Bosch Extends Service Life of Electric-Vehicle Batteries

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Bosch Extends Service Life of Electric-Vehicle Batteries

Stress makes electric-vehicle batteries cells age faster. The older the batteries get, the lower their performance and capacity, and the shorter the range of the vehicle. To help batteries last longer, Bosch is developing cloud services that supplement vehicles’ battery-management systems.

Bosch is connecting electric-vehicle batteries with the cloud. Its data-based services mean we can substantially improve batteries’ performance and extend their service life,

says Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH.
Software functions in the cloud continually analyze the battery status and take appropriate action to prevent or slow down cell aging. These measures can reduce the wear and tear on the battery by as much as 20 percent – as the batteries are usually the most expensive part of an electric vehicle, this is very important. Real-time data gathered from the vehicle and its surroundings are utilized to optimize every recharging process and to provide drivers with driving tips on how to conserve battery power via the display of the car. Didi Chuxing, an important mobility platform based in China, is working with Bosch to introduce “Battery in the Cloud” across DiDi’s electric vehicle fleet. The aim is to optimize battery performance, thus benefiting both drivers and fleet operators within DiDi’s ecosystem.
Experts say that the average service life of today’s lithium-ion batteries is 8-10 years, equaling between 500 and 1,000 charge cycles. Most battery makers guarantee mileage of between 100,000 and 160,000 kilometers. Rapid battery charging, high numbers of charge cycles, a very sporty driving style, and extremely high or low ambient temperatures cause stress to the batteries. This results in a shorter lifespan. Bosch’s cloud-based services are designed to recognize and counter these stress triggers. With the new services, Bosch is not only offering a window into the battery’s current status at all times, but enabling a reliable forecast of a battery’s remaining service life and performance. Previously, it was not possible to make any accurate forecast of how quickly an electric-vehicle battery would wear out.

Powerful batteries with long services lives will make electromobility more viable,

said Heyn. Another feature of the smart software functions is their use of the swarm principle: the algorithms used for analysis evaluate data gathered from an entire fleet, not just from individual vehicles. Swarm intelligence is the key to identifying more of the stress factors for vehicle batteries, and to identifying them more quickly.

Future: Electric-Vehicle Batteries

The system can also also actively protect cells against aging. Fully-charged batteries age more quickly at particularly high or low ambient temperatures. Bosch’s services ensure that batteries are not charged to 100 percent when it is very hot or cold. Reducing the battery charge by only a few percentage points can protect batteries against inadvertent wear and tear.
When a battery fault or defect is identified the driver or fleet operator is notified, so it can be repaired before it becomes irrevocably damaged or stops working altogether. The cloud services also optimize the recharging process. It harbors the danger that the battery cells permanently lose some of their performance and capacity. Smart cloud-software can calculate an individual charge curve for each recharging process, regardless of where it takes place. While existing apps with charge timers merely allow drivers to time the recharging process so that it is carried out when demand for electricity is low, this solution offers a specially developed recharging process. This optimizes fast and slow charging and control electricity and voltage levels during the recharging process, which results in a prolonged battery life.

Author: Tim Cole
Image Credit: Bosch

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