The data drive behind India's EV Surge

Specialised storage solutions such as automotive SD cards that are designed to meet requirements of rigorous reliability and quality support an operating temperature range of (-40°C to 85°C) and come loaded with advanced firmware memory management features, making them a preferred choice for BMS and EV manufacturers. 

By Khalid Wani, Western Digital calendar 16 Dec 2023 Views icon3352 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
The data drive behind India's EV Surge

Governments, and societies at large, are becoming more conscious of pollution and taking many concrete steps to control carbon and other emissions that affect air quality. For example, a typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, therefore, governments around the globe are encouraging the adoption of electronic vehicles (EVs). Moreover, price and range, which used to be the deterrents to buying an EV are gradually being overcome.

India also has ambitious plans to promote EV adoption in the country. The FAME initiative aims to achieve 30 percent EV sales penetration for cars, 70 percent for commercial vehicles, 40 percent for buses, and 80 percent for two- and three-wheelers by 2030. Consequently, the Indian EV sector is witnessing a tremendous growth. In 2022, India's EV sales surpassed one million units for the first time, marking a record 206% year-on-year growth over 2021 EV sales numbers.

India is seeing exceptional growth in the adoption of electric two-wheelers, which accounted for 55% of the total EV sales in FY2022 alone. However, recently, the country has seen a few cases of battery-related fires in electric two-wheelers as well as other incidents of poor battery quality and lives. This can be arrested if data on battery management can be accessed and analyzed and data storage is a key element of this.

Lithium-ion batteries and BMS

Batteries are the most important component of the EV, and the lifetime of a typical lithium-ion battery depends on the number of cycles. The number of cycles indicates how many times a battery can be charged and discharged until it starts to lose capacity and ultimately fails.

A demanding battery management system (BMS) that works in harsh and uncontrolled environments is needed to understand most things related to a battery. The BMS collects information, such as the current, voltage, and temperatures, from sensors in the battery, and processes it to ensure smooth battery operation. The BMS also controls the charger to ensure proper charging of the battery by avoiding overcharging etc. It can help avoid other major anomalies that may occur in case of battery failure. The BMS also monitors the temperature of the batteries and helps in thermal management. Overall, BMS may analyze the battery behavior continuously.

However, BMS used to have zero data storage, which made it difficult to gather data about batteries and other ancillary parts and understand their behaviors.

Today, battery manufacturers have understood the importance of collecting data related to batteries- for example, whether these were charged properly at an indicated current or not. As a result, now BMS have a storage slot to collect important data, which can be central to making improvements in battery life and enhancing other features such as reliability.

Specialised storge solutions 

It is equally important to understand that storage used in EVs should be automotive grade, as EVs will weather rain, sultry summers, and frigid winters. Therefore, EV manufacturers must understand the difference between retail and auto-grade storage solutions. For example, retail cards can be slightly more economical than an auto-grade SD card, but they are not developed for the endurance and temperature support needed by a BMS in EVs.

EVs need storage solutions, such as Automotive SD Cards from Western Digital, designed and manufactured to meet the rigorous reliability, quality, and environmental demands of the automotive market. These SD cards offer AEC-Q100 qualified temperature support (-40°C to 85°C) and come loaded with advanced firmware memory management features, including error correcting code (ECC), wear-leveling, and bad block management. As a result, these SD cards are becoming a preferred choice for BMS and EV manufacturers. 

Data will continue to unlock potential across industries, including the EV sector. Among other things, the future of EVs depends on the ability of tech companies to continue to deliver high-performance, high-endurance, and reliable storage.

Khalid Wani is the Senior Director – Sales, at India, Western Digital. Views expressed are those of the author.

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