Really low and really high temperatures can impact an electric vehicle’s battery range. Currently, the operating temperatures for electric vehicle battery cells are -20°C to +60°C. Vehicle manufacturers compensate for this at pack level through pre-conditioning as well as heating and cooling systems, the drawback being that these draw energy. Applications in aerospace and defence have even more challenging operating temperatures. The Government has committed £274m to the Industrial Strategy’s Faraday Battery Challenge which includes understanding the effects of temperature further. The Challenge is supporting battery R&D from the Faraday Institution’s academic research through Innovate UK’s programme of collaborative R&D and to scale-up in the cutting-edge UK Battery Industrialisation Centre. One of the aims of the Faraday programme is to improve the operating range of battery cells, including to -40°C to +80°C by 2035 therefore enabling better performance and efficiency at higher and lower ambient temperatures.
Thermal loads from heating, ventilation and air-conditioning affect the battery range of electrical vehicles and is most critical for vehicles like refrigerated trucks. The Office for Low Emission Vehicle’s Integrated Delivery Programme is funding R&D projects aiming to maximise the efficiency of the electric powertrain and significantly extend an electric vehicle’s range further.