It’s the year 2020 and the age of electrification Is finally upon us.
Consumers now have a selection of battery powered vehicles offering range, performance, and most importantly, value.
But the overall EV charging infrastructure is still lagging behind, and range anxiety is still at the forefront of many buyers.
So, now what?
Joining me to talk about advancements in battery chemistry, Eb car design, and how smarter battery management is helping to make up for the lack of infrastructure.
Our Dr. Holger mons, head of energy management and high voltage systems at Volkswagen and Lars regar, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer And NXP.
Dr. Mark, let’s start with you.
I want to talk about what are consumers looking for when they’re shopping for an Eevee and how different is it when they’re shopping for just any old car.
Most important thing for customers is that they look on an electric vehicle that you get a car with an exceptional price on it should be affordable for them other ways They won’t buy a car.
And in addition, I think the most important thing is that, the car is convenient for them, looking for fueling all sorts of charging and things like this.
When someone’s in the market in there maybe considering an Eevee versus a normal Gasoline powered car, what kind of things are giving them pause?
What are those sort of hurdles that they need to get over before they might make that decision?
Yeah, I think there are two things.
They are combined together.
The first thing is they look at the range.
If they want to go for long distance today they say okay, I have A fueling pause for five minutes or so and then I can drive 500 more miles or so on.
And, the charging time is an issue, where they look for and as well the infrastructure of charging stations and so on.
So Lars would talk to me about ranging [UNKNOWN], what sort of things can we build into cars to make consumers feel a little bit more comfortable that they can get where they need to go inside of them.
Of course, what you’re what you have is you’re limited in the amount of electrons that you can carry around with you, right and so your battery pack can run there with a certain energy density as we call it.
So in other words, the amount of electrons that you can.
Every charging pump into the vehicle is limited.
Now, what you want to make sure of course is that you can take each of those electrons to help you extending your driving experience.
And for that, what you need to do is you can work basically on two parameters, making sure that you are optimally using each battery cell.
That vehicle so depleted to the lowest possible level and charge it to the max to the maximum possible level.
And ideally, you manage every battery cell individually to making sure that every cell has the maximum range of electrons available.
The other part is, you can of course also starting working with batteries that have higher energy density.
So, The more electrons that can be pumped into the vehicle or the better the driving range gets
We talked about density, which is basically how much energy can you jam into a given size battery pack.
But, but talk to me a little bit more about the construction.
You know, I think most people think of batteries in an electric car being basically one big battery pack, but that’s not actually the case are individual cells.
And then modules within that.
What does that.
That structure look like?
Right, so maybe you think at your smart devices at how you normally have a couple of batteries in such a device and you stick them in and you exchange when they are depleted.
Now For a car, it’s looking very similar, just much bigger, yeah?
You can have hundreds of battery cells in these packs and each of these cells, this is what I was referring to, ideally has to be managed separately because otherwise, if they all would be concatenated to each other you only can deplete That entire stack to the level where the the most empty cell is depleted and even if the others are still halfway full, you cannot deplete further.
And if the fullest seller is charged to the max, you also cannot overcharge because otherwise, this overcharging would would start damaging the sales.
So in other words, if you can individually manage each state of charging Of each battery cell of the hundreds that are in there, the better it gets from the electrons that you have available.
Holger from Volkswagens perspective.
People think about crash safety and that kind of thing when they’re buying a typical car.
How does that change with an electric vehicle?
How do you assure consumers that that these vehicles are gonna be safe for them?
I would say in general we should have the same properties as on conventional cars combustion engine is driving so At the beginning of the design, we’re thinking of what the car has to fulfill, which properties it has to fulfill.
Which means, in the case of a crash, also, it should behave like a conventional castle.
There’s no fire at all.
And something like this.
We consider this even issues like overcharging and so on.
This is all managed via our battery management system so that we are sure that the passenger is safe.
Driving the car even if he is going to have a crash.
We secure that.
There’s no damage at all done by the battery system.
And so there’s a new platform called an NDB, whereas the egolf was based on the previous platform called MTB MEP is specifically designed for electric vehicles.
What kind of advantages does that give you in terms of packaging, in terms of, into your volume, in terms of the overall design of the car that maybe it wasn’t possible in a previous platform?
Yeah, Which sends for module net electrification kit is a platform where you have first the battery system.
It’s the flat battery system looking a little bit like a chocolate.
And the car is designed around this battery system.
This ensures that for example for our new scan the ID three, you get the the outer size compared to golf.
And the room inside is compared to pass out so you get more more space for the driver.
Which makes it very comfortable.
Lawrence, from NXP’s perspective, you know, we’ve talked about the architecture of the car has always changed.
How has the systems within the car advanced?
You know, we’ve been talking about optimizing charging and things like that.
What sort of learnings have you made from observed behavior over the past You know five or ten years of EV adoption are things I’ve learned to bring more smarts into the car to make it easier for consumers.
Yeah, the car architecture is changing massively.
So over the last 10, 15 years from a couple of Control units at the wiring harness into wiring harnesses today that are heavier than, than we are a hundreds of control units and of course, different for pageant systems.
So from combustion engines, with all the sophisticated, technology exhaust gas regulation, and all of that type of stuff in.
A electrical drive train, which has basically much much less mechanical components much more electronics in there for the for the management and steering and now.
What you can do is auto you can redistribute the functions of the car in a new way, like in an IT system.
So we have stolen a lot from the IT industry over the last 10 years in automotive, but you said basically you have different domains functional domains.
So the power train domain, the connectivity to the main The ADA solid advanced driver assistance domain, body electronics domain, infotainment domain.
And in this power train domain, you can start optimizing again.
So the precision battery management electronics, the power train so how do you get the electrons out of the battery into the electric motor domain or the driver assistance activities around it You have Functional Safety, specific Functional Safety electronics for that.
So how do you make sure that your systems never never, ever fail?
And if they fail, how do they come into the fail safe state that they don’t create damage?
Or how can they repair themselves?
So there is a huge amount of innovation.
Those areas and you hear it already out there so many electronics topics, very sexy for the semiconductor makers of this.>> So sounds like cars are kind of turning into rolling server rooms if anything but you know within the IT industry security is a major major component is that something that we need to be more worried about in electric car maybe than in additional car with all these systems being controlled by software?
Do we need to worry about the safety of that side of things Your car to a certain extent behaves like a connected fridge or like a connected term state.
You are transferring more and more of the responsibility to this smart connected device.
And now of course you need to make sure that your connected fridge doesn’t order 500 litres of milk for you for the weekend.
You don’t want to have that and you also definitely don’t want to have your car misbehaving.
So what we have done Literally we have stolen the chips from our passport segment.
So like last has a passport runs to the Lufthansa gate and says I’m lost I’m allowed to fly here.
The fridge says I’m the fridge of last and I’m allowed to buy milk here, or the car says eight and I’m using this passport in the car.
And I’m allowed to change my software, change my charging behavior, change my driving behavior.
And of course the power train is one of the big, big units of the battery system as a whole.
I just mentioned it, is one of the very valuable units in an e-car, there of course also protection via security is needed.
Not to the last point that you also want to have anti counterfeiting.
So you want to have only original batteries built in, you want to know what the how many charging cycles the battery has already behind itself.
So in other words, you also want to protect your, your asset.
As a car driver.
We’re eager to see how it pans out.
I’m an Eevee owner myself and I think most people are gonna love him once they get the chance to use them.
Gentlemen, thank you both very much for your time talking about this exciting space and exciting developments and I look forward to seeing what’s coming next.