Battery pack design for transportation is a rapidly evolving and fascinating topic at the intersection of electrical, mechanical, and software engineering. We will discuss how to translate vehicle level requirements such as vehicle weight, speed, drag, range, and recharge time into battery pack specifications such as voltage, energy (kWh), and power (kW). We will then discuss the typical design of a lithium ion battery pack including cells, packaging, thermal management, battery management, and safety and look at a few examples from scooters, motorcycles, cars, and airplanes. Next we will look at lithium ion battery pack safety and various strategies to mitigate the failure modes. Finally, we will review the cutting edge of battery pack design and a few potentially breakthrough technologies.
Paul Karplus received a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford in 2011 and 2013. He started working on electric vehicles in 2009 during a summer research project at MIT, then at Tesla, then on the Stanford Solar Car Team, next at Mission Motors, and finally at the Google self-driving car project (now Waymo). He has designed lithium ion battery packs for several motorcycles, a scooter, a couple bicycles, and a few cars. He is excited to share some of the lessons he has learned along the way with EE/CEE292X so you can invent the next great battery pack breakthrough!