Sameer Mahapatra, Country Manager, India & SAARC at Aeris Communications

Aeris is committed to investing in the creation of appropriately scaled connected technologies and battery management systems for EVs to assist our country in achieving the goals of Net Zero 2070, clean and green 2030, shared Sameer Mahapatra, Country Manager, India & SAARC at Aeris Communications in an exclusive interview with Abhineet Kumar and Srajan Agarwal of Elets News Network (ENN).

Edited excerpts:

Q1. How do you think Battery Management Systems (BMS) are making EVs more viable in India? What is the role of BMS in ensuring the longevity and efficiency of EV batteries?

The Battery Management System (BMS) is the foundation of electric vehicle efficiency that ensures complete tracking, monitoring, and control of the functions performed by the battery for a dependable and safe operation. As a result, it becomes a crucial component of EV safety. It contributes to the increased performance of the EV by providing real-time information that enables timely actions and ensures the durability of the vehicle.

BMS controls how the traction battery operates and guards it against overcharging, over-discharging, and using excessive electricity while charging and discharging. The safety and usable life of these battery packs is affected by the necessity for heat control, which is likewise offered by BMS. By ensuring that the cell runs within its safe operating limitations, it safeguards both the user and the battery. To ensure that the battery is operated reliably and securely, it additionally monitors the battery’s State of Charge (SoC), State of Health (SOH), and State of Power (SoP). The usable battery capacity is increased by BMS’s cell balancing process, which ensures that the same voltage is maintained across all cells. In order to leverage the battery pack’s data for analytics-based features, BMS also gathers a lot of information from it.

The BMS is the core that drives the smooth operation of EVs in India. Thus, it makes it essential that battery requirements and battery-life targets are established in the EV ecosystem in the country beforehand to work with the appropriate architecture, functional blocks, and relevant technologies.

Q2. Telematics is a crucial component of EV infrastructure. How is Aeris Communications using telematics to make EVs more accessible in India? How does it help in monitoring the battery health and enhancing the overall user experience?

Electric Vehicles are becoming popular as the most environmentally friendly alternative in the contemporary era. They are not only environmentally friendly but also allow a low cost of ownership for consumers. EV telematics system offers in-depth monitoring and insights. This includes details regarding the driver’s whereabouts and their proficiency behind the wheel. It also enables fleet managers to set up notifications and alerts for drivers who are speeding, engaging in illegal driving, at risk of accidents, or experiencing mechanical problems. In addition to map rerouting, scheduling slots at charging and switching stations, and remote access to the vehicle, it also offers information on the condition of the vehicle. Telematics is needed for EVs to improve the experience of riding and driving.

Aeris offers cutting-edge track & trace technology that helps fleets link with auto OEMs and even aftermarket vehicles to make them smarter. Aeris AerTrak provides real-time vehicle tracking as well as details on battery usage and health for electric vehicles in order to improve vehicle performance, usage, safety, and security. It offers GPS fleet tracking, video telematics & fleet monitoring, temperature management for cold chain Applications, connected dashcams and usage-based insurance so that users can benefit from higher data through enhanced security at economic rates. This allows 24×7 visibility of the vehicle and enhances its productivity with real-time intelligence and improves vehicle life by avoiding any rash vehicle usage. Aeris is committed to investing in the creation of appropriately scaled connected technologies and battery management systems for EVs to assist our country in achieving the goals of Net Zero 2070, clean and green 2030.

Q3. One of the main concerns of EV owners is the range anxiety caused by the limited battery life. How can BMS help in mitigating this concern and improving the range of EVs in India? Are there any challenges in implementing BMS in the Indian market?

As we witness a rise in Electric vehicles, the need for BMS has grown along with it. According to a study by Canalys, the electric vehicle (EV) market has grown by 223% in 2022, adding around 48,000 EVs in the world. The need for performance and pricing that are equal to that of conventional vehicles will grow along with the adoption of electric vehicles. EV battery management systems are important in delivering inexpensive, comparable performance and enabling society to gain from EVs on a large scale.

An electric vehicle’s energy management will be unpredictable without a BMS, making it susceptible to several safety risks that could cause catastrophic failures like a short circuit or thermal meltdown of the battery. The importance of BMS monitoring increases when it comes to charging regulation. First, there is the constant current stage, in which the charger supplies a constant current to the battery to charge it. The second stage is constant voltage, where the battery is supplied with continuous voltage even at a very low current. Like all vehicles’ fuel gauges, EVs have a battery state of charge (SOC) indication. The BMS helps to inform the driver of the battery’s actual charge status. Measurements of voltage and current are based on putting algorithms to use with SOC calculations. The BMS is therefore essential for the effective power management of an electric vehicle. The SOC evaluation aids in estimating the battery’s lifespan and energy availability.

Some of the major challenges that BMS presents are enhancing battery safety, cutting costs, locating new metals for the battery, raising capacity, and speeding up charging. The cars also frequently catch fire if the battery doesn’t operate according to protocol. Users must therefore follow all instructions, keep the car out of direct sunlight, charge the battery according to specified guidelines, keep the car in continuous use, and obey all usage limitations.

Q4. With the Indian government setting ambitious targets for EV adoption, how can BMS and telematics technologies play a role in achieving those targets? What are the benefits that they offer to the overall EV ecosystem in India?

In India, the market share of electric passenger cars is anticipated to reach more than 6% by 2025, according to research by Counterpoint. It is expected that the adoption of EVs in India will increase exponentially due to a number of factors, including improving domestic charging infrastructure, investments in R&D, government-backed incentives and policies, and electric vehicles pushing forward for disruptive technologies.

As the demand for electric vehicles increases, the market for Battery Management Systems (BMS) is anticipated to expand. Electric vehicle batteries will become more streamlined in the future, making them simpler to use and charge. When an average user considers purchasing an EV, the news of EVs catching fire doesn’t sit well with them.

The BMS is relevant in this situation because it shields not just the battery but also the entire car and guards against thermal fires inside. In order to deliver real-time information about a battery in the best way possible, it also offers consumers a variety of convenience functions that are supported by the cloud. This is done while maintaining safety and security, which are top priorities from the viewpoint of the user. Even though BMS still has certain unresolved issues, the benefits it offers an EV system, and its consumers are far greater. BMS is progressively and consistently improving, which will result in energy savings and performance acceleration.

Also Read | Haryana approves electric vehicle policy; offers incentives to manufacturers & buyers

Automobiles equipped with telematics technologies can deliver real-time information on driving patterns. This includes data on delays, traffic conditions, accident-prone locations, and indicators of vehicle performance like mileage and impulsive acceleration. These observations can be used to assess if EVs can make these trips on a single battery. By bringing in additional EVs, users might potentially save money on fuel thanks to the mileage data gathered. One of the primary causes of the slower rate of EV adoption in the commercial vehicle category is a lack of charging infrastructure. With telematics’ built-in location-enriched APIs and geocoded solutions, fleet managers can overlay the incoming data on enterprise-grade maps and assist drivers in finding available public charging stations. The necessity for fleet managers to carefully control “fuel” costs won’t go away with the switch to EVs; in fact, it will become more critical with energy expenses being one of the major areas of cost savings compared to traditional vehicles.

Q5. What is the future of BMS and telematics in the Indian EV market? How do you see these technologies evolving and contributing to the growth of EVs in India over the next few years?

EVs have turned out to be the most environmentally beneficial option in the modern period, where old combustion engines have been rendered obsolete by newer technologies. The introduction of energy storage systems and an increase in the use of electric vehicles are currently driving India’s rising development in the usage of technologies in fleet management.

As the demand for electric vehicles rises, the market for Battery Management Systems (BMS) is expected to grow. The batteries for electric vehicles will become less complicated, simpler to charge, and simpler to operate in the future. In order to ensure operational effectiveness, cost, and longevity of the battery systems in particular, as well as EVs as a whole, the design of batteries and subsequently the function of battery management systems will also advance concurrently, which will reduce energy consumption and boost performance. Every new EV that enters the market advances the BMS, making it increasingly smarter and simpler to use. In India, the era of electric vehicles is currently only beginning, and it is anticipated that it will soon gain importance. The Indian electric mobility industry would be strengthened by smart batteries and related technologies. Long-term EV manufacturing in India and the secure operation of EV fleets will be made possible by indigenously created advanced BMSs. The in-house manufacturing capacity of BMS can contribute to lowering the overall cost of EVs under the Make in India initiative. And, with the government laying heavy significance on the implementation of the battery swapping policy with interoperability standards, the efficiency of technology in the EV market in India is only going to rise.

According to a Tech Mahindra poll, 90% of four-wheeler buyers prefer to purchase a car with telematics features. Consumers and fleet owners are looking for more potent edge insights that can provide intelligence about the performance and health of their vehicles. Although the Indian telematics sector is still in its infancy, telematics equipment is still in high demand. Infrastructure issues, high reliance on imports, and a lack of modern technology adoption have all been barriers. The demand for connected telematics devices for various mobility applications, however, may be influenced by the growing demand for electric vehicles, 5G connectivity, favourable government policies, and programmes related to design and manufacturing, such as PLI and Make in India. Telematics is also one of the most promising technologies today modernising India’s mobility sector.


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