In the most recent episode of Munro Live, Sandy Munro was joined by representatives from Sabic (Saudi Basic Industries Corporation) to talk about the potential weight reduction of battery packs.
Using the Volkswagen ID.4's battery as an example, a team of engineers exercised a little bit to come with better ideas that would save weight for the battery tray and pack, while maintaining the safety and cost requirements.
The final proposal was presented by John Waters, Technology & Innovations Leader at Sabic, who was engaged in the original GM EV1 battery pack project, and Dave Sullivan, Americas Automotive Marketing at Sabic.
"Joining Sandy on a special episode of Munro Live is John Waters and Dave Sullivan from Sabic. With the goal of redesigning the VW ID.4 battery tray, they discuss their findings from a collaborative workshop held at Munro & Associates."
Using thermoplastics and some smart engineering the team was able to reduce the total weight from 489 kg to 427 kg (down by 62 kg or 12.7%). The new battery tray is estimated to be 29 kg/40% lighter than the original in the ID.4 (43 kg vs 72 kg).
Aside from the weight reduction, important benefits were also a lower number of parts and flame retardancy, along with improved crashworthiness and better thermal and electrical insulation.
The initial part of the video about the EV1 is very interesting. At the time, Sandy Munro required a battery tray for EV1 that would cost no more than $100 apiece and weigh no more than 50 lbs (22.7 kg) with tooling investment within $250,000.
In his opinion, thermoplastics and castings (the Tesla way) are the only two ways to go, far better than Volkswagen's aluminum construction.