More and more fleet operators are opting for alternative powertrain technologies: The European market for hybrid and electric buses is forecast to grow by more than 26% annually, with demand for high-performance battery systems suitable for specific requirements growing fast. AKASOL will be presenting three innovations from its portfolio of safe and high-performance lithium-ion battery systems for all-electric and hybrid city, intercity buses and coaches at Busworld 2019 in Brussels (Hall 5, Stand 530) from October 18-23, 2019. A battery system for fuel cell vehicles will also be on display.
The future flagship of the Company is the high-energy battery AKASystem AKM CYC, which will be produced at the new headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany starting in 2021 and at the new US headquarters in Detroit (USA) starting in 2022 as part of a recently agreed production order from a leading global commercial vehicle manufacturer. The lithium-ion battery AKAModule CYC used in this third-generation system achieves an energy density of approx. 221 Wh/kg with the aid of liquid-cooled, scalable battery modules. They can be easily integrated, making it the leader in the field of liquid-cooled battery modules. With this high-energy solution for long-distance applications, AKASOL sets new standards for any bus applications in terms of energy content. All-electric city buses, for example, can be equipped with battery capacities of between 600 and 1,000 kWh, depending on vehicle size, and thus have twice the storage capacity of today's battery generation.
The new AKASystem AKM CYC can also be rapid charged at a rate of up to 1C and is therefore also suitable for use in a rapid charging infrastructure with a maximum output of up to 500 kW. This enables manufacturers to recharge their vehicles to up to 80% capacity in just 45 minutes and fully recharge them in approximately 1.5 hours. The battery module AKAModule CYC will be available in two standard versions. The small version (AKAModule 64 CYC) is the same size as the standard PHEV VDA battery module and is heat regulated by means of internal cooling plates. The large version (AKAModule 150 CYC) has an integrated liquid cooling structure, enabling highly efficient heat management of every battery cell, even in larger module designs.
AKASOL decided to use special 21700 round cells to achieve the high energy density as well as the required charging and discharging capacity. These are specially designed for use in professional and commercial applications with respect to calendar and cycle life. AKASOL can thus exceed the price-performance ratio and availability of other currently available technologies, while at the same time increasing the energy density by about 30-40%. The solution is also suitable for quick charging, which enables maximum operating time of commercial vehicles – an important customer request.
AKASystem OEM PRC for fuel cell powertrains
At Busworld, AKASOL will exhibit the second generation of the AKASystem OEM PRC, which, compared to the first generation, is able to provide 33% more energy and store around 400 kWh of energy in the same space. With a charging rate of up to 2C, the system can be rapidly charged via the most powerful charging stations currently available for commercial vehicles with over 500 kW (even with smaller battery system sizes), making the system suitable for intermediate and depot charging. The second generation AKASystem OEM PRC will go into series production for two large bus manufacturers in mid-2020. In addition, however, the system will also be seen in fuel cell vehicles and will be tested in 50 vehicles as early as 2020. As a result, there are plans to expand cooperation with an Asian commercial vehicle manufacturer. Manufacture is planned in the AKASOL series production facility for commercial vehicle battery systems in Langen. This facility is already the European leader in series production of battery systems and, in conjunction with the second production line, will be expanded to a total capacity of 800 MWh from the start of next year.
48V AKARack solution for hybrid and all-electric vehicles
The 48V AKARack solution is another highlight of the hybrid and all-electric vehicle applications to be showcased at Busworld: The small 19-inch battery system can be used for various applications and, with a storage capacity of 6.5 kWh per rack, can achieve a charging rate of up to 2C. It also has a powerful thermal management system made possible by liquid cooling in a special housing design. The AKARack is ideal for mild hybrid applications on 48V basis, as well as for on-board power supply in commercial vehicles of all types. In addition, it can also be used as an energy solution when a highly modular design is required. It will be used for construction machinery and marine applications as early as mid-2020. AKASOL further plans to offer the AKARack as a high-voltage solution after the introduction of the 48V version at the end of 2020.