Transporting us Through the Holidays and the New Year

Jason Lomberg, North America Editor, PSD



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Jason Lomberg, North America Editor, PSD

Welcome to the December issue, and an early happy holiday to one and all! Hopefully, everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, filled with good food and good company and no one got trampled to death in search of increasingly mediocre deals (because in our digital world, it’s making less and less sense to stand in line in freezing-cold temperatures for “doorbusters” that you could probably get online).

But one of the items that – depending on the source – at least half of consumers prefer to purchase in-person is cars, and that leads in nicely to December’s topic, Automotive + Transportation.

And even though our electrified coverage isn’t officially until next month, with January’s EV, Hybrids, + Charging Infrastructure, it’s no surprise that 3 out of 4 of this month’s articles deal with electric vehicles and/or batteries.

After all, you can hardly discuss transportation without bringing up EVs, battery management, or the Internet of Things, possibly all three.

The first December piece I’d like to call out deals with “Accelerating Life Cycle Testing for Battery Cell Manufacturing.”

Keysight Technologies’ Hwee Yng Yeo discussesthe difficulties involved in scaling up battery production, weighing the increased fabrication against the necessary quality control.

And we’ve been doing a great job at balancing the two – as Yeo points out, and thanks to gigafactories, Lithium-ion battery cell production has increased from 4 to 10 GWh per year to 40 to 80 GWh per year, and cost efficiency has caused EV battery prices to dip by 90% over the last 10 years. 

“Scaling up battery cell production requires high precision, automation, and quality checks at every step of a highly complex process across the gigafactory to produce the battery cell,” says Yeo.

Mouser’s Mark Patrick deals with a very similar topic with “An Engineer’s Guide to EV Battery Management Systems.”

With the trend towards more powerful and higher-voltage battery packs, managing battery health is more important than ever before.

Lithium-ion battery cells include superior discharge characteristics, but as Patrick notes, “such impressive discharge abilities pose a significant safety risk in the wrong situation. The pack's high output voltage also represents a risk to the driver, passengers, and any other persons involved in an accident.”

A superior battery management system has to consider factors like cell balancing and thermal management, while key metrics include the battery’s state of charge (SOC) estimation, state of health (SOH), and state of function (SOF).

And “should a cell fail to sustain a charge or exhibit poor performance, the BMS can isolate the cell to avoid further damage.”

Enjoy the December issue!

Best Regards,


Jason Lomberg

North American Editor, PSD