Battery Management Testing: Alleviating EV Buyer Anxiety

How BMS improves range, extends battery life, and ensures Li-ion safety and reliability.


As the electric vehicle (EV) market surges towards 2040, fueled by strong consumer enthusiasm, the need to address key concerns about EV range, reliability, and battery life has become critical. Anxiety over potential range limitations, amplified by fears of scarce charging options, alongside safety worries due to media-reported battery incidents, have slowed adoption rates. Here, the semiconductor automated test equipment (ATE) sector can step in, playing a pivotal role in resolving these concerns.

Battery management systems (BMS) include detailed cell-by-cell battery monitoring, with precise results helping the BMS to ensure battery longevity, safety, and an extended driving range – directly addressing the technical hurdles to broader EV adoption. ATE, like Teradyne’s ETS-800, is used to test the battery monitors, to ensure their measurements are sufficiently accurate.

The pivotal role of BMS in EV evolution

At its core, the BMS monitors and manages EV battery performance, focusing on safety, reliability, and range optimization. It masterminds the charging process and ensures balanced charging across each individual cell within a battery pack, utilizing semiconductors for multi-channel monitoring and balancing.

The BMS assesses cell voltage, current, and temperature to gauge the battery pack’s state of charge (SoC) and health, employing wired or wireless communication to relay this information to a central processing unit. This system is critical for supporting optimal battery pack performance and longevity by managing charge distribution and monitoring each cell’s state, as well as overall battery stack health amid temperature changes and voltage variations.

Overcoming range anxiety

Improving the BMS promises to reduce, or even eliminate, range anxiety among EV drivers. A refined BMS can accurately measure the vehicle’s charge status, optimizing battery use to extend the driving range and provide more reliable estimates. This enhanced accuracy in monitoring the SoC enables more efficient charge and discharge cycles, improving battery life and reducing the need for frequent charging stops. Accurate SoC measurement increases usable battery energy – enabling the driving range to be extended significantly.

This improvement, combined with advancements in battery technology and vehicle design, will enable manufacturers to drastically increase the mileage offered on a single charge, serving as a key competitive advantage to attract buyers. Overall, precise IC testing is fundamental to confirming device quality and longevity, further boosting the appeal of new EV models.

Li-ion batteries and BMS: Efficiency and safety

Accurate monitoring of EV battery cells is crucial for managing range anxiety and verifying the safety and reliability of Li-ion batteries. Compared to other chemistries, these batteries offer noteworthy advantages in energy efficiency, density, and lifespan, but require careful energy management due to risks of ignition. A sophisticated BMS can safely manage charge and discharge cycles, thereby extending battery life and reducing fire risks.

With evolving lithium battery chemistries, like the shift from Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) to Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) and potential future options, BMS manufacturers require flexible ATE solutions. These solutions support accurate SoC determination amid changing battery technologies, ensuring safety and reliability.

Facing new challenges with evolving EV battery technologies

The EV industry’s growth leads to advancements in battery voltage and architecture, such as longer range and faster charging. This evolution creates new challenges for manufacturers with increased cell counts and higher voltages. In turn, this necessitates future-proof test equipment capable of handling evolving technologies and confirming automotive quality levels.

The shift towards 400V to 800V systems demands rigorous BMS innovation and testing to satisfy consumer concerns over range and battery health. Semiconductor ATE companies, like Teradyne, are responding with advanced instrumentation for accurate, high-voltage BMS testing, emphasizing the importance of BMS as a competitive differentiator in the expanding global EV market.

Teradyne’s ETS-800 platform is a next-generation automotive test platform with high throughput and fast time to market. Its precision instrumentation and guaranteed specifications deliver stable and repeatable results from tester to tester and device to device. The ETS-800’s multi-sector architecture scales from single or low site count program development applications to a high site count program with near-zero effort, enabling high parallel test efficiency to be achieved automatically.

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