Novelis Inc. has unveiled a new design of lightweight battery enclosures for electric vehicles (EVs).
These second-generation battery enclosures for e-vehicles incorporate a number of innovations compared to the sheet-intensive aluminium solution introduced in 2019. The new design is lighter, reduces costs and delivers higher pack energy density than traditional EV battery enclosures made from steel or aluminium extrusions, stresses Novelis.
Battery enclosure for e-vehicles with numerous innovations
Novelis has worked with industry partners and automotive engineers to optimize the design and introduce production-feasible innovations, including high-strength aluminium roll forming, advanced cell-to-pack (CTP) modular architecture and a structurally integrated thermal management bottom plate. These innovations, combined with Novelis’ advanced material technology, result in a best-in-class frame mass efficiency of below 1.0 kg/kWh, and a mass reduction improvement of more than 20 % versus the benchmark aluminium production enclosure from a leading European electric SUV manufacturer. The improved CTP package efficiency and structural performance also delivers a 30 % improvement in energy density versus the benchmark.
Designed using high-performing Novelis Advanz s650 alloy in roll-formed frame sections, the new EV battery enclosure is 50 % lighter than traditional steel enclosures, and more cost-effective than extrusions in most cases, says Novelis. As a result, it can be easily adapted to accommodate specific OEM vehicle designs. By utilizing Novelis’ highly formable alloys, the enclosure provides automakers the ability to achieve deep drawn, complex shapes.
In addition to the detailed design solutions, Novelis has developed first-of-its-kind engineering methodology and design guidelines to specify lightweight aluminium for top cover applications, while referencing many of the most stringent global thermal runaway resistance requirements. The simulation-derived guidelines will allow companies to quickly determine the optimal specifications to achieve their vehicle objectives, replacing steel with aluminium in a top cover application.
New EV battery enclosure positions aluminium as industry standard
“The second-generation battery enclosure is the direct result of listening to the feedback from the market and working in close collaboration with our partners and customers,” said Pierre Labat, head of Strategy and Sustainability at Novelis. “It is a benchmark in how the use of aluminium is yielding innovative, more sustainable solutions for the global automotive market and EV makers. Our new battery enclosure further positions aluminium as the industry standard for better-performing, longer-range and more competitive cost-to-weight electric vehicles.”
The new enclosure is developed and designed specifically for automakers to use advanced, CTP battery packaging architecture, which is 15-20 % more compact than traditional cell configurations and requires fewer parts to build. CTP enclosure architecture provides lighter weight, lower cost and increases volumetric energy density.
The second-generation solution also demonstrates the inherent benefits of aluminium over other materials for EV battery enclosures. Aluminium is more corrosion-resistant, infinitely recyclable and has superior thermal conductivity properties. Those attributes promote more efficient battery use for longer range. In addition to aluminium battery enclosure solutions for the EV market, Novelis also supplies automotive makers with high-quality, lightweight, sustainable aluminium sheet for all vehicle types.
Hydro is to deliver recycled, low-carbon aluminium extrusions for the coming commercial e-vehicle with the UK start-up company Watt Electric Vehicles (WEVC).
Hindalco relies on modern technologies for the production of highly sensitive battery foil and orders foil rolling mills and foil slitting machines from Achenbach.
The machining of aluminium for components in electric vehicles is challenging. Innovative solutions and tools are required to meet the industry’s standards.