ABT e-Line plans to do away with the inverter for traction motors

ABT e-Line plans to do away with the inverter for traction motors

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By Christoph Hammerschmidt

ABT e-Line, a specialist for alternative automotive drivetrains, is working in cooperation with Munich-based start-up Bavertis GmbH to make the inverter for vehicle drives superfluous. To this end, the two companies want to develop a type of “AC battery”.

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) draw their energy from a battery – and batteries generate direct current (DC). However, the vehicle’s synchronous motor (most electric cars use synchronous motors) needs an alternating voltage with variable frequency. This is generated by an electronic inverter. Among other things, the range of the car depends on the efficient design of this component. This design is a tricky thing, and a lot of engineering know-how goes into it.

Now ABT e-Line plans to make the inverter superfluous. The sports car tuner sees more potential for high efficiency and thus for a long vehicle range in a different approach: instead of the inverter, the engineers from ABT e-Line and Bavertis want to reconfigure the battery cells several thousand times per second. The battery thus generates AC voltage directly.

Battery service live extension expected

For this purpose, Bavertis is developing power electronics integrated into the battery, based on an ASIC and Si-MOSFETs. An artificial intelligence works in the ASIC to control not only the switching frequency, but also the battery’s internal processes. This, Bavertis advertises, is supposed to have another advantage: The batteries last longer – the start-up company promises an extension of the service life by “at least 60%”.

According to ABT e-Line, battery modules equipped in this way should also deliver DC voltages. DC or AC voltages between 3.6V and 300V will be available at the battery terminals. With additional modules, the voltage can even be extended up to 1,000V. In this context, Bavertis is responsible for the electronics. As an intelligent solution, this is intended to ensure optimal use of the energy in the batteries of e-vehicles.

As a technology driver, ABT e-Line intends to develop battery modules and systems for its own products in cooperation with Bavertis and other partners, but also act as a supplier for the automotive industry.

Electronics also assumes battery management

“With the experience of more than a decade of battery development, ABT e-Line is taking on the role of system integrator in this cooperation,” says Eric Plekkepoel, CEO of ABT e-Line. The modular design of these batteries makes it possible to drive various motors and other AC or DC devices, right up to bi-directional charging directly from the AC power grid.

One advantage of this new technology is the higher performance and efficiency due to a constantly high DC voltage. In addition, safety is significantly increased through active intervention in individual cells. In addition, individual cells can be switched off in the event of a fault, thus increasing reliability.

With this technology consisting of hardware and software, ABT e-Line and Bavertis GmbH are meeting the most important challenges for battery-based storage systems. These include increasing the range, accelerating the charging process, extending the service life and simplifying the reuse of battery packs from vehicles, ABT e-Line said in a press release.


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