Course Description:

The Electric Vehicles – Introduction to Battery Technology will cover basic electrochemistry that occurs in batteries. This course will provide an introduction to batteries that are used in energy storage devices in a wide variety of engineering devices.

Students will Learn:

  • About the chemistry in the traditional battery systems of dry cells, wet cells and lead acid as well as Li-ion that is used for both consumer electronic and in large format applications like EV and PHEV automobiles
  • About the manufacturing process for Li-ion batteries

Course Modules:

Module 1 – Introduction to Electrochemistry and Batteries

  • Learning Objective: Define electrochemistry and identify and explain various aspects of battery cells, battery systems, and battery manufacturing.

Module 2 – Overview and Walkthrough of Autonomie

  • Learning Objective: Engage with Autonomie, software that is used to simulate Hybrid-Electric vehicles.

Module 3 – Basic Electrochemistry and the Theory of Electrochemistry

  • Learning Objective: Explain how a battery works, describe the basic principles of battery chemistry, and analyze oxidation, reduction, and various losses.

Module 4 – Overview of Various Types of Batteries

  • Learning Objective: List and explain the various types of batteries, and evaluate dry cells, lean acid, and nickel metal hydride more in depth.

Module 5 – Batteries: Lithium Ion, Manufacturing, and Management System

  • Learning Objective: Analyze lithium ion batteries specifically, explain the manufacturing of batteries, and assess how the battery management system’s goal is to optimize the life cycle and safety of batteries.

Recommended Background:

  • Undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in chemical engineering
  • Chemical engineers looking for a technical refresh of the material

The concept of third-generation biofuels is to cut or eliminate pollutants in the fuel production process. This fuel-switch approach also includes policies to promote electric and hydrogen vehicles, which enable pollutants to be reduced either during manufacture (e.g. in generating electricity at power stations/hydrogen at refineries) or by using renewable sources of energy that produce little pollution at all. The move towards such a fuel-shift strategy thus brings together action to cut transport’s local and global environmental impacts. It is also one that has the potential to link to the powerful political driver of energy security.

Although the use of batteries and electric drive in hybrid cars is now mainstream, an entirely electrically powered car requires the storage of large amounts of energy on board the vehicle. One way to do this is, of course, in batteries. Older types of battery electric vehicle (BEV) used lead acid batteries, but most current electric vehicle designs use lithium-ion (Li-Ion) and lithium-polymer (Li-Poly) traction batteries. These have a much higher energy density (100–125 W per kg), providing a significant improvement in driving performance and vehicle range.

First-generation electric vehicles used direct current (dc) motors, but more recent cars convert the direct current to alternating current (ac) using an inverter, which then drives an induction motor. These vehicles have increased efficiency, have a higher specific power (per kg) and require less maintenance.

Until recently, BEVs were only available in small numbers as variants of ICE cars (e.g. the Peugeot 106 electric car, manufactured from 1995–2003). A dedicated BEV design, the REVA G-Wiz micro car (legally classed as a ‘quadricycle’), was launched in 2001 and has secured a small niche market, selling 4000 vehicles worldwide by 2011. Renault’s recently launched ‘Twizzy’ is also an electric ‘quadricycle’.

More significantly, since 2010 a number of dedicated high-performance BEVs have been launched commercially, including the Mitsubishi iMiEV, the electric Smart, Nissan’s Leaf (Figure 14), the Peugeot iOn, Renault’s Fluence and the Teslar Roadstar 210 kph sports car. The Mitsubishi iMiEV EV technology website provides a good overview of key features of modern BEVs; if you wish, you can also follow this link to find BEVs available in the UK.

Figure 14 A Nissan Leaf charging from a public point in Milton Keynes at the car’s national UK launch in spring 2011; by January 2012, global sales of the Leaf had exceeded 20 000

One of the main concerns about BEVs is that they only have about a 160 km (100 mile) range and that in most cases recharging is slow (6–8 hours). They also cost about a third more than a comparable ICE car, although much-reduced running costs counteract the high initial purchase price.

Promoting battery electric vehicles

The commercial launch of a range of BEV designs is part of a UK government/industry partnership approach that envisages a long-term transition to a low-carbon transport future in which cleaner internal combustion technologies are joined by an initial widespread uptake of battery electric vehicles and then ‘plug-in’ hybrids, followed later by hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (New Automotive Innovation and Growth Team (NAIGT), 2009). Similar programmes have taken place in France, Germany, Spain and the USA. Figure 15 shows the technology uptake ‘roadmap’ from the 2009 NAIGT report.

Source: redrawn from New Automotive Innovation and Growth Team, 2009, p. 45

Content includes: Battery overview, Battery ranges, Battery life and recycling, Types of battery, Lead–acid batteries (Pb–Pb02), Alkaline (Ni–Cad, Ni– Fe and Ni–MH), Sodium–nickel chloride (Na–NiCl2), Sodium–sulphur (Na–S), Lithium-ion (Li-ion), Fuel cells, Super-capacitors, Flywheels (6 hours CPD)

Recommended for: Technicians, Students, Technical Trainers and Assessors

Course Curriculum:

  1. Types of batteries used in electric vehicle and its advantages and disadvantages
  2. Lithium ion battery
  • Cell reaction of lithium ion battery
  • Manufacturing of lithium ion battery
  1. b. Lead acid battery
  2. c. Lithium polymer battery
  3. d. Solid state battery (importance)
  4. SOC ,SOP ,SOH AND DOD of battery
  5. C- rating of battery and its importance
  6. What is cell , module and pack
  7. Importance of specific energy of battery
  8. Importance and key role of solid state battery in electric vehicles
  9. How solid State batteries will change the electric vehicles future?
  10. How to select a battery for electric vehicle?
  11. What is battery management system and its importance in battery?
  12. How to calculate the weight of battery in electric vehicles?

Note the extreme complexity, including a traction battery!
It is missing a plug to charge the battery from the grid, a PFCEV!
Compare to the simplicity of an AWD BEV!:


Comparison of Nissan 30-kW (left) & 60-kW (right) batteries.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to…

  • Apply knowledge of current and future developments in energy storage and how they can affect the power and transportation sectors
  • Describe the supply chain in large-scale lithium-ion battery production and assess whether the resources are enough to sustain the energy transition
  • Develop new knowledge on the Li-ion battery industry
  • Identify financial benefits of battery energy storage solutions in underground mining
  • Reflect on the relation between underground mining and its environmental impact
  • Describe the current worldwide electric vehicle market, including the price and range development, major players in EV battery market and current evolution (growth) in EV manufacturing
  • Identify different types of EV charging and evaluate growth trends of European charging infrastructure
  • Describe new business models based on EV battery as energy storage solution (vehicle-to-home and vehicle-to-grid scenarios)

Who is the course for?

This course is for professionals and postgraduate academics with energy, business, financial, economic and engineering backgrounds, but anyone interested in developing their knowledge of energy storage and enhancing their professional development (from policy makers to management consultants) might find it useful.

Who developed the course?

Atom Motors, an Electric Vehicle manufacturing company promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and education in sustainable energy.

References

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Patterson, J., Alexander, M. and Gurr, A. (2011) Preparing for a Life Cycle CO2 Measure, report for the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, London, Ricardo/Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership; also available online at http://www.lowcvp.org.uk/ assets/reports/ RD11_124801_5%20-%20LowCVP%20-%20Life%20Cycle%20CO2%20Measure%20-%20Final%20Report.pdf (accessed 16 January 2012).
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