Introduction to Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Battery Systems

Driven by the need for lower emissions, better fuel economy and higher efficiency, hybrid vehicles are appearing in many different configurations on today's roadways. While the powertrain components such as the drive motor, motor controller and cooling system are somewhat familiar to the automotive industry, the battery systems are a relatively unfamiliar aspect. This seminar will introduce participants to the concepts of hybrid vehicles, their missions and the role of batteries in fulfilling those requirements. Battery topics including limitations, trends in hybrid development, customer wants and needs, battery system development timelines, comparison of electrochemistries and safety will be examined. Current offerings, cost factors, pack design considerations and testing will also be reviewed.

Students will have an opportunity to perform a battery pack analysis exercise using a real world application and are requested to bring a calculator to class.

What Will You Learn

By attending this seminar, you will be able to:
  • Capture customer wants and expectations of the battery system
  • Identify factors that drive power and energy requirements
  • Determine test program structure
  • Compare and contrast the newest relevant battery technologies
  • Calculate estimates of electric range and quantify the assumptions
  • Critically assess media claims of new battery discoveries

Is This Course For You

This seminar is primarily intended for vehicle systems engineers, battery system integration engineers, testing engineers, electrical engineers and thermal management engineers recently assigned to their roles or returning to hybrid or electric vehicle programs. It will also be beneficial to those involved in the specification, design, development, testing and planning of hybrid vehicle programs. Product planners and program managers will find the overview aspects helpful.

Materials Provided

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Course Requirements

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  • Terminology, Definitions and Conventions
  • Brief Review of the Hybrid Market
    • Market drivers and expectations
    • Market influences
    • Competing technologies
    • Customer expectations
  • Review of Common Vehicle Product Offerings (battery descriptions, power, technology, size, architecture)
  • Fundamentals
    • Fossil fuel vs. hybrid vs. electric
    • Source ragone plot
    • Efficiencies, weights
    • Cost of fuel (fossil vs. electrons)
  • Role of Battery
    • ICE vs. electric systems
    • Energy vs. power
    • Expectations over vehicle lifetime
  • Product Liability / FMEA
  • Battery Development Cycle
    • You don't know what you don't know!
    • Why does it take so long and cost so much?
  • Cost Factors
    • Scope of product: system vs. cells vs. sticks
    • $/kW vs. $kWh
  • System Considerations
  • Electrochemistry Selection
  • Safety
    • Advance planning for safety tests
    • Thermal runaway
    • String configuration (series, parallel)
  • Range Estimation (hybrid vs. electric)
  • Real-life Battery Analysis Exercise (using a contemporary vehicle as an example)
  • Battery Pack Design Considerations
  • Failure Modes
    • Wear-out
    • Power and energy degradation
    • High resistance / open circuit
    • Controller / signal malfunction
  • Vehicle Trends
    • Plug-in hybrid
    • Battery electric
    • Demanding applications
    • Fuel cell hybrids
  • Battery Trends
  • Battery Warranty
  • Battery Recycling