Electromobility: Batteries of the Future are Connected

Efficient batteries are one of the greatest challenges that electromobility faces. In cooperation with Deutsche Telekom, e-bility has developed an M2M solution for the battery of its Kumpan scooter. Sensors check the battery’s status and an app helps the scooter’s owner to take care of it. The Kraftpaket 2.0’s prototype was unveiled at the Intermot trade show in Cologne. All about M2M discussed the next generation of batteries with e-bility CEO Patrik Tykesson.

Mr. Tykesson, what is the Kraftpaket 2.0?


The Kraftpaket (power pack) 2.0 is the prototype of a new battery generation we have developed jointly with Telekom for our battery-powered Kumpan electric scooter. The Kumpan’s three portable batteries give it a range of 120 km, or 75 miles. They are recharged by plugging them into a domestic power point.



What is special about the new batteries is that they are now connected, incorporating sensors, a wireless model and a Telekom M2M SIM card. Coupled with an app, we can now offer customers more comfortable battery maintenance and greater transparency of the charging operation.


How exactly does the solution help scooter owners to take care of their batteries?


Scooters are seasonal vehicles. In the winter months they are often laid up and out of action for a longer period. Their batteries are forgotten. To protect them, however, a deep discharge or recharging at below-zero temperatures should be avoided. And that is precisely where the solution kicks in. The app reminds owners proactively to take care of their batteries. It also shows, inter alia, the battery level and how long it will take to give it a full recharge – no matter whether the battery is in the scooter, in the garage, or in the living room.


Does the solution also offer advantages for e-bility as the manufacturer?


Connecting the batteries is a game changer at many levels, and one from which both we and our customers benefit. Take warranty processes, for example. Customers used to have to return a defective battery for us to check. With the Kraftpaket 2.0, scooter owners upload their battery data online. That enables us to analyze faults faster and with greater precision and thereby to improve our customer service. We see further potential in the area of research and development. User data, supplied voluntarily, helps us to adapt the new battery technologies more precisely to the practical requirements of everyday life.



How did you hit on the idea of connecting the batteries?


We realized while we were designing the Kumpan electric that the batteries were a crucially important component. They had to be as easy to maintain as possible in order to ensure many years of enjoyable scootering. In implementing the project Telekom supported us from the outset. Along with the communication units in the batteries, we use cloud-based software – the Car Energy Manager. The software is a part of the T-Systems Connected Car Platform. After we had jointly identified the requirements, Telekom adapted the software precisely to the requirements of our Kumpan scooter. The system can be expanded flexibly. We are thereby able to offer customers, in addition to proactive battery maintenance, further services for their scooters, such as theft protection by means of geofencing.




Did you know? Battery-powered taxis in 1897


Battery charging was the main challenge back in the golden days of the first electric vehicles at the end of the nineteenth century. In London, for instance, the first motor-powered taxis – powered by batteries – took to the streets in 1897. Powered by 40 eight-volt batteries, they reached a top speed of nine miles (14.5 km) per hour and had a range of 30 miles (48 km). The whirring noise they made while on the move earned the battery-powered taxis developed by C. W. Bersey the nickname “hummingbirds.” The high cost of maintaining them, the complicated logistics of recharging their batteries, and the negative societal perception of them (due mainly to cabbies who felt uneasy about the new technology) sealed the electric taxi’s fate by 1899. After around a century dominated by the combustion engine, electromobility is staging a comeback. New battery technologies are largely responsible for this revival.

Tags: M2M , T-Systems , Scooter , e-bility , Batteries , Kumpan , electromobility , connected car , Connected Car Platform

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