Continental & Varta to develop 48-volt battery for bikes
Continental’s development and production service provider Continental Engineering Services (CES) is cooperating with the battery specialist Varta. In an initial pilot project, both partners have developed a replaceable 48-volt battery pack for electric two-wheelers with a drive power of 10 kW or more.
In the course of their partnership, CES and Varta want to focus on “low-emission, particularly robust and economical drive alternatives”. Both sides see it as an advantage that they have been operating in their markets for a long time as established, traditional companies: Varta is one of the major German battery specialists, while Continental Engineering Services is active, among other things, in tech and component development for BEV vehicles.
Backed by the complete Continental automotive and two-wheeler portfolio, the two companies believe that, as a wholly-owned subsidiary, CES is in a position to develop innovative, pragmatic and cost-attractive solutions particularly quickly. Components and system development work that has already been tested in large-scale production can be individually adapted and further developed to fit exactly. For example, the new swappable battery system for electric two-wheelers was realised in only half a year, from the initial idea to the fully functional prototype, CES reports.
The swappable 48-volt battery pack is suitable for electric two-wheelers with an output of 10 kW or more, which is comparable to conventionally powered scooters with an engine capacity of 125 cc or more. The battery pack consists of the V4Drive battery cell from Varta, which is based on lithium-ion technology, and the battery management system is provided by CES. The special feature: Weighing only nine kilograms, the battery pack enables a range of 50 kilometres and a drive power of 10 kW.
“It can be detached from the two-wheeler and charged externally with a simple movement of the hand. In addition, any number of battery packs can be connected and controlled via the new battery management electronics. Thus, the range of an e-scooter can be doubled to 100 kilometres with the use of two battery packs,” CES elaborates.
“Continental Engineering Services and Varta have jointly developed an attractive solution for commuters without their own parking space,” comments Alex Rupprecht, Director Business Segment Driveline & Electrification at CES. “The 48-volt swappable battery based on the revolutionary V4Drive cell paired with our innovative battery management system enables the breakthrough of electric mobility for a long-range commute on two wheels.” He explains that the battery system has a high power density, meets the automotive standards in its performance class and can easily be removed from the scooter and charged quickly. He says “This is an ideal solution for commuters who don’t have a charging opportunity at their parking space.”
Gordon Clements, General Manager at Varta Solutions, adds that the company has found a perfect partner in Continental Engineering Services, “which brings proven automotive cutting-edge technology to our knowledge of battery and storage solutions”. In this way, they will continue to jointly develop technologies that offer great added value to people and, not least, to the environment.