Pure EV develops AI-system to automatically resolve defects in lithium-ion batteries

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 04 Jan 2021


IIT Hyderabad-incubated startup Pure EV has announced that it has developed an Artificial Intelligence-driven hardware that automates identification and repair of defects in lithium-ion batteries of electric vehicles. The company says its next-generation technology completely does away with the requirement for customers to visit a service centre to address battery defects.

Pure EV researchers have designed Artificial Neural Network (ANN)-based algorithms for the system called ‘BaTRics Faraday,’ which identify the defects in various series in the battery and also auto heals them to the best of the electro-chemistry potential of the cells. This process is fully automated by the hardware and no manual intervention is required all the way till complete capacity restitution.

The start-up says extensive field testing of ‘BaTRics Faraday’ has already been completed. The system can be used for all five two-wheeler models launched by Pure EV (Epluto 7g, Etrance Neo, Etrance, Egnite and Etron+); the system will be rolled out in the first quarter of 2021.

Elaborating about this system, Dr. Nishanth Dongari, founder, Pure EV, and associate professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, IIT Hyderabad said: “Lithium batteries are the most critical component of electric vehicles. They contain multiple lithium cells welded together in series and parallel arrangements to meet the desired voltage and ampere-hour (Ah) capacity. In case of any defects coming to batteries in any of the cell series, it leads to significant downtime to the EV owners. Additionally, the usage behaviour pattern and Indian environmental conditions put more load on the batteries. It is, indeed, a very difficult task for battery OEM to get the defects rectified through diagnosis and replacement of defective series of cells.”

“Hence the need of the hour is to develop an external intelligent hardware device which resolves battery defects through an external healing process. PURE EV has developed AI-driven hardware which carries out the diagnosis and resolution of defects in the battery through an externally-connected device to the battery. This saves precious man-hours otherwise spent in replacement of series of cells and significantly reduces the battery ‘Turn Around Time’ (TAT),” added Dr. Dongari.

According to the company, at present repairing lithium batteries is a challenging task in the market as the supply chains are not well established and reputed OEMs are not yet operational in this emerging segment. Electric vehicle customers are reliant on EV OEMs who, in turn, are reliant on battery manufacturers.

In such a scenario any innovation which gives assurance to prospective customers stakeholders on the lower turnaround time will significantly boost their confidence level on emerging this technology. It is imperative for electric vehicles to become mainstream that innovative solutions like ‘BaTRics Faraday’ come to market which ensures that the battery does not turn into an idling asset for EV owners

Rohit Vadera, CEO, Pure EV said, “This intelligent device enhances the capability of Pure EV to turn around battery defects within a shorter time period. With the significant take-off happening for EVs, Pure EV is building the necessary infrastructure and technical capabilities to become a pioneer in battery after-sales service for its esteemed customers. Pure EV will be able to provide service in much lesser TAT and with the establishment of company-owned workshops pan India we intend to emerge as a reputed benchmark in the battery after-sales service standards.”

At present, Pure EV has made this device operational based out of its factory. In the future, it plans to establish company-owned high-end ‘Battery Diagnostics and Repair’ workshops at major demand centres across India. These workshops will ensure a significantly lower TAT for battery repair across various geographies and the company deems this as one of the critical steps in the vision to become an established name across pan India in the EV space.

Pure EV has an in-house battery manufacturing facility and a research setup based out of IIT Hyderabad campus where the company’s dedicated R&D team works on core areas of battery thermal management system for development of long-range and high-performance lithium batteries.