Future General Motors electric vehicles will use “an almost completely wireless battery management system,” which will enable the automaker “to ultimately power many different types of electric vehicles from a common set of battery components.”
The new wireless battery management system was developed by supplier Analog Devices Inc. By reducing the number of wires within the battery by up to 90 percent, the system negates the need for GM to develop specific wiring schemes for each new EV it produces. Additionally, less wiring means less weight, which translates into more range. Lastly, the system can conduct real-time battery pack health checks and is capable of refocusing the various battery modules and sensors based on the current condition of the battery (ie. discharge rate, temperature etc.) which helps to safeguard battery health over the vehicle’s lifespan.
“Scalability and complexity reduction are a theme with our Ultium batteries – the wireless battery management system is the critical enabler of this amazing flexibility,” said GM’s director of electrification and battery systems, Kent Helfrich. “The wireless system represents the epitome of Ultium’s configurability and should help GM build profitable EVs at scale.”
The wireless battery monitoring system will be standard on all GM vehicles powered by Ultium batteries. All of these vehicles will also feature advanced cybersecurity measures to protect from attacks on the battery’s wireless communication system.
“General Motors is paving the way toward an all-electric future, and Analog Devices is proud to work with this highly respected automotive leader on the next generation of electric vehicles,” concluded Analog Devices senior vice president, Greg Henderson. “Our collaboration is aimed at accelerating the transition to electric vehicles and a sustainable future.”
Earlier this week, GM announced it had entered a partnership with electric truck maker Nikola to build its new Badger pickup truck and supply the company with Ultium batteries. The automaker has also linked up with Honda to supply the Japanese brand with its Ultium batteries and other tech such as OnStar and V2X.
The first GM vehicle to arrive with Ultium batteries and the aforementioned wireless battery management system will be the Cadillac Lyriq electric crossover, which will go on sale in the United States in late 2022.