Lithium Battery

AI system predicts lithium-ion battery failures to increase EV performance

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Analytics firm Accure has secured $7.8m to help it progress an AI system that can anticipate lithium-ion battery failures.

Lithium-ion batteries are commonly found in electric vehicles (EVs) and portable consumer electronics. They consist of two electrodes divided by a separator that allows charged particles to flow through a solvent from one to the other. But if materials degrade and the electrodes make direct contact with each other, the charged particles can explode.

Accure’s new predictive platform uses AI, field data and modelling to detect irregular battery cell behaviour and provide an understanding of battery health in EVs.

The firm said its technology could give operators of EV fleets – as well as energy storage providers – more lead time to address critical issues before major damage can occur. It has already led to the prevention of more than 50 battery incidents and increased the performance of utility-scale storage systems. 

Dr Kai-Philipp Kairies, Accure CEO, said: “Our predictive analytics software supports more than 3GWh of storage, preventing numerous battery incidents and, most importantly, our customers now have peace of mind knowing that an independent and trusted partner is ensuring safe, high-performing systems.”

The funding comes amid soaring battery demand and the need to improve their operation.

In the US, the Inflation Reduction Act has allocated billions to build and operate renewable energy, energy storage, EVs and other battery products, while extreme weather events, such as recent record heatwaves across the US, Europe and other regions, demonstrate the necessity of grid-strengthening batteries.

“We see advanced software like Accure’s increasing the safety, output and value of battery assets, becoming one of the most important tools in the global buildout of renewable energy, energy storage, EVs and other battery-powered infrastructure,” said Dr Carolin Funk, partner at Blue Bear Capital, which helped lead the funding round.

Global EV sales are expected to reach 14 million this year, up from 10 million in 2022, accounting for one-fifth of the overall car market, according to the International Energy Agency.

Battery energy storage systems are also increasing, with one forecast predicting annual global installations will exceed 400GWh by 2030, from 74GWh this year.

But battery fires are causing injuries and fatalities, and costing billions in damage, prompting more companies and fleet operators to look for ways to reduce the risk.

Last year, a huge fire in a London high-rise prompted firefighters to issue an urgent warning about the risk of fires involving the batteries of converted e-bikes. In the first half of 2022, London fire crews attended 32 fires involving e-bikes and another seven involving e-scooters.

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