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Upcoming General Motors EVs to feature wireless battery management

General Motors is reducing the number of wires in its new Ultium battery packs by up to 90 per cent, which it believes should help it get a huge fleet of electric vehicles to market sooner.

2 weeks ago
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William Stopford
Journalist

We love when things go wireless – wireless internet, wireless phone charging. Now, General Motors is going wireless with its electric vehicle battery management system.

The system – developed by a company called Analog Devices, of all things – will be used in EVs powered by GM’s new Ultium batteries.

It’ll make GM the first automaker to use an almost completely wireless battery management system (wBMS), with the number of wires reduced by up to 90 per cent – hey, even your wireless router has a wire or two.

The wMBS’ structure allows for expanded over-the-air updates and can conduct real-time battery pack health checks. Naturally, GM has also ensured the batteries are protected by cybersecurity hardware and software.

The wireless system means old battery packs can be more easily reused as power generators once they’ve reached the end of their life in GM vehicles.

Eliminating wires within a battery pack helps open extra room for more batteries. GM claims the wireless system can help reduce weight and therefore extend range, as well as streamline manufacturing. The latter will help GM get its raft of upcoming Ultium-powered vehicles to market faster.

General Motors is planning to release a wide range of electric vehicles under its Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC brands.

These included the GMC Hummer EV, which has been teased, and the Cadillac Lyriq, which has been fully revealed. The first of the vehicles riding GM’s new electric vehicle platform will begin production next year.

The battery tech will also be used for two models developed with Honda, designed for the North American market. They’ll launch in 2023 or 2024.

The upcoming Nikola Badger will also make use of both GM’s Ultium battery pack and its new electric vehicle architecture, though it’ll be unique in featuring hydrogen fuel-cell technology. It’s set to begin production by the end of 2022.


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