A few weeks ago, he officially presented a new brand of electric cars created in Spain. Based on the prototype of the first Animal model, Liux showed some interesting ideas that could be applied to the whole range of his vehicle. Beyond the feasibility of his project and the opinions it has created among experts, the solution of using a modular battery has opened an interesting discussion on how to build electric cars.
Of all the components that make up an electric car, one is crucial and the lack of it puts all the others in jeopardy. The battery is not only the most expensive component of all components, it is also the most prone to failure. Currently, an electric vehicle has a limited useful life with its battery. This can suffer an incalculable failure that forces its replacement, with the economic burden that it involves or degrades to such an extent that its capacity is no longer sufficient for use in an electric car.
In short: the most expensive and delicate element of an electric vehicle is also able to limit or extend its useful life. Apart from the technical aspects related to the vehicle development and manufacturing processes, this situation does not seem to be ideal.
Advantages of modular batteries
A conventional battery is made of * basic cellswho, in turn, must meet in modules y* which are finally what is inside the package armament. It is the usual architecture that is used most of the time. But this division into modules It does not make them modular batterieswhen once joined, they cannot easily be separated any more.
When a battery pack has a problem with one or more cells, the only solution is to test replace faulty modules. In addition to the expensive and slow intervention assumed, many experts believe that this option is the only disadvantage of delaying the same problem. The correct solution runs through replace the full battery which, according to its size, may cost up to twenty thousand coins.
If it was a modular battery, you would simply have it to repair the faulty module which would also allow the vehicle to continue working with the rest, paralyzed in the factory. It also prevents you from breaking down in the middle of the road in time. Modular battery packs also reduce repair packs. Since there is no choice but to replace the entire module, its price will be much lower than changing the entire machine.
It also offers a modular battery advantages in terms of recharging. As autonomy required, the owner could not decide to charge any of the modules and also charge each one alternately. This reduces, or at least distributes, observation and discharge cycles, and increases the useful life of the battery.
Finally, manufacture a specific battery model for him It means significantly raising development and manufacturing costs and reducing economies of scale. This drawback was solved with the creation dedicated electrical platforms which allow the use of the same parts in a wide range of vehicles of different sizes.
The industry is going the other way
It is the current industry trend against modular batteries. packaging CTP (cells to pack), which lack the middle modules in which the cells are grouped, and pregnant structureswhich part of the frame is far from being modulated.
The industry relies on these systems energy density to move battery acting without connecting systems and tools. More space for the cells means greater power of the active material and therefore greater autonomy.
But these skills should only be used when you are absolutely certain that the ball will last longer than the car. But this is not so today. This way of building a waste vehicle when its battery fails or is out of warranty.
The solution is to exchange the battery
A compromise solution that comes from China is swappable batteries. In this case there are two options. The purchase price of the car, which does not include the battery, must be reduced by a monthly fee for the use of the exchange system. The second one, which obtains in property, only facilitates the storage of the battery, but does not prevent the very high cost of changing one for the other.
So with the technology available today, it seems smarter to go for modular battery packs like the ones Liux is proposing.
To the idea of Liux
Liux designed his products around a minimum of two and a maximum of four battery modules, each e 23 kWh capacity: 46 kWh in two-module vehicles and 92 kWh in four-module vehicles. With them, the company will arrive at a future electric car with greater autonomy 600 kilometersthat is 150 km per module, regardless of the weight reductions in their scale.
The Spanish startup says it will build its cars in the same way that BMW built the i3 and i8: a similar body-on-board system. There is a major difference The chassis has three beams for two only: the third, in the middle, is a support on which the small modules of the package are placed in two parallel rows.