Building High Voltage Automotive Battery Management Systems

Understand and overcome the challenges of building high voltage automotive battery management systems


To ensure safety, performance and accuracy over the full system lifetime, it is essential to choose the right BMS components. This can also maximize the range and lifetime obtainable from the Li-ion battery, which is a vital differentiator for carmakers. The paper gives a general introduction to Li-ion batteries and BMS, before presenting Infineon’s products and system approach towards offering a best-in-class BMS by addressing the four key criteria:

  • Performance: reflecting the driving range per battery charge
  • Battery lifetime: reflecting the battery yearly depreciation
  • Safety: protecting the battery from critical events, that might risk the safety of the passengers
  • Total system cost: reflecting the initial cost of the hybrid or electric vehicle

Utilizing a battery pack to its maximum is essential. This is of particular importance, since Li-ion chemistry is a complex chemistry that requires management. Incorrect management of the cells can not only reduce the efficiency, lifetime and performance of the battery but also lead to catastrophic events such as thermal runaway.  Therefore, a battery management system (BMS) is used.  BMS is a system that monitors and regulates the charging and discharging of the battery, making the battery more intelligent by enabling its key functionalities.  The individual BMS sub-functions are always OEM-specific and can therefore differ considerably depending on the system design. The tasks of the BMS discussed in this article are therefore not necessarily comprehensive for a particular BMS, and are implemented in different ways depending on the electric vehicle manufacturer.

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