Electric cars should weigh as little as possible to optimize their environmental efficiency. Every additional kilogram requires a high energy input to accelerate when the car starts up. In addition, every kilogram saved adds to the driving range – which is good news for eCar drivers who do not need to look so often for one of the still infrequent charging stations. Moving the symbiosis between electromobility and lightweight construction a decisive step forward, engineers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT) are developing solutions that aim to replace individual elements in the vehicle with lightweight components, without endangering the component stability or passenger safety. This includes a brand new battery design that ICT is presenting for the first time at HANNOVER MESSE 2014.
Based on thermal measurements and simulations of various battery technologies, an optimized mechanical structure with the appropriate cooling concept was developed, along with a crash-proof battery housing suitable for mass production. The special feature of the new, 25 percent lighter battery casing is its fiber composite materials. The casing withstands crash impacts at ten times the force of gravity. Even if a sharp object hits the housing at 60 km/h, the highly sensitive battery inside remains undamaged. A semi-permeable membrane guarantees pressure equalization, allowing the battery cells to “breathe.”