WAE's Elysia delivers motorsport-derived battery insights to fleets
There’s nowhere in which optimal vehicle performance matters more than in motor racing. Many of the technologies we see in cars today were spawned in motorsport engineering. As we transition into the electrified transport of the future, the same is true for EV batteries, the development of which is being augmented by their use in electric racing.
Now, WAE is at the forefront of advanced EV battery management with a ground-breaking new product Elysia.
WAE has grown from an embryonic division in 2010 to an independent company. It employs nearly 700 people engaged in leading-edge technologies and projects for a growing list of Tier 1 clients, operating across motorsport, automotive, marine, off-highway and beyond.
How WAE has pioneered EV battery technology
WAE’s battery capability originated in the development of high-power hybrid systems for Formula 1. Since then the company has provided batteries to the whole grid for the first four seasons of Formula E, the world’s premier electric racing series, and Extreme E, the global off-road electric racing championship.
In those scenarios batteries are managed for extreme performance, while having to maintain battery sporting equity and ensure life isn’t compromised.
Elysia – helping fleet owners and operators
Elysia is about bringing WAE’s motorsport-derived capability and technology to the masses, to help everyday businesses make batteries perform better, bringing clarity to battery life, and empowering fleet owners to take charge of their EVs in the long-run.
Actionable EV battery insights
The Elysia Cloud Platform turns telematics data on the battery into interpretable and actionable insights for fleet owners. This awareness enables them to understand the health of their fleets and increase battery life, all without compromising safety.
Craig Wilson, CEO at WAE (pictured) states: “Although our marketing and promotional activities will initially be focused on Europe and America, there’s no reason we cannot deploy this anywhere in the world. As a cloud-based solution we are available immediately and globally.
We’re targeting organisations who own batteries, either fleets that own their vehicles and want to maximise life and protect residual values, or leasing companies that own batteries either separately or as part of a vehicle, who want to better manage and understand these assets. To do this, we’re partnering with telematics providers, and are looking to increase the number who choose to integrate with Elysia as a way to add value for their customers.”
Taking a different approach to battery management
Rather than relying on either artificial intelligence (AI) or electrochemical modelling alone, Elysia combines the best of both, and blends it with an unrivalled breadth of real-world experience. WAE has experience of engineering batteries for use on racetracks, across arctic tundra, through deserts and on tarmac. The company has designed and managed cells in everything from scooters to 250-tonne mining trucks. This conveys unique insight into what the true limits are for batteries, to maximise their performance, life and safety.
Enhancing the pleasure of driving electric
While there are challenges the fleet industry must overcome, more often these aren’t technology limitations – rapid charging at scale is doable, EV range is now meeting the requirements for most businesses, and drivers love the experience of being behind the wheel of an EV.
Craig Wilson says: “As such, I’d argue the fundamental hardware technology going into EVs and infrastructure isn’t awaiting any sudden ‘technology breakthroughs’. Instead, we believe the next wave of electrification can be accelerated through software – and that today there is still a knowledge gap between fleet owners looking to go electric, and an understanding of exactly how their vehicles will perform over time. Battery health and life is still something industry is largely blind to, and with Elysia we intend to change that.”
Understanding EV batteries better
EV batteries are the most expensive part of the car, but one of the least understood.
With the advent of extensive telematics, fleets understand the power of data, and it’s time to put that data to work when it comes to batteries. If fleet owners have visibility and confidence over the health of their EVs, and how long they are truly going to last in the field (often longer than that promised by the OEM warranties), then they could make better decisions when it comes to investments in EVs, and fully realise the opportunities in their business.
Craig Wilson points out: “Once we understand batteries better, we can realise that small changes in the way we use them, such as what limits we charge to, how we store those vehicles overnight, or even minor adjustments to how we charge them, can potentially add years of life to those vehicles.
And that’s all before we get onto the topic of re-sale or second life. Once fleet managers have independent insights into battery health at the point of re-sale, we believe it will help secure residual values, or enable new ways for batteries to be used in other applications such as stationary storage for renewable energy.
It’s our aim and duty to help make the transition to a carbon-neutral future easier; reduce costs, increase transparency and lower the overall impact of battery electric vehicles by extending the useful life of batteries.”