Tech Features

A closer look at wire bonding

Wire bonding technology – widely utilized in the microelectronics and power electronics industries since the 1970s – is finding its way into interesting new applications in the growing EV industry – in particular, battery connections. We’re quite certain that a few EVs are using wire-bonding technology for production battery pack connections, but Charged was unable… Read more »

Electric torque vectoring: Q&A with GKN’s Advanced Engineering Director (Full Interview)

Torque vectoring technology is generally defined as a vehicle’s ability to vary the power to each wheel. Quickly controlling the torque applied to the wheels independently of one another allows the driving characteristics of a vehicle to be improved in significant ways – more stability, more responsiveness and more agility. A conventional differential distributes the… Read more »

A closer look at electrolytes in advanced batteries

The electrolytes in advanced batteries are based on incredibly complicated formulations. If you calculated all of the possible combinations of solvents, salts and additives while trying to find the optimal ratios for just one electrolyte formulation, it would add up to an extraordinary number of possibilities. Because it plays such a critical role in battery… Read more »

Second life: Spiers New Technologies develops advanced battery classification techniques

Spiers New Technologies (SNT) is just over a year old, but its founder has been focused on developing the market and technology for secondary-use batteries as long as anyone in the business. Dirk Spiers is one of the more passionate figures in the EV industry. Like many entrepreneurs, he seems to have a clear view… Read more »

Advancing BMS: Linear Technology launches its fourth-generation battery stack monitor

Engineers use battery management systems (BMS) to prevent problems that occur in Li-ion batteries when they are over-charged or over-discharged, including premature capacity loss and thermal events. A BMS ensures precise control and keeps the individual cells balanced, which is critical to extracting the most useful energy from a pack. Fortunately for EV systems designers,… Read more »

Gigavac launches new PCB-mounted contactors

It’s a common theme across the EV industry: Today many OEMs are designing their second- and third-generation EV platforms, and there is a strong push to increase packaging efficiency across the board, driving out every possible bit of cost. In the past few months, we’ve written about GM’s decision to attach the power electronics directly… Read more »

Q&A with Tesla’s lead motor engineer (Full Interview)

The principal motor engineer at Tesla describes why modeling and optimization is so vital to its design process. Creating a start-of-the-art electric vehicle requires a deep understanding of all the components. More importantly, it requires a continual process of analysis and optimization of the components to push the limits of driving range, efficiency, performance and… Read more »

Can Tanktwo redefine the battery pack with big data?

A Finnish-American start-up with ambitious goals wants to change how we think about batteries. The concept of an EV that supports the quick removal and replacement of a discharged battery pack was all the rage about 5 years ago. Since then, however, various systems have been attempted and subsequently abandoned by companies like BetterPlace, Renault,… Read more »

Paraclete Energy says its low-cost silicon nanoparticles can at least double your current anode capacity

Silicon has a theoretical charge capacity ten times higher than typical graphite. That is why a mind-blowing number of researchers are working towards replacing more and more of the graphite used in today’s lithium-ion battery anodes with silicon. In the last issue of Charged, we discussed Tesla’s announcement that it had begun to use small… Read more »

Tesla tweaks its battery chemistry: a closer look at silicon anode development

In mid-July, Tesla Motors made a trio of Model S update announcements. The new options included a 70 kWh rear-wheel-drive base model, an upgrade for the high-end battery pack from 85 to 90 kWh (providing about a 6% increase in range), and Ludicrous mode, which offers a 10% improvement in the car’s 0 to 60… Read more »