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Redefined BMS in EVs expands functionalities

06 Aug 2014  | Klaus Scheibert

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Security schemes based on cryptography algorithms present exciting opportunities for new capabilities in the BMS. These take advantage of MCUs with an integrated hardware security module (HSM).

For example, the battery can be protected from third-party tampering such as aftermarket replacement of battery cells. Relevant parameters, essentially a digital "fingerprint" of each battery cell, can be stored in a secure, memory-protected area. Cryptography algorithms can use the HSM for additional capabilities such as comparing the amount of charge recorded by the BMS and the amount charged to a customer to ensure accurate billing.

Assured authentication also may be a part of future vehicle-to-grid communications, for example, in demand response charging schemes.

Another emerging application is a vehicle energy management concept that takes advantage of intelligence in the powertrain, in-car navigation unit and communications to traffic information sources (sensors and even other cars).

Real-time traffic and road condition information, combined with knowledge of trip destination, will make it possible to compare energy needed for specific route choices available and recommend the most efficient route.

With increased capability of the BMS, OEMs can re-evaluate the electronic topology of hybrid and all-electric vehicles. Many current designs use both an inverter control unit and a separate vehicle control unit to manage higher-order driving strategies.

An architecture that distributes VCU tasks into the inverter controller and BMS can reduce the overall cost for vehicle electronics. The prerequisite for this is the capability of the BMS to support broader functionality in terms of available memory and real-time performance. These functional requirements are met by today's most advanced automotive MCUs, creating new opportunities for innovation in vehicle design.

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