Automotive technology company Visteon has announced a first production-intent, completely wireless battery management system (BMS) to monitor battery packs continuously for state of health and charge.
GM will be the first OEM to equip its electric vehicles (EVs) with the systems solution from Visteon, GM and other technology partners. GM will make the system standard on all planned EV models powered by its Ultium batteries.
Sachin Lawande, president and CEO, Visteon, says: “Our wireless BMS technology eliminates wiring harnesses found in the battery packs of traditional systems, delivering a solution that offers a secure, safe and robust battery system for EVs.”
The ground-breaking system was built in tandem with GM and other collaborators and provides a platform to deliver high battery cell measurement accuracy for the lifetime of the vehicle, along with maximum energy use per cell required for better vehicle range.
Additionally, this new wireless system can support safe and sustainable zero-cobalt battery chemistries, such as lithium iron phosphate (LFP) – which are important factors in sustainability efforts for automakers.
The modular solution supports multiple charging protocols and is intended to meet OEM cost, weight and packaging requirements.
Visteon applied its experience as a developer for in-cockpit electronics, cybersecurity and vehicle interface control modules to offer this holistic wireless BMS that improves time-to-market, design flexibility, battery pack energy density and speed of manufacturing.
Kent Helfrich, executive director, global electrification and battery systems, GM, says: “Agility is the key to maintaining GM’s leadership position in EVs.
“While we have vertically integrated many crucial EV components, it still makes sense for us to partner with great companies like Visteon to accelerate our vision for battery technology.”
GM expects the wireless BMS to drive GM’s Ultium-powered EVs to market faster, as time won’t be needed to develop specific communications systems or redesign complex wiring schemes for each new vehicle.
Instead, the wireless system will help to ensure the scalability of Ultium batteries across GM’s future lineup, encompassing different brands and vehicle segments, from heavy-duty trucks to performance vehicles.
Because the integrated hardware architecture and system software can extend across multiple vehicle platforms with minimal module configuration changes, this flexible wireless solution reduces engineering costs significantly and can more easily be integrated with thermal management systems and other vehicle controls.
Lawande says: “The wireless BMS keeps a constant eye on battery health and operation, helping automakers enhance vehicle and passenger safety and improving overall quality and reliability.
“The technology is another milestone in the development of EVs as the industry transitions to cleaner transportation solutions.”
Visteon’s wireless innovation should reduce end-user repair costs since the types of physical harnesses and wires where issues can originate have been eliminated in the new system.