Could This Be The Key To Confidence In Electric Car Battery Sales?

Charley Grimston MD of Altelium speaking on the expert panel at a Faraday Battery Challenge event held on 2 October, welcomes the widespread call for more, faster battery data.

Having access to real-time data, or data from accelerated testing, is the missing link in the electric battery market, Charley Grimston, MD of Altelium believes. He was speaking at a recent Faraday Battery Challenge event hosted by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to help businesses bring new, green energy products to market successfully. Without reliable information, the industry can’t offer the required financial warranties needed to supercharge the electric car market and benefit from batteries as assets well beyond their life in electric vehicles, Charley Grimston said.

“Data about battery performance is crucial if the industry is to invest with confidence in electric vehicles. Warranties are the bedrock of business confidence, a statement of belief in your product, yet are currently being offered with only minimal information about performance. If we want people to accelerate investment in electric batteries and cars, data has to come to the market, fast.”

Battery management systems (BMS) supply basic data – cell malfunction being the most obvious example – back to the manufacturer or distributor.

But what impact does driving style; length of journey, temperature, traffic conditions, charging time or charge throughput have on battery performance? There are a host of factors which will affect electric batteries, and as yet there is no standard definition of state of health (SOH) which must become a key metric in a thriving EV car market.

Altelium provides an advanced BMS using data that is both real-time and AI enhanced, where the real-time data is combined with predictive modelling to record and measure how the batteries perform and age. This information is connected to a network of field and laboratory control batteries to give a triangulated, mirror data set.

UKRI through the Faraday Battery Challenge, recognised the importance of the Altelium service in helping to monetise and therefore attract investment into the car and EV battery market, awarding it a grant in 2018 to bring the service as rapidly as possible to market.

Only with the full suite of information from an advanced BMS and crucially the skills to interpret that data through a secure portal can an insured warranty programme be offered with confidence.

The mobile, EV automotive battery market, and the stationary battery market both need this information to function profitably. How meaningful, for example, will a 15 year hybrid electric (HEV) battery warranty be against a 100,000 mile maximum range? What performance and therefore value is left in the battery from an end of life EV, intended to form part of a stationary storage unit – what warranty programme is appropriate in this situation? Solar panels have accredited testing but electric batteries are subject to many more factors and need more advanced data.

Charley Grimston explains: “Insured warranty programmes could be considered the key to business confidence. Our data gives would-be lenders or end-users the confidence that the product is fit for purpose, for the period of the warranty that is provided. The warranty is provided based on the security of deep, accurate data. Knowledge as always, is the key.”

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Jessica Friend