A new battery for electric cars, with a 35 per cent greater range compared to batteries of the same weight, has been created through research led by Axeon.
The battery uses Nickel Cobalt Manganese (NCM) electrochemistry, which theoretically requires 50 per cent less volume and 30 per cent less mass when compared to Lithium Iron Phosphate (LIP) chemistry at cell level.
‘NCM batteries have a higher energy density which means they can produce more power than LIP batteries of the same size,’ Allan Paterson, a senior electrochemist at Axeon told The Engineer.
A key goal of the project was to confirm that cell level benefits pass through to the battery pack level when taking into account the overall packaging, cell retention, cooling and interconnects, Battery Management System components and overall system functionality.
The developers claim their tests revealed that the majority of cell level benefits migrated to battery pack level.
A demonstrator of the battery system has now been deployed into an Allied Vehicles test vehicle, with the results of improved range and performance. The new battery incorporates NCM ‘pouch’ cells packaged in modular building blocks. Axeon believes that this modular design will allow them to support rapid prototyping into a range of vehicles with reduced development time.
Additional benefits of the new system include increased ground clearance, a better driving experience due to improved weight distribution; and more power giving better drivability.
Axeon and its partners, Ricardo and Allied Vehicles, now believe that it is feasible to replace LIP batteries in electric vehicles with NCM batteries.
In a statement Lawrence Berns, CEO of Axeon said: ‘This new battery represents a real step forward in the development of electric vehicles and is highly versatile, being suitable for applications for many vehicle manufacturers and across a wide range of platforms.’
Funding for the project came in at over £1.3m after the Technology Strategy Board invested £680,000 to the Axeon-led consortium.
Project partners are now discussing the next steps for the new breakthrough.