Visteon partners with GM on wireless battery system

It also reduces the chance of battery failure, maximizes vehicle performance and cuts materials costs.

“A battery management system is a critical element of the battery pack itself,” Lawande told Automotive News. “If you do not manage them well, it could cause a fairly significant impact to the health of other electronics and health of the vehicle.”

To Lawande, a management system is “the brains of the entire powertrain of the EV.”

Visteon wanted to improve on current wired systems, which face reliability issues and require heavy and costly wiring harnesses. Most have a central box with copper wires that go to each of the battery’s cells, in some cases as many as 1,000.

With the wireless system, each set of modules within a pack has a wireless transmitter connected to its individual cells. The module communicates wirelessly with the central unit about the state of the cells, ultimately reducing the copper, weight and cost typical of wired systems.

“It makes little sense in today’s era to build a wired solution because of all of the limitations,” Lawande added.

Another benefit of the wireless system is its flexibility.

“You can come up with a modular battery concept that you can then arrange in different formats without redesigning the battery management system every time,” Lawande said. “When you think of building a battery pack, it would be a shame if every time you needed to build a vehicle model, you have to build a battery pack to exactly fit that model. That would be a very expensive proposition.”