General Motors will use an almost completely wireless battery management system (wBMS)—the first of its kind, according to GM—for production EVs. This wireless system, developed with Analog Devices, will allow GM to power many types of EVs from a common set of battery components.
The wBMS is expected to drive GM’s Ultium-powered EVs to market faster by cutting the time needed to develop specific communication systems or redesign complex wiring schemes for each new vehicle. The system was designed to ensure the scalability of Ultium batteries across GM’s future EV lineup.
“Scalability and complexity reduction are a theme with our Ultium batteries—the wireless battery management system is the critical enabler of this amazing flexibility,” said GM Executive Director Kent Helfrich.
Software features can be updated in the field using GM’s Vehicle Intelligence Platform. The wBMS includes cybersecurity measures, such as hardware and software components that protect wireless communications.
GM says the wBMS will help EVs balance chemistry within the individual battery cell groups for optimal performance. It can also conduct real-time battery pack health checks and refocus the network of modules and sensors as needed, helping to safeguard battery health over a vehicle’s lifespan.
This wireless system also provides a repurposing capability for battery reuse in secondary applications. When the wireless packs are capacity-reduced to the point where they are no longer ideal for EVs but still functional as consistent power supplies, they can be combined with other wireless battery packs to form clean power generators.
“General Motors is paving the way toward an all-electric future, and Analog Devices is proud to work with this highly respected automotive leader on the next generation of EVs,” said Analog Devices VP Greg Henderson. “Our collaboration is aimed at accelerating the transition to EVs and a sustainable future.”
The wBMS will be standard on all GM vehicles powered by Ultium batteries.