BMW signs up low temperature battery tech

January 26, 2018 //By Nick Flaherty
BMW signs up low temperature battery tech
Car maker BMW has signed an intellectual property (IP) agreement  with EC Power in the US on low temperature lithium ion battery technology.

Most litium ion cells struggle to operate below freezing which can be a problem for electric and hybrid vehicles, requiring additional heaters to boost the temperature of the battery packs. EC Power's patented All-Climate-Battery (ACB) technology operates in sub-zero temperatures by creating a self-heating function that warms up batteries from a low ambient temperature to the optimal operating condition in a matter of seconds, either prior to or during driving. This rapid self-heating function, which uses a custom material in the cell and so requires no external power source, also enables low-temperature fast charging in electric vehicles.

The self-heating mechanism creates an electrochemical interface provides internal warm-up to 0ºC within 20 seconds at -20ºC and within 30 seconds at -30ºC, consuming only 3.8 per cent and 5.5 per cent of cell capacity, respectively. The ACB cell yields a discharge/regeneration power of 1.06 and 1.4kW/kg at a 50 per cent state of charge and at -30ºC provides up to 12 times the power of state-of-the-art lithium-ion cells. 

The company has used computer-aided discovery for the development of innovative battery and energy storage systems through its AutoLion softeware and has a battery factory in central Pennsylvania. The factory currently produces thousands of prismatic and pouch cell in 10 to 20 Ah capacity to demonstrate viability for mass production and in-vehicle testing.

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