In an attempt to test their new battery technology, Lion Smart, a German energy storage company, has placed a 100 kWh battery pack into the body of a BMW i3 that was able to boost it’s maximum range to over 400 miles.
Upon its initial unveiling, the BMW i3’s biggest drawback was its rather small 33kWh battery, which provided an estimated range of only about 114 miles. While not a particularly terrible range, the i3 would not be the go-to choice for longer, more extended trips. With the i3’s initially lackluster battery leaving much to be desired in terms of estimated range, it only made sense that the German automaker would seek to improve upon this aspect in the future.
The i3’s limited battery made it the perfect candidate for testing out Lion Smart’s new battery. While still currently in development, Lion Smart has stated that their new “LIGHT Battery” concept sports a modular design, which is supposedly meant to aid in the reduction of costs while simultaneously improving safety. As such, Lion Smart has managed to fit a 100kWh battery pack into a BMW i3 as proof of concept.
With the new battery pack installed, Lion Smart has since claimed that this one-off BMW i3 is able to achieve a range of 700 km, roughly 435 miles, on a single charge. All while taking up the same amount of space as the old 33kWh battery pack.
Lion Smart has also claimed that the new battery will be “wireless” in some respect. They had the following to say on the matter:
“The new developed battery pack concept “LIGHT Battery” does not require the usual sense wiring for voltage and temperature monitoring and does not require a data bus cable. The resulting free installation space allows a previously unimaginable packing density of the cylindrical cells. Due to the cells and electronics completely embedded in the liquid, a “wireless” construction of the battery stack is possible by means of acoustic and optical communication between the cells, which uses the liquid itself as a medium for data transmission.”
Lion Smart also released a video, which you can find below, that shows off more of the new battery pack and how it is planned to be utilized.
This new battery pack announcement definitely has the potential to do great things, as evident by Lion Smart’s testing with the BMW i3. We can only hope that the results of these tests allow for companies to continue to improve and innovate in the future.