Continental and Varta develop powerful battery for electric two-wheelers

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 12 Aug 2021


Continental’s development and production service provider, Continental Engineering Services (CES) is collaborating with battery specialist Varta to develop new technologies and products that particularly lead to advances in sustainable solutions in the field of electro mobility.

In a first pilot project, both partners have jointly developed an innovative product for the two-wheeler market. This is a replaceable 48-volt battery pack for electrically powered two-wheelers with a power of 10 kW and more. Such vehicles are comparable in engine power and top speed with conventionally powered scooters from 125 cc engine displacement.

Lightweight battery pack
The battery pack consists of VARTA’s V4Drive high-performance cell based on lithium-ion technology, which is characterised by its high performance, fast chargeability, low-temperature resistance and compact design. A specially developed battery management system from CES now allows the use of this extremely powerful battery cell in automotive two-wheeler applications.

The special feature of the lightweight (nine kg) battery pack is a range of 50 kilometres and power of 10 kW. It can be detached from the two-wheeler with a simple pull and charged externally. In addition, any number of battery packs can be connected and controlled via the new battery management systems. As a result the range of an e-scooter can be doubled to 100 kilometres by using two batteries.

Continental says this innovative technology closes a gap in the rapidly growing market for battery-powered vehicles. Current commercially available e-scooters (mostly comparable with conventional 50 cc scooters) have little appeal to commuters due to their limited top speed. More powerful electric two-wheelers, on the other hand, have so far always had a built-in battery, which in principle requires a separate parking space with charging facility.

Alex Rupprecht (Continental Engineering Services GmbH) and Gordon Clements (Varta AG) showccase the new 48-volt battery pack in front of an e-scooter.

“Continental Engineering Services and Varta have jointly developed an attractive solution for commuters without their own parking space,” says 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. 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. This is an ideal solution for commuters who don’t have a charging opportunity at their parking space."

Intelligent battery solutions vital for progress
Intelligent battery solutions are the key to the success of electromobility. This is because the shift away from conventional propulsion technologies to sustainable drive variants requires one thing above all: powerful and robust battery systems.

“Properties such as high energy density, fast charging capability and flexibility in the design of our cylindrical V4Drive cell are decisive for progress in electro mobility,” explains Gordon Clements, General Manager at Varta Solutions. “In addition, intelligent battery management is important for getting full performance from battery solutions. At Continental Engineering Services, we have a perfect partner which brings proven automotive cutting-edge technology to our knowledge of battery and storage solutions. In this way, we will continue to develop technologies together that offer great added value to people and, last but not least, to the environment.” The easily replaceable and quickly chargeable battery solution for high-performance electric scooters offers all the advantages that users expect from an urban and environmentally friendly two-wheeler.

This cooperation between two major established corporations now makes this technological leap possible. In a context of increasingly scarce fossil fuels and their impact on the climate, CES and Varta want to use this partnership to promote low-emission, particularly robust and economical drive alternatives. Varta is one of the leading technology companies for batteries and energy storage units. In turn, Continental Engineering Services offers extensive know-how in the development of technologies and components for battery-powered electric vehicles.

Backed by the complete Continental automotive and two-wheeler portfolio, CES as a wholly owned subsidiary is in a position to develop innovative, pragmatic and, not least, cost-attractive solutions particularly quickly. Components and system development already tested in large-scale production can be customized and further developed with precision. For example, the new battery system for two-wheeled electric vehicles was also realized in just half a year, from the first idea to fully functional prototypes.