The spin-off of the University of Parma eDriveLAB announces that it has designed a battery that presents itself as a turning point in the world of electric powertrains.
The activity was carried out in recent months by eDriveLAB, a company specializing in the electrification of vehicles and recently acquired by William Gobbo’s Sealence, with FPT Industrial (Iveco Group), which contributed to the engineering phase.
What is highlighted by the technical data provided by the startup, is not only the excellent result achieved in terms of energy density, comparable to that offered by the best EVs on the market today, but also the fact that the battery was designed not to catch fire, even in the most serious cases, such as the one in which a cell had to break down critically.
There are some situations known in which electric vehicles caught fire without being able to extinguish the fire, not even through the intervention of the firefighters.
There is no need to be alarmist about lithium battery technology – explains CEO Davide Lusignani – the most established batteries on the market are already very safe and the greatest risk arises when addressing to unknown brands or companies that, despite ambitious proclamations, actually they only have experience on low voltage 48 volt batteries and do not understand properly the risks associated with batteries currently in use in the segment of electric mobility, mostly in standard of 400 and 800 volts.
The design of eDriveLab new batteries starts from different assumptions – says Eng. Lusignani – Given that the safety systems are derived from automotive standards, and, on this, the contribution of FTP Industrial’s know-how was precious, we wanted to design a battery that would remain safe, even at the appearance of an imponderable and destructive event. Starting from this assumption, we have engineered a product where lithium cells are immersed in a liquid solution that envelops them completely. This not only leads to an ideal cooling of the cells, but, with this approach, if a cell were to be damaged and catch fire, the phenomenon would not be able to propagate and infect the adjacent cells. It is obvious that the battery will have to be repaired or replaced, but we have practically eliminated the fire risks that, on some applications, such as boats, are events impossible to control.
Based on this last explanation, we discover that the project was born from a need of Sealence, company known for its electric jet propulsion “DeepSpeed”.
Sealence has in fact turned to the spin-off with the demand to plan a “fireproof” battery that was “the safest ever planned”, so it can be installed on yachts from several tens of millions of euros or on the passenger ferries, i.e. all applications where safety must be put first.
All the control electronics and the internal battery sensors, the so-called BMS – continues Eng. Lusignani – is entirely developed in eDriveLAB. It is an ecosystem of coordination and control of batteries that, thanks to intelligent proprietary algorithms, coordinating multi-battery systems, it is able to ensure high modularity but, above all, redundancy, key feature especially in certain contexts, such as the naval one.
The first examples of this battery will be delivered to Sealence in spring 2022 and will then be available for a large-scale supply from early 2023.
Waiting for a technological leap, that can decisively overcome the physical capabilities of lithium, surely the eDriveLAB project is a step forward in safety.
|Total Energy||83 kWh|
|Maximum Power||250 kW (340 CV)|
|Rated Voltage||400 V|
|Energy Density||240 Wh/kg|
|BMS (Battery Management System)||eDriveLAB Patent|
|Certifications||RINA, DNV GL|
|Total weight||550 kg
|Dimensions||L: 982 mm
W: 931 mm
H: 633 mm