The Silicon Review
In the rapidly evolving world of technology and vehicle electrification, batteries are the critical piece of the puzzle in this transition from fossil fuels to green technology. When looking at an electric application it is important understand that there is no “silver bullet” battery solution. Each battery is a system that is designed for a specific application, with different chemistry selections, packaging, thermal and controls. There are five key factors that are essential when selecting a battery: Safety, Performance, Life, Cost and Environment. A good battery partner can really help you optimize the battery to meet your needs and fulfill these five factors. This requires a team with deep experience in battery systems engineering and manufacturing.
There are many companies that are working to meet this ever-increasing need for battery systems, but American Battery Solutions stands out from the rest with their world class services, engineering, and manufacturing. American Battery Solutions was founded with the goal of developing and offering automotive quality, engineered, and manufactured battery packs to those segments of the market that the “big” cell makers were not servicing. As the market is set for massive expansion over the coming decades, there are many companies that need access to high-quality, US-assembled battery packs. By partnering with cell OEMs, ABS has the ability can service both small volume and higher volume vehicles and applications.
In conversation with Subhash Dhar, Founder, Chairman and CEO of American Battery Solutions
Q. Can you explain about your services in brief?
ABS is your one-stop shop for EV and ESS batteries. We engineer, validate, and manufacture high-quality lithium-ion batteries and battery systems to serve the growing demands in electric vehicles (EV), electrified transportation, motive, industrial, commercial markets, and grid-connected energy storage systems (ESS). ABS has launched our 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 are in a standard GC2 lead acid form factor. More importantly, it offers nearly 2x the energy of similar products on the market and can often replace two or more of our 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.
In 2022 ABS will launch the first of our ProLiance family of batteries, beginning with a 350V 50kWh pack for commercial vehicles. ProLiance is designed to be an “off-the-shelf” family of batteries that are designed to meet automotive safety, performance, quality, and manufacturing standards. They range from a 350V 50kWh and a 100kWh pack for light and medium-duty commercial vehicles to a 665V 110kWh battery for use in medium and heavy-duty trucks and buses, and other commercial vehicles. These batteries will offer a high energy density in a standardized pack that is fully integrated with BMS, electronics, and a thermal management system.
Tell us about the design phase of your high-quality lithium-ion batteries.
ABS utilizes standard automotive development and stage-gate processes. This means that we can apply automotive quality to every product we design and manufacture. We supplement this with significant in-house development capabilities, including nearly 300 channels of cell testing and 80 channels of the module and pack testing.
Q. How do you solve the complexity surrounding power management with your batteries?
The way ABS manages complexity is through understanding the requirements. We develop a set of product requirements for each off-the-shelf and custom product. Using these requirements, we drive design and manufacturing decisions towards minimizing the complexity of the product and the manufacturing process. At the same time, these products should provide as much flexibility and modularity as is needed in the market to be used in a wide variety of applications in a wide variety of market segments.
ABS products are designed to be a flexible modular solution. This mean that our AlLiance batteries can be connected in parallel and our ProLiance family can be connected in either series or in parallel configurations. This means that we can size a system for its intended operating cycle using a standardized modular family of batteries offering the power management needed for the application. For example, our 350V 50kWh ProLiance battery pack can be used on it’s own or it can be connected in series to create a 700V 100kWh system or it can be used in series and parallel to create 700V 600kWh system. This gives an example of the flexibility and modularity ABS products offer.
Q. How do you overcome the limitations of batteries?
The trick isn’t overcoming the limitations but designing systems that are optimized for the application. Every technology has limitations, but applying the right technology to the right solutions is important. EV batteries may not be a solution for every application. Still, for those applications that they are a solution for, they are becoming a safe and cost-competitive solution with a strong business case.
One of the challenges in lithium-ion batteries is managing the safety. ABS solutions integrate levels of safety into the systems beginning with the cell. From here ABS adds a layer of safety with the modules design followed with an added layer of safety with the BMS, mechanical structures, thermal management system and the high voltage electronics. Finally, the entire system is tested against industry safety standards such as SAE, IEC, UL and others.
Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched?
ABS has developed a standardized family of Rechargeable Energy Storage Systems (RESS), which are flexible to accommodate different battery chemistries and form factors which we call the AlLiance and ProLiance Intelligent Battery Series™. All ABS product solutions are flexible and can adapt multiple lithium-ion chemistries with varying types of electrical characteristics to meet a wide variety of application needs. The AlLiance family is offered in a 48V and 24V configuration as part of the AlLiance Intelligent Battery Series™ and is sure to fit a multitude of li-Ion energy needs. The Industrial or “I-Series” AlLiance Intelligent Batteries Series ™ includes 24V and 48V options, each with 3kWh of energy. This revolutionary series provides a design that can be used to replace standard GC2 lead-acid battery installs.
Coming mid-2022 will be ABS’ first line-up of standard high-voltage packs called the ProLiance Intelligent Battery Series ™. This year ABS begins installing our first production off the shelf product in the form of a 350V 50kWh battery pack. This is designed as a flexible solution to meet many different needs. It can be used on its own or as described above can be used in series, in parallel or series/parallel. What this means is this mean it can be used in applications ranging from mining vehicles, heavy duty commercial applications, marine, and light duty delivery vehicles. And since it’s an off the shelf product it will have relatively short lead times. ABS is also developing a grid energy storage system that will be launching in late 2023.
Q. What does the future hold for your company and its customers? Are exciting things on the way?
2022 will be a big year for ABS as we continue to launch our AlLiance family of low voltage batteries and launch our first high voltage custom battery pack program alongside our first Proliance off the shelf battery. But we are also working hard on some new product developments that will give us entry into new markets, including offering a new Grid Energy Storage System that is expected to launch in 2023. 2022 will also be the year that we grow to a truly international organization as we expand our operations.
Meet the leader behind the success of American Battery Solutions
Subhash Dhar is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of American Battery Solutions Inc; a company engaged in developing, designing, and manufacturing complete Li-Ion battery systems for the electrification of vehicles and industrial equipment including stationery storage applications. Formerly CEO of XALT Energy (January 2014 thru’ April 2017) & Founder, Chairman and CEO of Energy Power Systems (January 2011 thru’ April 2017), a leading manufacturer of Li-Ion batteries. Prior to that, Mr. Dhar was the founding President of ECD-Ovonic Battery Company during 1982 through 2003, where he developed and commercialized Nickel Metal hydride battery which today’s hybrid electric vehicles on a global basis & became the back-bone of Prius hybrid car in late 90’s. He set up business alliances and manufacturing operations in Japan, China, Europe, and the US. He also served as the President of Ovonic Fuel Cell Company where he developed a novel regenerative low-cost fuel cell. Mr. Dhar has also been involved in many aspects of alternative and advanced technology including hydrogen generation, hydrogen storage and Fuel Cells. Mr. Dhar is a co-inventor of over 40 US patents and has co-authored more than 45 technical papers and delivered dozens of invited keynote addresses at numerous global energy and automotive conferences.