Axeon, Europe's largest independent lithium-ion automotive battery systems supplier, has been awarded research funding from the EU to dramatically reduce the weight, volume and cost of batteries in electric and hybrid vehicles as part of a consortium programme called SmartBatt.
The consortium is led by AIT Mobility (the Austrian Institute for Technology's Mobility Division) and the eight other partners joining Axeon are: AIT LKR (Light Metal Competence Centre), the Fraunhofer Institute Light Metals Division & Joining Technology Division, Impact Design, Ricardo UK Ltd, SP Technical Consulting, Technical University Graz and Volkswagen.
The programme is part of the seventh framework agreement to develop the 'Smart and Safe Integration of Batteries in Electric Vehicles' and will aim to improve battery integration into vehicle structures by significantly reducing battery weight, volume and cost without changing the actual cells. Targets for a 20kWh battery pack (larger than the 16kWh packs in many plug-in hybrids and electric cars including the Vauxhall Ampera and Citroen C1 ev'ie) include:
* Reduction of battery pack weight by 10%-15%
* Reduction of battery pack volume by 20-30%
* Reduction in battery pack cost by 5%-10%
Axeon will support with the specification analysis and requirements stage and will be particularly involved in the concepts and feasibility study, risk assessment, design and development and final assessment phases.
Simon Dobson, Axeon Chief Mechanical Engineer and project lead, commented: "As a leading provider of innovative battery technology, Axeon is delighted to be part of this exciting consortium. This project provides an opportunity to explore how we can shift the current constrictions in battery integration and ultimately provide new solutions for vehicle manufacturers."
Lawrence Berns, Axeon CEO, said: "Axeon is proud to be working with this consortium of multinational, well-established and highly-respected organisations on improving the integration of batteries in hybrid and electric vehicles. Our involvement in SmartBatt underlines our proven capability, experience and importantly our success in developing and integrating advanced automotive battery systems."
The SmartBatt project is scheduled to last 24 months up until the end of 2012.