By Richard Lawton | 22 September 2011, 06:05 BST
22 September 2011
Should we increase production of renewable and clean sources of electricity before increasing electric vehicle (EV) numbers in the UK?
Yes, we should focus on clean electricity first
No, we should encourage EV uptake no matter what
No, we encourage EV uptake now and develop clean electricity at the same time
Battery manufacturer Axeon, along with partners Ricardo and Allied Vehicles, and co-funded by the Technology Strategy Board have been successful in developing a new battery which promises to improve range by as much as 35% compared to existing technologies, for the same weight.
Back in 2009, the Technology Strategy Board handed over £680k of funding for the project to develop a high energy density battery system. The resulting battery uses Nickel Cobalt Manganese (NCM) which theoretically requires 50% less volume and 30% less mass compared to conventional Lithium Iron Phosphate cells.
A key aim 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 (BMS) components and overall system functionality. A demonstrator of the battery system has now been deployed into a Allied Vehicles test vehicle, with the results of improved range and performance, and utilises NCM ‘pouch’ cells packaged in modular building blocks. Axeon believes that this modular design will allow them to support rapid prototyping into a range of vehicles with reduced development time.
Lawrence Berns, CEO of Axeon said: “This project has been a remarkable success and reinforces Axeon’s position as a leading provider of advanced battery technology. 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, the Technology Strategy Board’s Low Carbon Vehicles programme manager, said: "We are delighted that our investment in this consortium’s project has yielded such impressive results, as the size and weight of batteries relative to their capacity has been a barrier to the wider take-up of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. 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, "Ricardo is proud to been involved in this landmark project, which has allowed us to supply and develop our expertise in advanced battery management. 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. We are now actively looking at opportunities to deploy this technology into our vehicles.”
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Author: Richard Lawton, September 22, 2011
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