GM Eying Oddly-Shaped EV Batteries to Improve Cooling and Performance


gm eying oddly shaped ev batteries to improve cooling and performance

Despite all the innovation in the electric vehicle world, battery packs haven’t deviated from the two primary shapes they’ve always taken. Automakers generally employ either a rectangular or cylindrical battery pack, which limits their ability to position them in some places on the vehicle. General Motors might be looking to buck that trend, as a recently discovered patent application shows the automaker is looking at less traditional shapes for its next-generation battery packs.

The patent application covers a couple of new battery shapes, including one that looks like an “L” and one with more of a “C” shape. GM will eventually have several battery manufacturing facilities, giving it the ability to have almost complete control over the design and build processes.

Beyond positioning in the vehicle, the batteries’ new shape will give GM the ability to add a cooling channel between packs for better performance and range. General Motors said current cooling methods can create an uneven temperature situation and noted that the condition can lead to premature battery wear. The novel battery shapes haven’t really been seen outside of small devices like smartphones, so it will be interesting to see what kind of numbers GM can draw out of its designs.

GM’s funky battery shapes are interesting, but they’re far from the only innovation coming out of the space. Solid-state batteries are moving forward, and automakers have figured out alternative battery chemistries to lower costs. Better cooling aside, the new battery shapes may enable smaller, less expensive EVs from GM, depending on how they’re employed, though it’s worth noting that patent applications don’t always lead to real-world products.

[Image: Chevrolet/General Motors]

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