Managing electric vehicle batteries is a challenge.
But, what if you could monitor your EV batteries across entire vehicle fleets
- directly from your own cloud server?
Below we detail the EV battery industry, trends, the urgency/benefits of battery telematics - and how to get started with the CL3000 electric vehicle data logger.
THE ELECTRIC VEHICLE BATTERY (EVB) INDUSTRY
Electric vehicle (EV) batteries are growing fast!
Over the coming 20 years, this battery market is expected to grow beyond $240-360 billion as electric cars target a 40-60% share of global vehicle purchases (or up to 60+ million units per year).
And that’s just within cars!
Below we outline some basic facts & figures, the main EV types and the key EV battery types.
KEY FACTS & FIGURES
- Overall, electric car battery (EVB) sales are to grow from ~1 mn units in 2017 to ~60+ mn in 2040 (CAGR of ~20%)
- Further, electric two-wheelers (bi-cycles, scooters, motorcycles) may grow from 40 mn sold per year in 2017 to 85+ mn in 2040
- China is the #1 market with 70%+ global EVB market share by 2020
- EVs will account for 54% of new car sales by 2040 and 0.5 billion (33%) on-road light duty vehicles
- In 2040, EVs are to drive 67% of new car sales in Europe, 58% in US and 51% in China - today, they already drive 37% in Norway
- Growth is driven by a 70%+ price reduction per kWh for li-ion batteries (2010-17) - with another 70%+ expected by 2030
- 2018 top 5 lithium-ion manufacturers are Panasonic (33%), BYD (18%), LG Chem (17%), Samsung (9%) and Wanxiang (5%)
To understand the dynamics of the EV market, it's critical to segment by vehicle type.
The chart shows an estimate of current sales volumes by type, as well as an outlook towards 2040 for the main electric vehicle types (cf. below).
Overall, the global annual sales of these EV types may go from the current ~40 mn in 2017 to 150+ mn in 2040 - completely changing the automotive & two wheeler markets.
Below we briefly outline the main electric vehicle types:
Electric Cars: With the advances in lithium-ion batteries, electric cars are rapidly growing with e.g. 2017 Q3 showing a 63% growth YoY vs. 2016. By 2040, there’ll be 560 mn electric cars on the road (33% of all cars)
Electric Bi-Cycles: Already today a huge market of ~36 mn+ units sold globally (95%+ in Asia) - with e.g. 200 mn in use in China. Western EU see ~1.6 mn units sold annually, while North America is only at ~0.2 mn units per year
Electric Motorcycles & Scooters: As for e-Bikes, electric motorcycles & scooters are biggest in Asia, though growing fast in India. Significant advances are made in the technology, boosting speed and range massively in recent years
Electric Trucks: Electric trucks are expected to comprise 15% of all trucks by 2030 with e.g. the recent Semi launch by Tesla paving the way for eTrucks within also the heavy-duty segment
Electric AGVs: Electric Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) are portable warehouse robots. While still a small segment, the rise of e-commerce and Industry 4.0 may drastically boost their relevance and volume
ELECTRIC VEHICLE BATTERY TYPES
Below we briefly recap the main battery types used in electric vehicles - expand to learn more!
Various batteries are used in electric vehicle applications, but the most common are listed below:
Lead Acid: Deep-cycle lead acid batteries represent a fairly mature and low cost technology. However, they also require frequent replacement and have a very low energy density (30-40 Wh/kg). Use cases incl. forklifts, bi-cycles and cars.
Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH): Also seen as a mature technology, this EV battery type comes with a better energy density than lead-acid (30-80 Wh/kg) and offers exceptional life-time. However, they are less efficient and have a number of other downsides.
Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion): Today, li-ion batteries are used in most EVs due to their 200+ Wh/kg density and strong efficiency specs. Recent variants reduce costs massively, while boosting lifetime towards 10-40 years.
Fuel Cells: Fuel cells play an increasing role in powering e.g. electric forklifts, with big players like Walmart and Amazon making the shift. They replace or work with a rechargeable battery and are emission-free, generating only heat and clean water. Advantages include faster recharging, lighter infrastructure, temperature stability and better life-time costs.
The Vital Role of Battery Data
To recap: There is no doubt that EV batteries are the future.
However, batteries need proper management to operate safely and efficiently.
Today, that's handled via the Battery Management System (BMS), acting as the "brain" of the battery".
Due to the importance, we've detailed the BMS below - but feel free to skip it if you're already familiar with this.
The BMS is an electronic system that integrates with rechargeable batteries to monitor critical data parameters.
These include e.g. state, voltage, current and temperature.
Based on the data, the BMS performs vital tasks:
- Keeping the battery inside it's safe operating area
- Monitoring & reporting the battery state (SoC, SoH, ...)
- Balancing cells to ensure a similar state of charge
- Prolonging the life of the battery
- Communicating with e.g. chargers or external devices
EXAMPLE: ROLE OF BMS IN CHARGING
In lithium-ion batteries, overcharging can lead to overheating - potentially resulting in catastrophic events. Conversely, discharging the battery below e.g. 5% capacity can lead to permanent capacity reduction.
In both cases, the BMS manages the charge to avoid thresholds being passed.
An example of a more advanced use of BMS is in “intelligent batteries”. Here, the BMS provides data to an “intelligent charger” on the battery’s specs, condition and usage history - allowing the charger to perform optimal charging.
In automotive context, the BMS needs to be able to communicate with other sensors and ECUs in the vehicle
As CAN bus is the standard in automotives, it's also the de facto standard for EV batteries.
As such, it's possible to record data from the BMS of most EV batteries using a CAN bus data logger.
Specifically, batteries often rely on the CAN bus protocols SAE J1939 or CANopen - providing data on a range of parameters, e.g. temperature, pack voltage, cell voltage, current, errors, SoC.
For more details on the technical aspects of BMS, we recommend the below reading:
Just like vehicle telematics has become huge in recent years, EV battery management is increasingly moving to the cloud.
Below we list some of the main trends enabling this - and the potential benefits.
THE 4 ENABLING TRENDS OF CLOUD BATTERY TELEMATICS
Today, most EV batteries are "closed systems":
The EV batteries generate tons of invaluable data - but the data is not truly utilized.
However, just like the rising trend of connected cars, there is a rising demand for connected batteries.
Four key trends are enabling this - click below to learn more:
Rise of EVs: As EVs rapidly grow towards 2040, there will be a need for integrating battery telematics into commercial vehicle fleets - across trucks, vans, buses, forklifts, AGVs and more. As this market matures, so will the use of battery telematics
EVs by 2040
(vs 40 mn in 2017)
Rise of Cloud: Like vehicles, batteries provide tons of data that need storage and fast processing - but with the rise of cloud servers, this becomes increasingly simple & low cost. Cloud computing also enables far more advanced BMS methods
public cloud market in 2021
(vs ~150 bn in 2017)
Rise of IoT: Collecting battery data via WiFi / 4G has previously been costly and difficult. However, the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) now also brings low cost CAN bus IoT devices that easily enable the transfer of the battery big data
B2B IoT devices by 2020
(vs ~2.5 bn in 2017)
Rise of AI: Finally, the use of advanced analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for EVBs has been beyond the existing BMS systems - but with the full set of big data in the cloud, next level battery optimization will be possible - and key to stay competitive
in AI enterprise market
(~$1 bn in '17 to $30+ bn in '25)
Or, as stated in the below article published in the Power and Energy Magazine IEEE (2017):
"The continuing proliferation of and advances in information and communication technologies, development of powerful cloud computing capabilities, and a growing Internet of Things will significantly enhance or even transform the concept of battery management, as modeling and control of thousands of cells in large-scale battery storage will become easier."
- Hu, C. Zou, C. Zhang, Y. Li, “Technological Developments in Batteries: A Survey of Principal Roles, Types & Management Needs”
In short, cloud battery telematics is becoming increasingly feasible.
But why do it? Below we list 9 major strategic benefits:
Top 9 Benefits of Battery Telematics
OPTIMIZE CHARGING: By monitoring near real-time data on the state of charge (SoC) of e.g. a fleet of warehouse forklifts, a battery fleet manager may implement advanced opportunistic recharging flows to reduce vehicle down-time
IMPROVE BATTERY LIFE: By spotting abnormal data patterns, spikes, sub-optimal charging, overheating, low temperature and other drivers that may reduce battery life, users may take action as soon as a pattern is observed, before it’s too late
REDUCE BATTERY BREAKDOWNS: By monitoring vital parameters like current and temperature in e.g. a lithium-ion battery frequently, it’s possible to predict cases where thresholds are exceeded early to avoid e.g. lithium plating or thermal runaway
RESOLVE DISPUTES VIA “BLACKBOX”: As a battery OEM, recording all battery data to a remote server can be beneficial in quickly and professionally resolving disputes regarding potential misuse leading to battery malfunction or damages - in particular useful if a catastrophic event has happened (explosion, fire, …)
OFFER SUPERIOR SERVICE: Battery OEMs can add strategic data-based services, using frequent data from their client’s battery usage to consult on e.g. personalized battery configuration for client environments and charging best practices - or proactively suggest win-win battery replacements/upgrades
IMPROVE TIME TO MARKET: For battery OEMs, real-life battery data is critical in R&D and product development. By embedding a data logger in e.g. a large portion of sold batteries, OEMs will be able to radically speed up development, improve learning & increase experimentation
EASE COMPLIANCE: In some cases periodic manual battery inspections are required to ensure compliance - but with a telematics solution, all relevant data will be readily available in the cloud for easy sharing, saving time and improving compliance
TROUBLESHOOT REMOTELY: As an OEM, sending technicians to a remote warehouse can be extremely costly - but by analyzing the relevant battery data in the cloud, an OEM may be able to remotely diagnose and resolve issues, reducing vehicle down-time and FTE costs
OPTIMIZE OPERATOR BEHAVIOUR: By implementing data based KPI dashboards, OEMS or fleet managers will be able to provide guidance to end users (e.g. forklift operators or battery maintenance crew), helping them towards optimal handling of the batteries
EV Battery Telematics Application Example
MONITORING FORKLIFT BATTERIES
Segment: Lead acid batteries, OEMs (forklifts)
Hotspot: Warehouse WLAN WiFi hotspot
Data Frequency: Intra-daily
Challenge: Monitoring battery performance in the field
LeadBats Co is a lead-acid battery manufacturer, producing batteries for use in electric forklifts.
As part of their battery offering, they install a CL3000 WiFi CAN bus data logger in all batteries to record data while the batteries are in active use at customer warehouses.
The CL3000s connect via warehouse WiFi WLANs and send it to the OEM cloud server.
This provides LeadBats with data from hundreds of batteries - which is used for KPI dashboards, remote troubleshooting, performance optimization - and much more.
FIELD TESTING PROTOTYPE EV
Segment: Lithium-ion batteries, OEMs (cars)
Hotspot: Cellular USB hotspot (3G/4G)
Data Frequency: Near real-time
Challenge: Speed up EV development cycles
ELECTRA is a high-profile electric car manufacturer with big ambitions. To meet the aggressive ELECTRA4 release date, the OEM needs to deploy & monitor a large prototype fleet.
To collect data from their field testing, the OEM installs a CL3000 & 4G USB hotspot in each car, sending data in 1 MB packets to their cloud server for analaysis.
From here, the OEM can analyze diagnostic trouble codes, battery performance and quickly identify issues. By gathering data at a massive scale, the OEM greatly speeds up the development and release the ELECTRA4 on-time.
HOW TO GET STARTED WITH BATTERY TELEMATICS?
Getting started with cloud battery management can seem difficult - but it doesn't have to be.
Below we list three early considerations to make before implementation - and recommended next steps:
3 EARLY STAGE CONSIDERATIONS
Is your battery CAN based?
Practically all EV batteries are based on CAN bus (similar to all vehicles).
If your battery is CAN based, you'll be able to record data using a standard CAN bus data logger. We always recommend verifying the specific bus type with technical staff.
Can you convert your data?
Raw CAN data has to be "scaled" to become readable. To do so, you'll need a 'conversion rule database' (aka DBC file).
If you're a battery OEM, your technical staff will have the conversion rules - if not, you may reverse engineer this or get it from the OEM.
How will you collect data?
For very small scale use cases, a standalone CAN logger with SD card can be used to collect data (e.g. the CL2000).
However, for fleets and frequent data transfer, automation is key - and we strongly recommend a CAN logger with WiFi/3G/4G transfer.
Once you've reviewed the above, we propose below next steps to get started:
- Select a CAN bus data logger for trials
- Design a small proof-of-concept (incl. a very narrow use case)
- Do a PoC on data collection, conversion & processing
- Develop a bare-bones application script PoC in the cloud
- Scale the PoC to a full segment (BU, country, warehouse, ...) and review
- If successful, scale up step-by-step in breadth and use case sophistication
Below we outline the benefits of using a CL3000 WiFi CAN logger for your battery telematics.
WHY USE THE CL3000 CAN LOGGER?
The CL3000 is a low cost and simple-to-use wireless CAN bus analyzer.
It's very popular amongst EV battery OEMs for telematics - and below we list some of the main reasons:
PLUG & PLAY
It's simple: Unbox, configure, connect - and auto-sync your logged data to your cloud server in <5 min
TAILOR & OWN DATA
All data goes to your server - and the simple file format lets you easily build tailored applications
Avoid extra platforms by integrating your data into your existing systems from the start
NEVER LOSE DATA
If your vehicle is offline, the CL3000 just logs data to the 16GB SD card and uploads it when possible
The CL3000 can connect to any WiFi hotspot - e.g. a USB 3G/4G hotspot or WiFi WLANs (e.g. in warehouses)
1-OFF LOW COSTS
You pay for the hardware - that's it. There are no platform subscription fees - you reap the full benefits
Ready to try out the CL3000 in your EV battery fleet?
Then learn more about our WiFi CAN logger below!
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