ION Energy, a supplier of battery management system (BMS) components for electric vehicles and energy storage systems, just landed a contract to supply electronics for Ray Motors, a scooter startup.
BMS systems are something we often take for granted, but doing nearly anything with batteries would be impossible without them. Older lead-acid batteries aren’t as volatile as newer lithium-ion batteries, and don’t require a BMS system. To keep things safe with lithium batteries, electronics are needed to make sure they don’t charge too fast, discharge too fast, and don’t get into thermal runaway and catch fire or explode. Like I said, life would be hard in EVs without battery management.
“We searched for the best components andtechnology in the world for our electric scooter, which has been developed to fulfill the highest expectations of the premium urban mobility customer in large European metropolitan areas,” said Íñigo Raventós Basagoiti, CEO & Co-founder of Ray Electric Motors. “ION Energy, with its smart BMS solution, has proven to be the perfect partner for us, and gives us the quality and scalability we need for our growth strategy.”
Ion energy started in 2016, and in the last five years grew to supply 75 customers in 15 countries. Their BMS system is used in over 60,000 vehicles in India and Europe, so they were a good fit for Ray Electric Motors.
Ray Electric Motors started in 2019, and the Ray 7.7 is the company’s first electric scooter. It has a 10.7 kW electric motor, and a 7.7 kWh battery. Top speed is 77 MPH (125 kph) and range is up to 150 km (93 miles). The scooter is capable of fast charging, so it can be useful for longer trips as well. It has a variety of cool electronic features, including a digital display, navigation, alarm, and smartphone connectivity. OTA updates are possible, thanks to the smart features of the scooter’s main computer and the ION BMS.
It also has different driving modes: City, Sport, Flow, and Reverse. It has regenerative braking, which helps a lot with city driving range.
According to Ray’s website, the scooter will come with a 1.8 kW charger for European 220v plugs, but will also have a type 2 socket for 3.3 kW charging. That might not sound like fast charging, but 3.3 kW would charge up an 7.7 kW battery in about 2 hours, 20 minutes.
The full battery capacity is 8.78 kWh, but the company was smart and kept it limited to 7.7 for longevity. ION likely told Ray that it would be a good idea to not charge the pack all the way to 100% so that it would last a lot longer by avoiding hanging out at 100%.
The Ray 7.7 will be sold in the European market. The company did not say whether the scooter will be available in other markets.
News stories like this one seem like they’re not that interesting at first glance, but the journey to adopting electric vehicles will require many, many small steps. New companies, new suppliers, as well as small moves by existing companies are all going to need to add up to big changes over years. This is just such a thing, and we will probably see both companies go on to supply many more EVs.
The scooter space is also uniquely suited to electrification. The light weights being moved around allow for much more range and performance with small motors and small battery packs. Compared to a small vehicle like the Nissan LEAF or Tesla Model 3, the Ray 7.7 has an absolutely tiny battery pack, but still gets almost 100 miles of range. Most people wouldn’t want to ride a sitting scooter or any motorcycle much longer than that, but Europe’s well-established and growing charging network will allow it to be taken on longer journeys.
The other neat thing about small scooters like this is that they just don’t take a lot of power to charge up. Charging on a typical wall receptacle can be a long and painful process with a full-size EV, but a scooter can get a full charge in just a few hours while you sleep. On a type 2 connector pulling 3.3 kW, it can get half of its battery back while eating lunch or charge completely while you watch a movie. Efficiency means speed.
With all of the features of the vehicle, it’s clearly not a cheapie scooter like some of the ones I’ve tested. It’s a serious commuting scooter that has serious parts for real-world use. We’ve contacted ION and Ray to see if they have any testing units for us to give a test drive. We will be sure to let readers know if we get a chance for that hands-on testing!
Featured image: The Ray 7.7 electric scooter. Photo provided by Ray and ION.
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