Published on September 3rd, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro11
Study: Offer EV And PHEV Buyers Different Battery Sizes
September 3rd, 2014 by Christopher DeMorro
We’re nearly four years out since the launch of the first-generation of electric vehicles like the Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF. In that brief time, the auto industry has learned some hard lessons when it comes to EVs and plug-in hybrids, with upstart automaker Tesla stealing the show late in the game.
What can traditional automakers do to recover? Well Green Car Congress reports on a study from Germany’s Institute of Vehicle Concepts, which says that automakers should pursue modular batteries that offers different “storage capacity” choices for an EV. Gee, ya think?
In fairness, hindsight is 20/20, especially following the unexpected success of the Tesla Model S, which at launch offered three battery pack options; 48 kWh, 60 kWh, and 85 kWh. The smallest battery pack was dropped a few months later for the luxury EV, but so far no other automaker has thought to offer different sized battery packs to offset the high costs. Thankfully, both Nissan and GM appear ready to do just that with the LEAF and Volt, respectively, though this study also suggests automakers adopt a modular design.
What’s that mean? It means a design where components can be easily swapped out to accommodate different bodies, equipment, or drivetrains. The modular batteries should be offered in three flavors, for low, average, and high-mileage drivers. A modular design would allow the same battery pack to be easily adopted into one of three pre-set configurations, and could also allow automakers to adapt to external factors like extreme temperatures.
It still kind of seems like a “duh” moment that drivers might want different battery sizes, the same way they want different engine sizes. I wonder how much this study cost to conduct…
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