ION Energy’s BMS improves safety, halves production time and accelerates innovation for

a cross-country off-road EV

ABOUT THE CUSTOMER

A European original equipment manufacturer (OEM) that designs, innovates and builds new modes of off-road travel. The customer manufactures fully electric recreational, cross country vehicles that create incredible driving experiences for all types of terrain and environment. 

The company’s off-road electric 4-wheeler has a niche fan base of thrill-seekers, adventure enthusiasts and outdoorsy travelers. These light, stable and flexible EVs work smoothly on snow, sand, hills, rocks, and have multiple uses ranging from adventure, leisure, emergency to scientific research.

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CHALLENGE

One of the major challenges faced by the customer was the lack of knowledge and expertise in battery technology/ energy storage domain. This led them to employ low-quality Chinese battery management systems (BMS) for their electric 4-wheelers. Over a period of time, they realized that the BMSs constantly caused problems and weren’t even reliable or safe. This triggered a chain of events, majorly impacting their production, assembly, and operations. 

Right from assembling the batteries to understanding the technical difficulties, the customer was looking for a partner who could bring in a team of electronic engineers, an integrated BMS solution, tech expertise and the capability to be agile and innovative. Considering that the customer already lost over 2 years as a result of this unprecedented crisis, a quick turnaround solution, more like a disruption was needed to get production and operations back on track.

SOLUTION

Given ION Energy’s experience in solving BMS and battery life challenges, the customer approached ION to oversee and help them identify product and quality inefficiencies. 

Our engineering team monitored the performance of the battery and the existing BMS and was able to diagnose the key concern areas. They concluded that the existing BMS was not integrated well, not suited for high-risk activities, and lacked any configuration that was needed for the smooth functioning of the electric vehicle. 

At this point, the team introduced ION’s BMS FS-LT to the customer to fix the core problem. The FS-LT is suitable for light electric and hybrid 2, 3 and 4-wheelers. The team optimized the FS-LT for automotive applications in-house and retrofitted it as per the structure and requirement of the electric vehicle. 

Lithium-ion batteries that power EVs have one of the highest energy densities of any battery technology, a relatively low self-discharge, & require low maintenance. On the other hand, these batteries have a limited life that could be affected by usage, charging patterns and the environment in which they operate, etc. A smart BMS like ION’s FS-LT is equipped with watchdogs and self-diagnostics safety systems. The FS-LT accurately helps estimate the State of Charge (SoC) and State of Health (SoH) of the battery, based on advanced algorithms. 

Typical 48V Application

Edison Analytics, ION’s disruptive battery intelligence platform was also introduced to the customer to improve performance and extend the life of Lithium-ion batteries. Edison blends battery data with software analytics and artificial intelligence to remotely monitor, predict and improve battery life. Edison is being leveraged by Battery pack manufacturers, OEMs, and electric mobility fleet operators around the world to help them build world-class batteries. 

Our battery management and intelligence platform solution combines ION’s deep domain expertise in energy storage with advanced electronics, machine learning software and AI. 

 

Coupled with Edison, ION’s battery management system was the key enabler in improving safety and cutting down the production time in half. ION’s integrated battery management solution steered the cross-country, off-road EV right back on its roadmap. 

ION's BMS Platform - BMS: FS - LT

An advanced BMS with high packaging density, that is designed for:

 

  • Light Electric and Hybrid vehicles, motorcycles, scooters, 3 wheelers

  • Stationary Industrial and Home Storage

  • Backup Battery Systems

 

System Voltage Range              12-900VDC

Cells Managed Per Board         9-15 cells (FSLT-15S)

Cells Managed Per System       6-340 cell modules in series

Communication                          CAN 2.0 A&B for system integration Bluetooth 4.1 for Android dashboard 

Features: 

  • Each board manages 6 to 25 cells in series 

  • Scalable Up to 1080V battery pack (Up to 340 cells in series)  

  • Detection of 17 errors and 18 events on the battery and the BMS  

  • Real-time monitoring and logging of more than 61 variables  

  • Stores up to 20 years of data history on 8GB micro SD card 

  • More than 130 configurable parameters to tune the behavior of the BMS

  • 600µA supply current in power-saving mode

  • Embedded passive balancing up to 147mA per cell

  • Up to 2 onboard temperature sensors and 5 thermistors (NTC) inputs for external sensing

ION's Companion Applications (Android)

ION Lens is used to remotely interface, activate and connect to the BMS. It transfers the battery data to Edison via Bluetooth or Wifi. ION Lens showcases the overall battery status including parameters like:

 

- State of charge (%)

- Current drawn (A)

- State of health

- Temperature (°C)

- Total voltage (V)

- Module voltage

ION Trace is a supply chain application that can be used to add a new component in your inventory, test, assemble, ship, and associate with a BMS. ION Trace lets the user scan and view the following component details: 

- Current state

- Association Indicator

- Last update

- List of available actions

- History

Advanced Battery Management System & Intelligence Platform

Edison helped the customer visualize performance, identify issues and use over 130 configuration parameters to troubleshoot problems in the design, testing, and prototyping phase. Edison’s real-time analytics makes sense of the battery data to identify and reduce anxiety around their life, performance (charging time, safety, etc). 

 

Edison takes into consideration the battery specifications, environmental conditions, application context, and usage patterns to precisely gauge the current state of health, predict the end of life, provide prognostic alerts, estimate the commercial value and optimize for the second life of the batteries.

KEY BENEFITS

Small, light and scalable systems
Reliable BMS
(zero downtime)
Dedicated engineer support
Cost optimization at low
volume production
Measure crucial information regarding battery performance - temperature, current, voltage
Configure over 130 parameters to significantly optimize the battery performance
Configure ION Lens to perform audits & maintenance
Evaluate key parameters - State of Charge (SoC) & State of Health (SoH)
BMS records every second of the battery life to help identify critical issues
Superior cell balancing capabilities 
Manage and protect the battery from operating outside the Safe Operating Area (SOA)
Get detailed analytics of the battery’s performance with Edison Analytics

CUSTOMER TESTIMONIAL

“We have successfully launched our fully-electric off-road 4 wheeler and the response has been unbelievable! ION’s team and technology helped us break down complex battery challenges and improve performance tremendously. They’ve been really flexible since inception. ION’s BMS was better than our existing BMS in every way. This truly gave us the confidence to build our next 2-wheeler EV.” 

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