Fast charging batteries for e-bikes

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Currently, charging the battery of electric bicycles and pedelecs takes two to four hours. For most e-bike users travelling in the city or over short distances, a short range and thus a small battery is sufficient. This saves costs and protects the environment. In order to cover longer distances, this battery must be able to be charged as quickly as possible. However a quick start after complete battery discharge is difficult. That is why scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) want to develop a rapid charging system for e-bikes that is compact and powerful, but also user-friendly and environmentally friendly.

The new rapid charging process is based on lithium-ion cells with a long service life, uses a comparatively high charging current of up to 10A and can be charged at normal 230V socket in less than an hour. In addition, the battery management system will provide a diagnostic function. For this purpose, the data measured during the use of the e-bike will be collected via an Internet of Things (IoT) solution, analyzed and sent to the Coboc cloud. They provide information about the State of Charge (SOC) and the State of Health (SOH), i.e. their overall state compared to a new battery. Both parameters are interdependent.

The results of the data evaluation should be available to manufacturers and users in graphical form. This enables continuous optimisation of the e-bike, corresponding adaptation of the overall system and, in the sense of predictive maintenance, always up-to-date information about the battery status. Within the project network, KIT is responsible, among other things, for the selection and evaluation of suitable lithium-ion cells, the lifetime analysis of selected cells as well as the development of the fast-charging process and a diagnostic system that includes the SOC and SOH. Coboc is responsible for the requirements analysis and development of the operational management system, the implementation of the IoT system with server back end as well as the hardware and its integration in the electric bicycle. The project should be completed by the end of September 2021.

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