innovation for industry
Press release | Electric vehicles
Toulouse, June 13, 2023 - After three years of research and development, Vitesco Technologies, a leading international provider of modern powertrain technologies and electric mobility solutions, presents the first outcome of its partnership with the CEA (Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives) in France: Together they have developed a “switched battery" (SWIBA) management technology that further improves the overall performance of the powertrain of electric vehicles by increasing their range and reducing their fast charge time, while optimizing the cost of charging, and increasing the life of the battery. The second life of the battery is also facilitated.
The battery is the key and most expensive element of electric vehicles. Great progress is being made every day on cell technology. However, in the current approach, battery packs remain limited because they are static, and are ultimately only basic energy reservoirs", explains Nicolas Léto, innovation project manager at Vitesco Technologies France. “Our new SWIBA technology brings dynamic electronic control into the battery pack to optimize energy management, provide new functionalities and ultimately reduce its cost and environmental impact."
This SWIBA technological solution consists of using the cells making up the electric vehicle's high-voltage battery pack in an individualized way. These cells are connected to power switches that can connect them together or set some aside. The device allows them to be selected in an optimal way according to their characteristics and the vehicle's operating modes. The system allows power balancing of all the cells making up the battery pack. This individualized operation of the cells always allows fine management of their use, which limits the phenomena that have an impact on their ageing. As a result, the lifespan of the complete battery pack is increased.
It then becomes possible to better size the battery pack, but also the rest of the powertrain (power conversion devices, electric motor, inverter, charger, etc.). In addition, system performances are improved, resulting in increased range and shorter fast charge times. The global control of the system is carried out in an intelligent way by a battery supervision calculator, thanks to an embedded intelligence developed by Vitesco Technologies.
Vitesco Technologies and the CEA were able to prove the effectiveness of the solution with a demonstrator that was launched in February 2023. Among the benefits noted are: Improving the vehicle's range by 6%, reducing fast charge time by 20%, 15% longer battery life, increased vehicle availability and a better anticipation of the second life and recycling of batteries.
We are delighted to be moving forward with Vitesco Technologies. We have been developing this technology for several years and we are convinced that it can be a differentiating factor for future electric vehicle" says Sylvain Bacquet, System Power Lab Manager at CEA. In developing this new technology Vitesco Technologies France and the CEA were supported by the Orientation Committee for Automotive and Mobility Research (CORAM), established in May 2020 as part of the automotive plan, aiming to create a sovereign supply of technological building blocks for the vehicle of the future.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.