FEV and ITL Develop Innovative Battery Housing Demonstrator for E-Vehicles
Aachen (Germany), May 2023 – FEV together with the production specialist for aluminum hot sheet forming, Impression Technologies (ITL) has presented a battery housing concept for electric vehicles. Utilizing HFQ® Technology, it makes optimum use of the space available for energy storage. For this purpose, the demanding structural requirements for this component are implemented in a novel way. By completely laying the structurally relevant components on the outside and at the same time an integration of the battery housing into the overall vehicle, installation space for additional battery cells is created. This leads to a longer range or a reduced installation space requirement while maintaining the same range. The concept developed as part of the joint project of FEV and ITL is to be manufactured and presented as a demonstrator in the coming months.
"With our latest battery housing development, we are once again showing that FEV is thinking in many directions when it comes to sustainable mobility. We offer solutions that the market demands – for example, to increase the range of e-mobility. With ITL, we have the ideal partner for lightweight construction on board for this project to make the concept tangible for our customers and partners in the form of a demonstrator in a timely manner," said Professor Stefan Pischinger, President and CEO, FEV Group.
In the approach developed by FEV, the required structural performance is ensured by an 'exoskeleton' concept, which realizes a power flow above and below the battery pack. On the one hand, this keeps the loads occurring in the event of a crash away from the installation space used for the battery cells and at the same time optimizes the rigidity of the overall system (battery and bodyshell).
To achieve the required structural performance in a small installation space, the concept developed by FEV requires the implementation of complex structures with low radii and draft angles. A realization of these structures is possible with ITL's aluminium hot forming technology HFQ® ('Hot Form Quench'). "The HFQ technology expands our portfolio of possible manufacturing technologies for new developments and enables us to implement more complex structures compared to cold forming technologies," said Christian Kürten, Head of Vehicle Architecture at FEV Vehicle. "Added to this is the use of high-strength aluminum alloys, which, in conjunction with the HFQ process, ultimately deliver the required performance in optimized installation space."
"FEV's pioneering approach to design excellence and open-mindedness in developing new lightweight concepts and solutions for electric vehicles is a great fit for ITL and the benefits of HFQ's lightweighting technology," said Jonathan Watkins, CEO of Impression Technologies. "With our expertise in ultra-high strength aluminum alloy characterization, design-for-manufacture, forming simulation and production, and FEV's global network in the automotive industry, we complement each other perfectly and ensure that all automotive manufacturers can benefit from the novel battery housing concept."