New Electric Car Battery Cuts Weight by 40%


ev-lite lightweight battery

Electric cars are quickly overcoming the hurdles of cost and range anxiety, but one area that still needs improvement is the added weight of big battery packs. UK-based Cenex has just completed a two-year project to reduce both the weight and cost of EV batteries, succeeding by shaving 99 pounds, or about 41% of the weight off a standard EV battery, reports Green Car Congress.

Cenex also achieved a 63% reduction in the cost of non-cell battery components, and ultimately the company hopes to enable mass production of lower weight and cost battery packs. Cenex made these weight and cost savings by eliminating the need for wires and screws in the power pack, massively reducing the number of battery components; in two similarly-sized 4 kWh modules, the EV-Lite battery project used just 196 separate components, compared to over 800 in a conventional battery pack.

Cenex also developed an innovative safety feature which isolates individual cells in case of a fire, and the team derived five different patents for their efforts. Considering that the average EV battery is complicated, costly, and in the case of the Tesla Model S, can weigh upwards of 1,300 pounds. Reduce that by 40%, and you just shaved over 500 pounds from the curb weight of the Model S, which would mean more range and better driving characteristics.

Lighter batteries have a lot of benefits, and once automakers overcome the bugaboo of weight, we should start seeing some really long range EVs.


Originally published on Cleantechnica.

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.
  • Steve Hanley

    It seems like there is an exciting new development in battery technology every week. : )

    • AaronD12

      That’s why FCVs have no chance of surviving. 😉

      • Steve Hanley

        Well, I sort of agree with you Aaron. But I dunno……betting against the likes of Toyota and Honda??? Maybe those guys know something we don’t……..

        And a fuel cell is just another kind of battery, when you come right down to it. Still, if FCV’s are going to sell in the $70,000 range, they certainly aren’t going to be for the masses. But then again, Toyota and Honda BUILD cars for the masses…..

        I dunno. Stay tuned. It’s gonna get really interesting in the automotive world over the next few years. There are going to be big winners and big losers, I’m thinking.

        • jeffhre

          “And a fuel cell is just another kind of battery, when you come right down to it.”

          A kind of battery that requires nearly three times more energy to travel the same number of miles as an EV.

          A kind of battery that currently avoids the proliferation of renewable energy that is powering so many EV batteries and runs right back to giant fossil fuel companies for feedstocks.

          A kind of battery that needs tanks that store compressed fuel at 700 bar, which must protect against losses from the escape of stark naked protons.

          Who would invest in infrastructure for technology at that level of development? Not auto manufacturers, refiners, or fuel purveyors. A kind of battery that has developers running to the government for funding of incipient fueling stations.

          • Steve Hanley

            I did not mean to suggest that it was better or worse than any other battery, only that it makes electricity for a car to run on. After that, the car is really no different than any other battery electric.

            It’s all well and good to have an opinion and I respect yours. But it is also good to keep an open mind. There are huge changes coming for the world of transportation in the next 5 – 10 years. The winners and losers have yet to be determined. All I know for certain right now is that my personal crystal ball is a bit hazy.

            We shall see, eh?

          • jeffhre

            My crystal ball is down for the count permanently. But it knew when a technology was brought out prematurely, at a detriment to all, better than I. In that sense I respected it’s opinions and counsel greatly 🙂

            There are a half million EV’s spread throughout the globe, serving their owners without complaint or hesitation (100% torque at zero RPM). In five years an extensive number of analysts, whom I agree with, believe that EV’s will challenge ICE’s for a much larger share of the future car buying pie.

            CARB benefits to manufacturers that are 9 times richer than the EV incentives, are the only revenue source predictably rich enough to pull FCEV’s forward. This results in OEM’s begging the state for millions of dollars towards refueling stations, before we know if any FCEV will even be viable in the market.

          • Steve Hanley

            I agree that a lot of the future of transportation will depend on how much money governments are willing to put into the pot to promote one technology or another.

            Personally, I think if the capitalist system is so great, it should be left alone to work its magic. But we know better than that. Millions of dollars will be shoveled in the direction of elected officials to get them to change the odds and adjust who wins and who loses.

            We always hear people bleating about “a level playing field” and “the unseen hand’, but in reality business hates pure capitalism.

            There are powerful forces at work behind the scenes and the final chapters of this story are yet to be written.

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  • That’s good news in electric battery field. When battery is less in weight than easy to carry and install.