Bosch is developing cloud-based services that can help take the pressure off electric vehicle batteries and extend their life.

Called Battery in the Cloud, the auto parts company claims it’s developed a way to extend the life of electric vehicle batteries. The cloud-based technology, in a nutshell, constantly monitors the battery status and can then act as a supplement to the on-board battery management systems “to prevent or slow down cell aging”.

See, the older batteries get or the more stress they’re placed under, the lower their performance and capacity, and the shorter the range of the vehicle.

“Bosch is connecting electric-vehicle batteries with the cloud. Its data-based services mean we can substantially improve batteries’ performance and extend their service life,” says Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH.

According to Bosch, by monitoring the battery and acting to protect it, wear and tear on an electric vehicle’s battery can be reduced by as much as 20 percent.

“Real-time data gathered from the vehicle and its surroundings plays a key role here. The cloud services utilize this data to optimize every single recharging process and to provide drivers with tailored driving tips on how to conserve battery power via the dash display. Bosch calls the new service Battery in the Cloud, and its first customer is DiDi, China’s leading provider of mobility services. The company is equipping a pilot vehicle fleet with Bosch battery services in the city of Xiamen,” Bosch said in a statement.

The average service life of a lithium-ion battery used in a vehicle is 8-10 years or between 500 and 1000 charge cycles. Battery makers usually guarantee mileage of between 100,000 and 160,000 kilometres. But rapid battery charging, high numbers of charge cycles, an overly sporty driving style, and extremely high or low ambient temperatures are all sources of stress for batteries, which makes them age faster.

“Powerful batteries with long services lives will make electromobility more viable,” said Heyn. Another feature of the smart software functions is their use of the swarm principle: the algorithms used for analysis evaluate data gathered from an entire fleet, not just from individual vehicles. Swarm intelligence is the key to identifying more of the stress factors for vehicle batteries, and to identifying them more quickly.

How would it work in the real world? According to Bosch, “fully-charged batteries age more quickly at particularly high or low ambient temperatures. Bosch’s cloud services thus ensure that batteries are not charged to 100 percent when conditions are too hot or too cold. By reducing the battery charge by only a few percentage points, the battery is protected against inadvertent wear and tear”.

But how is this different to the on-board battery management system? According to Bosch,
“The battery-management systems currently integrated in electric vehicles monitor and manage the battery cells, and ensure both reliable operations and uniform recharging of the battery cells. But a battery’s performance and service life depend on numerous factors, such as the frequency with which it is recharged and discharged, the type of recharging process used, the driving style, and external factors such as the ambient temperature”. And that, Bosch claims, is where it’s new Battery in the Cloud program comes in.


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