The growth in Electric Vehicles (EV) market during the last few years has been phenomenal and the potential it has for the future is also very promising. As per reports, by 2028 the global EV market size is expected to grow to be $1.3 billion growing at a CAGR of 23% from 2021-2028. This is going to pave a path for a new phase in the automotive industry.
While the EV market has great potential, it has various challenges associated with it. Availability of the battery system, which is crucial for any EV, has been the most prominent one. While big players can easily source these from the manufacturers, there are various small scale businesses that fail to have access to the battery systems at lower volumes. Identifying this problem at a very initial stage, American Battery Solutions started its operations catering largely to the low volume segment.
CEO Views team was with Subhash Dhar, Chairman and CEO of American Battery Solutions (ABS) to learn more about the problem that they are solving and their vision for the future.
American Battery Solutions (ABS) was founded with the goal of developing and offering automotive quality, engineered, and manufactured battery packs to those segments of the market that were not being serviced by the “big” cell makers. As the market is set for massive growth over the coming decade, there are many companies that need access to high-quality, US manufactured battery packs. By partnering with cell OEMs they were able to service both small volume and higher volume vehicles and applications. The key factor for the growth of their company is their employees, experience and technical manufacturing capabilities.
They have an amazing depth of technical expertise with team members that have worked on nearly every major electrification project going all the way back to the original Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries that were used in the GM EV1 program. During their early days, they acquired the assets from Bosch Battery Systems including 170,000sqft of manufacturing and 120,000sqft of engineering, testing and prototyping capabilities.
Addressing the problem
The underserved market applications emerged from the growing demands in electric vehicles (EV), electrified transportation, motive, industrial, commercial markets, and grid-connected Energy Storage Systems (ESS). They were repeatedly approached by these types of companies looking for battery systems at relatively low volumes who were not able to find solutions at the larger cell makers. This formed the core of their product development targets.
While serving these markets, ABS developed several families of products to serve these customers. ABS first launched their Alliance Intelligent Battery Series™
family of 24V and 48V, 2kWh and 3kWh packs for industrial vehicles, light electric, and golf cars. These are developed as “off-the-shelf” solutions that can quickly be integrated into a wide variety of applications. These solutions integrate advanced safety features to protect the cells even in these industrial applications. The Industrial series of 3kWh batteries is in a standard GC2 lead acid form factor and more importantly, it offers nearly 2x the energy of similar products on the market and can often replace two or more of their competitor’s batteries. These batteries are also easily scalable in parallel up to ten batteries, making them a great solution for OEMs with more than one vehicle they need to support.
Improvising as per trends
In developing these solutions ABS has integrated the best available cells on the market with safety that is designed from the cell up. This includes the ability to manage single cell failures and prevent thermal runaway events. This provides an outstanding level of safety to our customers and end-users. ABS customers are asking for products that are easy drop-in replacements for their current solutions. The Alliance family of products met that need. With standardized, scalable, and modular solutions customers can easily install as much energy as they need for their application and use one part number across various products.
Their future products will continue to integrate technology advancements including wireless BMS, advanced pack concepts such as the cell to chassis. Including the ability to quickly adapt future chemistries once they are ready. ABS has developed a standardized family of Rechargeable Energy Storage System (RESS) solutions which are agnostic to battery chemistry which we call the AlLiance and ProLiance Intelligent Battery Series™.
The major thing that differentiates ABS is their people and focus on customer services. As they work with partners that require more custom development, they are able to work hand-in-hand with them as they
ABS IS A TEAM OF TALENT, TECHNOLOGY, AND KNOW-HOW WITH MORE THAN 335 YEARS OF EXPERTISE IN THE BATTERY
develop a solution that is unique to them, solving problems along the way. At the same time, customers integrating their standardized products receive support from ordering all the way to integration, manufacturing, and life. Another factor that differentiates ABS from the rest of the marketplace is its offerings. They work together to find solutions to customer problems while developing the next generation of battery experts.
ABS is a team of talent, technology, and know-how with more than 335 years of expertise in the battery systems field. This level and depth of expertise allow them to work with their customer partners to really understand their needs and find a solution that is optimized for them. ABS also has one of the oldest battery factories outside of an OEM in North America.
Speaking about their vision for the future Subhash says, “One-way ABS is driving innovation is by developing an advanced engineering team. This team is focused on looking at new technologies and new chemistries before their market-ready and engineering ABS’s next generation of products based on those”.
They see the company growth continuing to be driven by the increasing number of product launches and by the global transition to battery-powered electric applications. The world is in the midst of a global transition and ABS is positioned and capacitized to support that growth.