If you had to guess, what would you say is the No. 1 driver of an electric vehicle’s overall performance? Yeah, OK, you saw the video title already, I won’t make you guess – it’s software.
Now, I’m no engineer and I won’t pretend to know the equations folks smarter than me use to combine values of voltage, current and resistance to calculate storage capacity or power output or things like that based purely on hardware. That’s a video for another day.
Instead, today we’re looking at how when it comes to charging and battery management systems, the reality is that software is almost everything in EVs. In fact, after an interview I did with Anil Paryani, the CEO of an energy management company called AMP, I would argue that the systems that control batteries, energy and charging could be just as important, if not more important, as the type of battery – especially when you start involving artificial intelligence.
Now, today’s OEMs are for the most part not using AI for battery management and charging functions, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t interested. The trouble is that running AI-driven software takes a large amount of computing power and RAM, which at the level required is unfortunately typically cost-prohibitive for manufacturers.
Having said that, the line between vehicle firmware and cloud software is disappearing, and Anil says improving battery management functions with AI is actually part of his company’s roadmap. That said, these won’t quite be mainstream until a little bit farther down the line.
In many of today’s EVs, performance is superior to internal combustion engine vehicles in many ways – cars like the Taycan and the Hummer demonstrate this – but the problem is that the cost of purchasing an EV is still just too high. But Anil is confident that within the next five years, manufacturers are going to scale up present battery technology manufacturing, and that means we’ll see further reduction in battery cell prices, and, in theory, this should lower EV prices. In Anil’s opinion, this will likely lead to premium EVs dominating in the U.S. even more in the coming years.