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Battery Monitoring and How It Can Bring a Quantum Leap in The EV Industry

The demand for electric vehicles (EVs) is on an upswing in India and worldwide due to stronger regulations and increasing consumer interest in this environmentally friendly option.

By: Mr.Ankur Madan COO & Co-Founder, Chargeup

In February 2022 itself, EV sales witnessed a remarkable jump of 296% in India, touching 2,352 units.

However, one major cause of concern is the cost of running such vehicles. The current battery technology gives a life span of only six months with limited kilometers of running. In addition, charging a vehicle can take up to 10 hours, limiting the vehicle’s usage to 80-90 kms a day.

Thus, efficient battery monitoring systems are the need of the hour. They increase the battery life of EVs and regulate the charging and discharging of batteries. In fact, the global electric vehicle battery management system market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12% between 2022-2030. Let’s look at how these battery management systems (BMS) can translate into optimal use of EVs.

  • Safety

A series of incidents last month of electric vehicles catching fire have compelled the government and EV automakers to relook into fire safety standards and measures to minimize any risk to human life. And BMS plays a key role in mitigating this risk.

The battery systems in EVs have many closely packed lithium battery cells with a voltage rating of 300V to 400V and supply a current of about 300A. Hence, any imbalance or mismanagement could result in the battery catching fire or exploding.

Thus, a BMS is crucial in EVs as it allows for safe operations of this high-voltage battery. It monitors the state of the battery and does not let it overcharge or discharge completely, thereby increasing its life span and capacity as well as minimizing the chances of the battery catching fire. 

Moreover, in case a BMS senses the battery temperature soaring beyond the stipulated level, it can automatically adjust the cooling, activate other safety mechanisms to minimize the risk.

  • Continuous tracking

A BMS continuously tracks the working of the battery in an EV and alerts if there is excessive heating, smoke, fire, etc., that can spoil the cells. It monitors the battery’s temperature and maintains it at the ideal or optimal temperature of 45 degrees Celsius. This is especially essential given the number of fire incidents that have taken place lately in EVs due to thermal runaway.

  • Cell balancing

Cell balancing is a significant function in a battery pack to have an enhanced battery life. It essentially means decreasing the number of times the battery charges and discharges. The change in the charging and discharging rate of every cell causes a lot of energy balance among the cells that reduce the battery’s capacity during the charging process. Thus, the number of charge-discharge cycles affects the battery life of an EV.

A BMS balances the charging and discharging of every cell in a module. It uses active balancing or passive balancing techniques to equalize all the cells and not let them be overstressed, thereby increasing battery life.

  • Reduces expensive downtime

Using a BMS in the functioning of EVs is critical as it saves expensive downtime and prevents huge losses. With continuous monitoring of batteries, their maintenance and repair costs are reduced. Also, the life of the battery increases, so EV users do not have to invest in a new battery frequently.

At present, batteries used in EVs have a lifespan of about six months but with regular monitoring through a BMS, this time period can be easily extended.

Conclusion

Technology-based battery monitoring is crucial in EVs to ensure that the batteries work at their optimal efficiency. BMS plays a defining role as the regulator of battery operations and safety, ensuring optimal battery life and capacity utilization. And with the EV industry growing exponentially, it is a crucial component to have. 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author. These views and opinions do not represent those of The Indian Express Group or its employees.

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