Caterpillar, in collaboration with UK’s Avid Technology, is to explore the possibilities of improving the electric off-highway machines of the future with better battery-storage systems.
In conjunction with Imperial College London and clean tech company Avid Technology, the project aims to create an advanced battery system capable of meeting lifecycle and load demands of a heavy-duty electric or hybrid vehicle, while still delivering high-energy density levels.
Part-funded by Innovate UK’s Faraday Challenge Industrial Strategy Fund, the project is worth £2.8m (US$3.6m) and will see the consortium working together to significantly improve battery life through advanced controls, monitoring and thermal management.
Dr Gregory Offer from Imperial College London said, “We are excited to be working with Caterpillar and Avid Technology on developing the next generation of advanced battery packs for industrial machinery and heavy-duty on-road vehicles.
“The project will bring together multiple innovative ideas to deliver a step change in performance and cost for these aggressive applications, helping to develop the UK supply chain and create a world class battery industry in the UK.”
Ryan Maughan, Avid managing director, said, “In recent years there have been major advances in energy storage driven in part by the boom in the automotive sector for electric and hybrid passenger cars. This has resulted in huge improvements in energy density and crucially cost.
“However the emissions and environmental impact of heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks, buses and construction machinery is far greater due to the high operating hours and power factors required.
“This means there is huge potential for the design and manufacture of electrification systems to improve the situation. But it also presents several challenges in delivering electric vehicle drive trains that are robust enough and able to deliver the performance required.
“By working in collaboration with Caterpillar and Imperial College London, we have the potential to make a real impact at the cutting-edge of innovation in battery technology in the UK.”