled, beating their own target for capacity by more than 10 per cent.

That’s despite a target for a 15 per cent reduction in weight compared to current  state-of-the-art battery packs.

The SmartBatt team

Involving the collaborative efforts of some nine research companies from across five European countries, the SmartBatt project originally set out to develop a lightweight battery pack capable of delivering a 20 kWh, 200-400 volts which would be capable of a continuous power rating of 36 kW, and a peak performance of 70 kW for up to 30 seconds. Instead, the partners which includes Ricardo, Axeon Technologies Ltd, and the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, delivered a battery providing a total of 22.92 kWh of energy storage.

At the European Electric Vehicle Congress in Brussels today– as a part of the European project day programme – a presentation will describe work carried out by the SmartBatt project, with Ricardo on hand to explain the design processes helped them meet the project’s exacting specification.

With the development of new high-density, lightweight batteries thought to be key to expanding the adoption of electric cars, the new development will no don’t be of interest to manufacturers already engaged in developing EVs.

“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 now on display at the European Electric Vehicle Congress, which runs from today until Thursday November 22.

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Faye Sunderland

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