Swiss battery system manufacturer ecovolta is launching a cost-cutting traction battery for industrial vehicles such as forklifts and pallet jacks. Thanks to a standardised lithium-ion solution, the evoTractionBattery can replace lead-acid batteries, cutting the costs per charge cycle by up to 50 percent. Each evoTractionBattery can also be monitored individually via the cloud, which makes it possible to easily check battery data and manage charging online. To smooth the battery’s introduction, ecovolta is offering support to companies in integrating the new solution into their existing logistics systems.
The higher usable capacity of ecovolta’s evoTractionBattery and the significantly longer service life of its Li-ion technology offer major benefits in comparison to lead-acid batteries. Traditional lead-acid batteries can only be discharged to 50 percent of their capacity at most, whereas 90 percent of the capacity of ecovolta’s lithium-ion batteries can be used. Moreover, the new generation of batteries can be charged and discharged about 3,000 times, compared to only around 1,200 times for lead-acid batteries.
For an example capacity of around 10 kWh, the new solution can reduce costs by up to 50% per charge and discharge cycle. The charging time and weight will also be scaled back by over 80 percent.
“Until now, lithium-ion technology hadn’t caught on in logistics since the increased initial capital costs put a cap on the economic viability in comparison to lead-acid batteries. But the evoTractionBattery is changing that, enabling a 10-kWh lead-acid battery to be quickly and easily replaced by a 5-kWh lithium-ion solution at a low cost,” says Paul Hauser, CTO of ecovolta.
Simplified handling and flexible construction
The evoTractionBattery’s specifications also make it much more user-friendly. Unlike with lead-acid batteries, boosting charges do not have a negative effect on the service life of this lithium-ion battery. Combined with quicker charging and a greater depth of discharge, this means that operators of industrial vehicles are no longer limited by restrictive charging regulations or the need to change out batteries. Lithium-ion batteries also do not require the maintenance that lead-acid batteries do.
Voltage ranges of 24 V to 800 V and capacities of 2.5 kWh to 7,500 kWh can be achieved with discharging currents of up to 500 A by connecting the batteries to form strings in any series configuration or in parallel. The standard casing with defined surface dimensions of 520 x 220 mm ensures clear parameters for construction.
Support for replacing lead-acid batteries in existing systems
ecovolta offers various services to support companies in integrating the lithium-ion solution, including charging infrastructure design and capacity planning. This enables many companies to reduce the overall number of vehicles in operation since lithium-ion batteries can be charged more quickly than conventional lead-acid batteries.
Proprietary construction system
ecovolta uses a specialised construction system for the evoTractionBattery which enables the fully automated batch production of high-current capable lithium-ion batteries that do not require active cooling.
The integrated battery management system enables master/slave operation of multiple batteries connected to a CAN bus. This allows the batteries to exchange information with the higher-level control system — a prerequisite for efficiently and safely operating vehicles. Comprehensive safety technology with a relay and fuse also makes up an integral part of the package.
ecovolta is a technology company based in the heart of Switzerland. Lithium-ion battery packs of different performance classes are developed and produced on an area of over 7,500 m2. The fully automated production line converts 200 MWh battery cells into battery packs every year. In our own R&D department with laboratory and engine test bench, application prototypes are developed and tested at our customer’s request. Short distances between production and development increase the speed and flexibility of the processes.
The ecovolta headquarters are located in Schwyz. This means: short distances for European industry, just-in-time delivery and contacts to leading technical training centres and universities in Switzerland. With the external locations in Winterthur (CH), Berlin (DE), Vicenza (IT), Lana (IT) ecovolta creates additional customer proximity.