Ionetic, a UK-based start-up specialising in electric vehicle (EV) battery pack technology, has launched its new EV battery pack design platform, which claims to drastically cut the development cost and time for automotive manufacturers bringing a new EV to market.
Producing high-performance and safe battery pack technology has traditionally been expensive and time-consuming for many automotive firms. Fully customised designs are often unaffordable while existing off-the-shelf battery pack solutions can suffer from low energy density and poor optimisation. This is particularly true for lower volume niche automotive manufacturers with unique requirements.
Ionetic claims to overcome these problems with its new software-based platform which can reportedly boost energy density by 30% and increase utilisation of pack volume by up to 120%, compared to existing off-the-shelf alternatives.
"There are many stages needed to get a battery pack into production,” said James Eaton, CEO and co-founder of Ionetic. “Automotive companies need to consider requirements, system design, homologation, embedded control, manufacturing options, and vehicle integration, to name a few. These stages are often done by different companies, which can lead to a costly, fragmented process. At Ionetic we facilitate all these stages, simplifying the process and reducing the cost for EV OEMs.”
The platform can produce a battery pack design in days and reduce the costs of getting from requirements to mass manufacture by over 90% for automotive OEMs. This is due to the platform’s ability to automatically generate designs according to a series of fully adjustable parameters, while offering a vertically integrated solution to battery pack production, which includes homologation and mass manufacture.
“We’re currently focusing on niche automotive companies in the UK and Europe. They typically make less than 10,000 vehicles per year, so probably don’t meet the minimum order quantities of large global battery pack suppliers, or can’t meet their high design fees,” added Eaton. “These niche vehicle-makers are the unsung heroes that keep society functioning. Trucks, buses, construction vehicles, service vehicles and emergency vehicles all need to electrify in the next decade. We’re also in talks with iconic car brands and sports car manufacturers.
“Gigafactories are mainly catering for mass-produced cars. There’s a risk that some of these niche, historic car brands might not survive electrification unless companies such as Ionetic address their specific needs.”
Ionetic is planning to open its first UK-based battery manufacturing facility next year, which will enable it to begin pilot production of its own battery pack designs. This will reportedly make the firm the only UK-based battery pack developer to offer an end-to-end, in-house battery solution, from conceptualisation and prototyping through to homologation and production.
“The EV battery sector is set to grow 15-30% annually for the next 10 years and so there is a huge opportunity for an agile start-up such as Ionetic,” said Dr. Monica Marinescu, Co-Founder of IONETIC and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London “At a time when competition in this space is stronger than ever, it is crucial automotive companies pursue battery technologies that provide a balance between performance, cost reduction and resource optimisation.
“Our battery solution is the product of a diverse team of battery scientists, educated and trained at Imperial College, one of the world's leading universities. We leverage the latest, state-of-the-art technologies to help businesses transition to electric mobility.”