Battery Management Start-Up Improves Safety, Lowers Cost of Lithium-ion Batteries
Thermal runaway is a safety hazard for EVs. Image used courtesy of Tapecon
Element Energy has raised $28 million in new funding for its lithium-ion battery management system (BMS) used in EV and energy storage applications.
Unlike other BMS systems, Element's system monitors and manages charge and discharge cycles at the individual cell level. This avoids cell mismatches that limit the operating life of the battery and can help prevent safety hazards like thermal runaway.
The electrolyte used in EV batteries is highly flammable, and short circuits can lead to heat and fire that can quickly spread through the entire battery pack. By monitoring individual cells, Element's system is able to find and mitigate failures before the onset of thermal runaway.
Element's technology is also intended for use in battery energy storage systems (BESS) that are increasingly important for load balancing in renewable energy deployments. By re-purposing second life EV batteries using its platform, the company estimates that it can reduce total cost of ownership for these energy storage systems by up to 40%. This helps make lithium-ion batteries more cost effective for long-duration storage applications that need to deliver rated power for 10 hours or more.
The market opportunity is significant. By 2030, there will be a projected 185 million EVs on the road and 1800 GWh of battery storage connected to the grid.
Among its strategic investors is South Korean consumer electronics giant LG, also a leading manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries for EVs.
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