Optimising development costs and on-road performance for EVs with a revolutionary battery management system.
When discussing electric vehicles (EVs), the focus is often centred around the development of the battery, particularly in regards to charge, power density and range. What can sometimes be overlooked, however, is the accompanying battery management system (BMS) – a crucial factor in ensuring EV safety. A BMS monitors the battery’s state of charge, voltage and temperature, and controls the charging and discharging process to prevent overcharging, and thus, protect the battery from damage. Not only can the BMS extend a battery’s lifespan, but it also safeguards both the user and battery by ensuring that the cell operates within its safe operating parameters.
Potenza Technology, an innovator in electric and hybrid-electric vehicle systems, has unveiled its fifth-generation BMS that promises to maximise cost efficiencies and on-road performance for EV manufacturers. Specifically developed for mass production, the BMS delivers the same quality and standards as bespoke solutions, while significantly reducing upfront vehicle development costs.
“As specialists in powertrain solutions for electrically powered vehicles, Potenza Technology knows first-hand the importance of cost-effective innovation for vehicle manufacturers to succeed in the increasingly competitive mobility space,” says Richard Devenport, General Manager and Head of Engineering at Potenza Technology. “Fully focused on delivering industry-leading cost-efficiency and maximum performance, our fifth-generation BMS represents everything that Potenza Technology stands for. From the system itself to our manufacturing strategy, our solution is fully scalable. We have the capability to manufacture volumes in the hundreds all the way up to 50,000 units – allowing us to support the niche vehicle industry and mass market to accelerate the development of e-mobility solutions that meet customer needs, both now and in the future.”
Potenza Technology has been established for 20 years, having built up extensive experience in the design, build and integration of high voltage systems, software and batteries across a range of industry sectors, including automotive, marine and aerospace. In 2020, the company was bought by FPT Industrial, part of the IVECO Group, a global manufacturer of commercial vehicles.
“Since that date, we’ve been working on the design and market entry of our fifth-generation BMS,” says Devenport. “We’ve been around for a long time, flying under the radar with our technology development. We’ve overcome numerous challenges to get the BMS to where it is ready for mass production, and strategically chose to wait until we were ready for production before sharing our system with the industry, unlike other companies who simply promise innovation.”
Offering full battery system capability, Potenza Technology designs and manufactures its BMS completely in-house, overseeing development of the technology from the circuitry through to the final application layers.
“This makes us unique,” continues Devenport. “From the case design, mechanical aspects and electrical aspects down to the BMS board and operating system, software and system coding, everything is designed in-house.”
SERVING THE FULL MOBILITY SPECTRUM
The state-of-the-art BMS is designed with flexibility and scalability in mind. With a highly modular design at its core, the BMS is compatible with 400V or 800V battery systems, which can be configured at an application level to optimise vehicle efficiency and performance. This allows OEMs to maximise the system’s effectiveness for each use-case across the mobility spectrum, from commercial vehicles through to hypercars.
“The BMS is suitable for HGVs through to passenger cars, covering a very high percentage of EVs on the market,” explains Devenport. “The BMS has been designed so that the initial hardware always stays the same: the same quality of parts, high volume production, and that never changes. What we do, is build the software to suit the customer’s specific needs, whether that’s battery electric vehicles (BEVs), hybrid vehicles, HGVs, and so on. With our system, we have covered all aspects of automotive. As we are owned by IVECO Group, we are conscious of providing a system for global OEMs that manufacture commercial vehicles and HGVs. For HGVs, we have a simple solution that automatically links batteries together without the need for any additional software or systems.”
The BMS is fully compliant with ISO 26262 ASIL C standards, delivering quality to the same standards of bespoke solutions with reducing upfront development costs for vehicle manufacturers.
HIGH VOLUME PRODUCTION
One of the key design aspects of the BMS is its scalability, says Devenport: “We have a manufacturing partner in Europe to ensure high volume and scalable production, initially setting our entry point at 50,000 systems, and there’s no reason why this cannot scale up even further in the future. We are continually looking strategically at where BMS is going in the future, and how we can fulfil new and existing demands from our customers and the industry as a whole. We are constantly innovating with new technologies such as AI algorithms, and from a general transportation point of view, there is a real balance to be played between the different types of mobility, from EVs to hybrid-electric. Ultimately, it is all down to use cases, and which solution is best for each application.”