Kreisel Electric recently won the 2017 European Electric Vehicle Technology Leadership Awards from Frost & Sullivan for having the “lightest” battery on the market. This is a high honor. This also confirms that, although breakthroughs and innovations are great, squeezing more performance and efficiency out of what we have today (lithium-ion batteries) is possible (and key to mass adoption of electric vehicles).
The Kreisel Frost & Sullivan Lightest Battery Award
The award Kreisel landed from Frost & Sullivan has far-reaching implications for the industry. Weight has always been enemy #1 for cars, whether we are talking about electric or internal thermal combustion engine (ICE) cars. This is something Colin Chapman recognized well and helped him to dominate the racing world in the late ’50s and early ’60s. Hopefully we will see more weight-saving work from now on and less about future breakthrough dreams.
Unfortunately, the war on weight was left to the wayside a few decades ago by most carmakers. Still, when it comes to EVs, battery weight accounts as the biggest single weight module in an EV. Positioning needs to be judiciously chosen, and performance + electricity capacity need to be squeezed out of the battery pack and controllers, including the electric motor(s), as much as possible.
Based in Rainbach, Austria, Kreisel Electric’s unique battery pack design and assembly technology caught Frost & Sullivan’s attention. In fact, according to the consulting company, Frost & Sullivan’s Industry Manager, Prajyot N. Sathe, had the following to say about Kreisel Electric: “Kreisel ensures that its battery pack offers maximum capacity with minimum weight. The company features the safest lithium-ion cells with a guaranteed service life of 400,000 kms: This makes it unique and remains the lightest battery on the market.” And as we all know, weight is really enemy #1.
Kreisel Frost & Sullivan Lightest Battery Award, Technically Speaking
But the Kreisel Frost & Sullivan battery award isn’t the only thing the company has been busy with lately. It was last in the news when it received a distinction this June in Los Angeles — the International Design award, shared with the interdisciplinary design agency Berge. According Frost & Sullivan’s market research study, the unique technology for next-generation lithium-ion batteries it uses gives Kreisel Electric a distinct competitive advantage in the electric vehicle market.
We asked the company what makes its pack and chemistry so special and what the Kreisel Frost & Sullivan award means to them. This is what Martin Lettner, in charge of PR and Marketing, said:
“There is no special chemistry, we use the same Li-Ion cells as e.g. Tesla. But two things make our batteries unique: 1. special arrangement and electrical connection of the cells and 2. an integrated highly efficient heating and cooling system.
“This reduces electrical resistance and reduces the overall size of the battery. That’s why our battery is the lightest on the market.
“As of now, we cannot offer single conversions of cars though, we focus on the industry for now.”
He also highlighted the potential for this technology in the stationary storage market: “Due to the special assembling and the innovative thermal management, mobile and stationary power storage profit from the high-performance battery technology developed by Kreisel.”
Kriesel offers a system called the MAVERO, which is a great system available in four different rating capacities ranging from 8 kWh to 22 kWh. The Kreisel Home Energy Storage uses an innovative communication system that relies on light effects, but probably one of the best parts of the entire system is that it only takes one person to perform the installation.
With all of this in mind, it seems that full-scale production of these battery packs needs to get underway. The three Kreisel brothers will open a new 7,000 m² production facility in Rainbach, Austria, in September of this year. This should mean that products start showing up on the market within the next year.
As far as the production line, it will be a fully-automated line that will be aimed at producing the home energy storage system MAVERO. The company claims 500 systems have already been reserved and that they will soon be ready for delivery. The company also says that more systems are getting underway in anticipation of future orders.
On the plant investment side of things, Kreisel Electric CEO Christian Schlögl said: “The investment costs for our new operations were around €14 million euros. This helped pay for an integrated 1,000 kWh battery storage system and a 200 kWp photovoltaic system, which will ensure our new production facility can complete uninterrupted work for a week. With 70 current employees, Kreisel can now work on 42 electromobility projects. By the end of 2018, our company hopes to have expanded its workforce to 200.”
Final Thoughts on the Kreisel Frost & Sullivan Lightest Battery Award
It’s obvious that Kreisel Electric has a passion for speed, as we have already covered here. Its three Kreisel brother cofounders have been driven by the vision of integrating electric efficiency into all areas of mobility, Philipp, Johann, and Markus together developed the battery pack, which is reportedly the most efficient battery solution currently available for any e-mobility needs. These packs have been put into use in numerous test applications ever since 2014 with successful results.
The range of applications for lighter battery packs is tremendous. It also means that other industries heavily penalized by weight can now offer more EVs. For instance, electric karts, jet skis, bikes, and scooters — as well as cars, buses, and commercial vehicles up to ships and airplanes — greatly benefit from a more energy dense system. In collaboration with other industry partners, Kreisel is implementing various projects, such as the development of power trains, charging technology, and software. The stationary storage battery MAVERO was presented back in summer 2016, followed by the Kreisel Power Charger, an innovative fast-charging station in January 2017.
The first factory Kreisel Electric is erecting is aimed at large-scale production. The company is looking into other locations where more storage battery packs will be produced under license by partners who are car manufacturers, fleet operators, and cab or transport companies.