At the heart of every electric vehicle are its powertrain and battery – a powerful muscle that keeps the vehicle moving, and whose performance determines the car’s range. Recent developments in the field of lithium-ion battery technology have ensured that electrically powered mobility has progressed from short to long distances; the fully electric series models that Audi will soon be launching will have a maximum range of up to 500 kilometres (NEDC).nedc The company’s own High Voltage Competence Centre near Ingolstadt is playing an important part in achieving such long-distance compatibility. It focuses on developing the complete system, which means packaging, cooling, fusing and – in collaboration with bodywork developers – integrating it into the vehicle. The most important aspect of this is the stiffness of the battery system and its behaviour in the event of a crash. Testing is done using forces of up to 150 g. Other key areas involve speeding up charging and slowing down the ageing of batteries.
“What’s special about our forthcoming fully electric series vehicles is that we have developed and produced the entire battery. In the past we relied on products made by external partners, such as those used in our plug-in hybrid vehicles. Now that’s changing. Our big lithium-ion battery can store 95 kWh of energy and is fitted at an ideal mass centre position beneath the passenger compartment,” explains Andreas Nöst, Head of Development E and E HV-Battery Storage Systems at AUDI AG.