News

Visteon’s Wireless BMS Technology for Electric Vehicles

November 21, 2020 by Stephanie Leonida

Visteon Corporation announces the intent to produce wireless battery management system that is customizable for multiple electric vehicle platforms.

Visteon announced a first production-intent wireless battery management system (BMS) for monitoring battery packs in electric vehicles (EVs). The technology has been developed to be customizable and scalable for a variety of EV platforms. 

 

A scalable, customizable wireless battery management system developed by Visteon, GM, and other technology partners. Image used courtesy of Visteon 
A scalable, customizable wireless battery management system developed by Visteon, GM, and other technology partners. Image used courtesy of Visteon 

 

A Collaborative Development 

The wireless BMS was developed with General Motors (GM) and other collaborators. General Motors plans to use this system in its Ultium-powered EVs with the hope of bringing them rapidly to market. This may well be possible as the time spent designing complex wiring schemes and developing communications systems for each new vehicle will not be necessary. GM will be the first original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to fit the wireless solution to its EVs and will make the system standard on all planned models. The wireless BMS system is hoped to boost scalability for GM’s next-generation EVs. The company’s line-up will include different brands and vehicle segments including heavy-duty trucks, performance vehicles, and more. 

“Agility is the key to maintaining GM’s leadership position in EVs. While we have vertically integrated many crucial EV components, it still makes sense for us to partner with great companies like Visteon to accelerate our vision for battery technology,” said Kent Helfrich, GM’s Executive Director, Global Electrification & Battery Systems in a recent news release. 

 

Image used courtesy of Visteon 
Image used courtesy of Visteon 

 

The hardware architecture and system software of Visteon and co’s wireless BMS can be used across multiple vehicle platforms without the need to vamp up engineering costs which can be incurred from module configuration changes. The system is also able to easily integrate with thermal management systems and other vehicle controls. It is hoped that the system will help to simplify OEM manufacturing processes, optimize energy use per cell to improve vehicle range, all the while monitoring EV batteries by health and charge status to maintain longevity. 

In the same news release, Sachin Lawande, President and CEO, Visteon, commented that “the wireless BMS keeps a constant eye on battery health and operation, helping automakers enhance vehicle and passenger safety and improving overall quality and reliability. The technology is another milestone in the development of EVs as the industry transitions to cleaner transportation solutions.”

Battery technologies that are currently on the market often contain harmful, toxic heavy metals such as zinc, nickel, and cobalt. These metals can cause significant environmental damage. Individuals working in mines in the countries where they are sourced can be at risk of developing certain defects and diseases from prolonged exposure to these metals and particularly at high concentrations. Visteon’s wireless BMS solution supports safe and sustainable zero-cobalt battery chemistries, such as lithium iron phosphate (LFP). This helps to reduce the use of this heavy metal and aid the sustainability efforts of automakers.