Designing high-performance traction battery packs for industrial vehicles

25th April 2024  |  Electric vehicle

As the shift towards electrification accelerates, industrial vehicles are gradually becoming electrified to enhance the sustainability of various sectors. Central to this transition is the design of high-performance traction battery packs. These packs need to provide industrial vehicles with high energy output whilst meeting requirements of lifespan and operational efficiency.

This article explores the design considerations necessary for creating high-performance traction battery packs, focusing particularly on achieving high energy density and efficient charging speeds.

Understanding the needs of electric industrial vehicles

Industrial vehicles, such as heavy-duty trucks, construction equipment and agricultural machinery, require significant energy output to perform labour-intensive tasks. Unlike consumer electric vehicles (EVs), industrial EVs must handle higher payloads and operate under harsher conditions. This demands traction battery packs that are both powerful and exceptionally reliable.

At the same time, efficient charging speeds are crucial to maintaining productivity as these vehicles often operate on tight schedules and cannot afford long downtime for charging. Moreover, this must be balanced with the need to preserve battery health and extend its usable life, making the design of the charging system a critical aspect of the battery pack development.

The performance criteria for traction battery packs

Energy density and battery capacity

The key performance criteria for traction battery packs is energy density and capacity. This is the aspect that ensures industrial vehicles can maintain a practical range without excessively large and heavy battery packs. For instance, companies like Volvo are designing battery packs that reach up to 540 kWh to power heavy-duty trucks without compromising their payload​​.

Balancing charging speed with battery health

The next key criteria for traction battery packs is the balance of charging speed and health. These batteries need to reach optimal charge in short periods to maintain operational efficiency. At the same time, this charging must also prevent excessive heat generation and voltage control to avoid stressing battery cells that lead to degradation. Additionally, high and low depths of charge (DoC) can also lead to battery degradation, highlighting the importance of controlled charging methods.

Key design elements for high-performance battery packs

Designing effective traction battery packs for industrial EVs encompasses several critical elements that ensure they meet the demands of heavy-duty applications:

  • Thermal management: Proper thermal management is crucial to maintain battery efficiency and maximising energy output. Advanced cooling solutions are integrated to dissipate heat effectively during operation and charging, keeping the battery within optimal temperature ranges where performance is at its best.
  • Intelligent charging systems: These systems optimise charging rates based on various factors, including the battery’s current state and ambient conditions. By adjusting the charging process and controlling DoC, these systems maximise efficiency, reduce battery degradation and extend its lifespan.
  • High-performance components: The use of durable connectors, robust cable assemblies, and sophisticated BMS (battery management system) technology is vital. These components allow the battery to manage high currents and voltages efficiently, ensuring safety and preventing degradation​​.

Think Dalroad for EV expertise

The design of high-performance traction battery packs is crucial for the effectiveness and sustainability of industrial EVs. These battery packs are vital to provide substantial power and reliability as well as support efficient charging speeds to meet the rigorous demands of industrial applications.

Dalroad is at the forefront of supplying advanced components that enhance the resilience and performance of EVs. Our expertise in automotive and EV technologies and components positions us as a key partner for designers seeking to innovate and optimise their vehicle systems.

For detailed information on how our components can support your design specifications, or to discuss your specific needs with our team of experts, please contact us today. We’re here to help you drive the future of transportation.

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