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New Electric Vehicle Battery Management Trends

Battery power management is a critical technology for the evolution of Electric Vehicles (EVs). It's the process of optimizing the use of battery energy to maximize the range and performance of an EV. 

A Battery Management System (BMS) can monitor the battery's state of health and use a variety of algorithms to control the charging and discharging of the battery. BMSs can also help to improve the efficiency of the EV by reducing energy loss.

Advanced BMS software could save automakers $18 billion annually in 2030, equivalent to $76 billion cumulatively from 2024. ABI Research finds that intelligent BMS software can reduce the size of EV batteries without reducing their range.

This performance efficiency helps to cut the cost of manufacturing EVs, enabling automakers to mitigate the effects of limited battery production and achieve greater profitability.

Battery Management System Market Development

"OEMs are struggling with two competing issues: the demand from customers for EVs with a greater driving range and the shortages of EV batteries due to restricted supplies of critical minerals and limited manufacturing capacity," said Dylan Khoo, industry analyst at ABI Research.

Advanced BMS software allows EV batteries to be charged to a higher level and discharged to a lower level without being damaged or aging prematurely, increasing their usable capacity and addressing both problems.

These solutions can be adopted purely through software, running as AUTOSAR applications to augment the existing BMS capabilities.

Qnovo's SpectralX is an example of an intelligent software-only BMS solution that can not only improve range by 10 percent but also enable faster charging and minimize degradation to extend an EV battery's lifespan.

This technology could allow the global EV industry to reduce required battery production in 2030 by around 300 GWh, significantly alleviating the stress on the battery supply chain and manufacturing costs.

Beyond software benefits, wireless BMS (wBMS) hardware will also help to reduce manufacturing costs by allowing EV batteries to forgo connectivity wires. Wire harnesses are expensive and time-consuming to install and maintain and add weight, volume, and points of failure to the battery.

GM is the first major automaker to adopt a wBMS with its Ultium platform, developed in collaboration with Analog Devices and Visteon. Major component suppliers such as Marelli, NXP, and TI have wBMS offerings as well.

According to the ABI Research assessment, they expect that the cost benefits of this technology will result in it being the leading solution in the next generation of EV platforms.

Aside from Tesla, most OEMs are currently struggling to turn a reasonable profit on their EVs. Ford, for example, is expecting to experience a $3 billion pretax loss on its EV business in 2023.

A key factor in Ford's forecast is the high cost of batteries, and difficulties in scaling production to match the growing demand. BMS software can effectively get more energy out of a smaller battery and thereby help to cut EV production costs.

Outlook for BMS Software Applications Growth

Looking ahead to the potential for ongoing innovation, EV manufacturers are eager for solutions.

"As an application layer solution, it can be applied to a wide range of battery formats without requiring changes in design or manufacturing," Khoo concludes.

That said, I believe as EVs gain market share, BMSs will become increasingly important. The BMS technology must be able to incorporate larger and more powerful batteries that are being developed. They must also manage the complex interactions between the battery, the electric motor, and the battery charger.

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