Currently reading: EV battery range boost claim from new WAE tech arm
New technology spin-off Elysia aims to more accurately judge battery health, unlocking extra performance

WAE has launched a new battery technology spin-off, dubbed Elysia, whose proprietary software package is claimed to substantially boost the range and performance of any electric car.

According to technical lead Tim Engstrom, the goal of Elysia is “understanding [battery] health in a multidimensional way” so that the firm can “unlock the maximum performance through life as that battery degrades”.

Its software package is divided into two forks: the Embedded solution, which runs on the battery hardware, and a Cloud platform, providing fleet-wide data insights.

The Embedded software provides manufacturers with six bespoke algorithms that are claimed to provide a more accurate picture of a battery’s state of charge. This is claimed to translate into a better estimate of a battery’s state of health.

“Nearly always, conventional methods overestimate the health of that battery,” explained Engstrom. “The containment solution that's in place today is to put these big energy reserves or buffers that you're not allowed to use to account for this uncertainty – and there's actually quite a large uncertainty. 

4 Elysia from wae

“That's to stop the customer being stuck on the side of the road. And if anything, this problem is getting worse as the industry is kind of under pressure to shrink these buffers and to use more and more of the battery to unlock range for their customer and be more competitive.”

For example, the new Volkswagen ID 7’s most capacious battery pack measures 91kWh in total, but only 86kWh of this is usable.

Engstrom continued: “The more accurately we can predict state of health and the more accurately we adapt the control algorithms, like state of charge, or fast charging, or state of power, the better the results, the more performance we can unlock”.

This is claimed to yield up to 10% more range, significantly reduce rapid-charging times and improve battery life by 30%.

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Moreover, Elysia’s algorithms actively adapt to the battery’s health and external conditions, rather than using predetermined ‘steps’ for performance, as in many current vehicles. This is said to improve the consistency of the battery’s performance, as well as extend its lifespan.

Commercial lead Joe Jones said: “When you compare that to the traditional ‘steps’ charge profile that's typical today, we got 60% more life for the same nine-and-a-half-minute [5-80%] charge time.”

He added: “[It’s just] ones and zeros as well. That's the amazing thing: it's not through some revolutionary new cell chemistry, it's with today's cell technology.”

However, there is a caveat: implementing the Embedded software requires collaboration between Elysia and the car manufacturer “earlier on in the development lifecycle,” said Jones.

It could be added to a vehicle retroactively through an over-the-air software update, but “the vision there is for us to get working with OEMs today on their battery systems that are releasing in two, three, four years’ time”.

What could be deployed by a fleet today – and relying solely on existing telematics data from a car’s electricals – is the Elysia Cloud Platform.

The Cloud Platform uses proprietary ‘digital twin’ technology to digitally duplicate a physical battery. “Every single cell within that battery is independently modelled,” according to Engstrom.

He added: “This then comes on to degradation insights, so we bring in data from the whole fleet. And we can give insight as to the remaining useful life of a given battery, warranty targets and recommendations to how that battery should be controlled differently or used differently.”

This digital twin allows Elysia to identify faults with the battery before they occur – providing an opportunity for preventative maintenance – or simulate its performance in different conditions.

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Engstrom explained: “We can simulate all sorts of scenarios automatically to put this insight into something that we really understand, like the range of the vehicle in summer or winter, or the charge time etc, as that battery degrades. And ultimately, where we see this going is this platform being used to inform the bespoke calibration of the battery management parameters according to the individual risks, opportunities [and] health status.”

That enhanced knowledge of risk and opportunity can benefit both manufacturers and financiers. For example, car makers can use the mass of data regarding battery life to further push the performance – or dial it back as necessary.

But it's for financiers that the Cloud Platform will have the biggest impact, as Jones explained: “Now, they've got to assume it's only going to last seven years, because that's what the warranty says. If that bus actually lasts 10, 11, 12 years, that transforms the entire business case of going electric versus sticking with diesel, for example.”

Reducing that uncertainty around a battery’s post-warranty lifespan could also help to protect residual values, said Engstrom, resulting in cheaper lease costs.

Charlie Martin

Charlie Martin Autocar
Title: Editorial Assistant, Autocar

As a reporter, Charlie plays a key role in setting the news agenda for the automotive industry. He joined Autocar in July 2022 after a nine-month stint as an apprentice with sister publication, What Car?. He's previously contributed to The Intercooler, and placed second in Hagerty’s 2019 Young Writer competition with a feature on the MG Metro 6R4

He is the proud owner of a Fiat Panda 100HP, and hopes to one day add a lightweight sports car like an Alpine A110 or a Lotus Elise S1 to his collection.

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