Consortium of companies develops more cost-effective and lighter battery concept for e-mobility
Zug, 1 February 2021 – A consortium of companies consisting of Evonik, Forward Engineering, LION Smart, Lorenz Kunststofftechnik, and Vestaro has developed a brand-independent, cost-effective battery concept for electric vehicles. Thanks to lightweight construction, the weight of the battery has been reduced by around ten percent compared with other commonly used material combinations – without any loss of mechanical characteristics. The entire concept was successfully tested for suitability for series production and safety under extreme conditions. Currently, three energy configurations are offered that compete with current battery models on the market in terms of energy density, safety and cost.
The decisive component for electric cars is the battery. It is responsible for storage capacity and range, and at the same time, it accounts for the lagest share of current e-driven vehicles in terms of installation space and weight. However, despite the increasing number of electric cars and plug-in hybrids on the roads, there still are no generally applicable standards for the choice of materials for battery construction. This is precisely where the consortium comes in: the aim is to develop a lightweight battery concept for battery electric vehicles that is suitable for series production, based on standardized assemblies and a cross-market component standard.
Supercell concept from LION for battery modules in new housing
LION Smart was responsible for assembling the batteries, using the supercell concept developed in-house. The construction of the battery cells is designed for fully automated, cost-efficient production. In addition, the battery design is particularly safe, as the individual cells are enclosed in a non-flammable dielectric coolant. This also ensures a constantly low average temperature within the battery, which benefits cell aging. The modular series design of the battery also allows flexible adjustment of the number of modules with an extremely low overall height.
For the battery housing, Lorenz developed a new glass-fiber-reinforced epoxy sheet molding compound (SMC) using Evonik’s VESTALITE®S epoxy hardener, with excellent properties in terms of bending, impact, and fire resistance. The structure of the housing was realized by Vestaro with a bottom plate made of aluminum. Transversal beams are used to attach the battery modules, and the carrier plate for the battery management system is also fixed to the aluminum base.
Validation and series suitability of the battery concept
To verify the suitability of the material and the manufacturing process for series production, Lorenz also produced several complex hardware demonstrators. Safety and suitability for everyday use of the battery concept were extensively tested by Forward Engineering under real conditions within the framework of structural and safety-related simulations. Various configurations of the battery concept have already been realized. Three energy configurations are currently available:
65 kWh at a total weight of 412.1 kg
85 kWh at 527.3 kg
120kWh with 800V at 789.2 kg
In terms of energy density, safety and cost, the three energy configurations are at least on a par with current battery models on the market and even surpass them in specific metrics.
Responsible for the content of the press release: Board of Directors of LION E-Mobility AG.