This fall, AKASOL is set to begin mass producing batteries for Mercedes-Benz’s eCitaro. AKASOL’s first-generation battery systems will contain ten battery modules for up to 243 kWh per vehicle and a charging rate of up to 300 kW. In order to make this possible, AKASOL uses a water-cooling system to keep its batteries at 25° C in various climates and weather conditions.
According to AKASOL CEO Sven Schulz, the company is in a “long-term partnership” with Daimler Buses, and the development of a second-gen battery already underway. The next battery system will provide 33 kWh per module, a 35% total increase from 243 kWh to 330 kWh per vehicle. Also, the new system is designed to be the same size and weight as its predecessor while being upward-compatible. After the upgrade, the eCitaro’s range is expected to be 200 km in SORT2 test cycles or medium traffic and up to 250 km in ideal driving conditions. The second-gen battery is scheduled for release in 2020.
“In addition to improved battery cells, many other small optimizations, for instance in the battery management system and the mechanical architecture, contribute to the improvements of the second-generation systems,” says Schulz. “Since the beginning of our partnership in 2015, we have developed great mutual trust, which we see as a wonderful acknowledgment of our products and company. Having been tasked with the second generation even before starting serial production on the first type is a good sign.”