Volkswagen presents BattMan software and plans further PHEVs
Volkswagen was a leader in battery recycling from an early stage. In January, a test program started at his plant in Salzgitter, Germany to learn how to disassemble lithium-ion batteries and reuse their individual parts to make new batteries. But there is a threshold question that must be answered before old batteries are thrown into the maw of recycling machines – is this battery really? broken Or could it be used for energy storage or to power a low-speed electric vehicle?
The Salzgitter engineers have found an answer to this question with software called BattMan ReLife, which queries an existing battery and decides on uses other than recycling.
According to one company Press release, BattMan ReLife checks the condition of used batteries in a few minutes. Depending on the outcome of this process, the battery can be reused in a vehicle, given a second life as a mobile or stationary energy source, or recycled. Until now, determining the maximum and best service life of a used vehicle battery took several hours.
The first version of the BattMan ReLidfe software was developed by quality management at Audi Brussels before a final version was developed by the recycling experts at the Salzgitter site.
After inserting the low-voltage plug, the device first checks whether the battery can communicate and transfer data. The system then recognizes and displays any error messages as well as insulation resistance, capacitance, temperatures and cell voltages. Axel Vanden Branden, quality engineer at Audi Brussels, explains: “We can measure all the important parameters of a cell. Then a traffic light system shows the status cell by cell – green means that a cell is OK, yellow means that a more detailed check is required, and red means that the cell is not OK. “
After completing the diagnostic process, there are three options available. The first is reprocessing. If a battery is found to be in good or very good condition, it can be considered a replacement part for electric vehicles.
With the second option, a battery that is kept in moderate to good health can be repurposed for use in a charging station or mobile charging robot, or used to power an automated guided vehicle or forklift, or to store energy in residential buildings or in an emergency standby power system.
The third option is recycling, which involves disassembling a battery to reclaim the aluminum, copper and plastics used to assemble it, as well as what is known as “black powder”. This is the substance that contains lithium, nickel, manganese, cobalt and graphite, which can be used to make new batteries.
Frank Blome, Head of Battery Cells and Battery Systems at Volkswagen, says: “We know that recycled battery materials are just as effective as new ones. These recycled materials will be used to supply our cell production in the future. “
More PHEVs on the way
Don’t turn up your nose at this headline. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles may not be our preferred choice here CleanTechnica global headquarters, but they can still play an important role in the EV revolution. For many drivers, a well-designed PHEV can drive 90% or more of the daily kilometers driven on battery power alone.
Corresponding Electric, Volkswagen is planning a new range of plug-in hybrid models to be launched from 2023. Remember when Chevrolet replaced the original 1.4 liter engine in the Chevy Volt with a 1.5 liter engine? Volkswagen does the same. It also increases the battery capacity of its PHEVs enough to give them around 100 kilometers of range – more than enough for most daily driving needs.
Finally, the PHEVs of the future from Volkswagen will have a quick charge option that uses a CCS connection. German media reports suggest that the AC onboard charger can also be upgraded from the 3.6 kW single-phase unit to an 11 kW three-phase component, although Volkswagen has not confirmed this information.
The changes are being driven by new EV incentives for electric vehicles in Germany. As of October 1, 2022, PHEVs must have at least 60 kilometers of pure battery range in order to qualify. January 2024, the minimum range will be increased to 80 kilometers. The changes in the incentive program reflect the fact that, in fact, many PHEVs are sold in Europe emit more carbon dioxide than conventional cars. Germany is closing that hole, forcing companies to develop plug-in cars that are as good as a 2016 Chevy Volt.
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