High-Voltage Battery Technology at Audi

Electrical final assembly of an Audi R8 e-tron battery
Research, development and testing for the lithium-ion battery: AUDI AG is setting new standards in the development of high-voltage (HV) technology. On the eve of its 123rd Annual General Meeting, the Company opened its high-voltage battery facility in Gaimersheim near Ingolstadt. In this competence center, Development, Production and partner companies are working together for the first time to construct a prototype for these special battery cells.

“The new high-voltage battery project house is another major step toward electric mobility for our company,” says Michael Dick, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development. “Here we are building up important development and manufacturing expertise for high-voltage batteries with a view to future model series.
At the same time, we are ensuring that they meet Audi’s exacting quality requirements.” Alongside the production of prototypes, future small-series production is another conceivable option.

Automotive electrification has a substantial impact on the production process: “The close collaboration in the high-voltage battery project house paves the way for efficient, sustainable series production of electric cars,” emphasizes Frank Dreves, Member of the Board of Management for Production. “New technologies constitute new areas of value creation for Audi. Production must be involved right from the initial product cycle in order to move to series production quickly and reliably.”

Peter Mosch, Chairman of the General Works Council of AUDI AG: “For the workforce this project house is an important investment in securing jobs through new business segments and increasing the depth of value added. This visibly symbolizes bridging the gap to electric mobility. And this opens up many opportunities, particularly for employees. New vocational qualification profiles and new, highly qualified jobs are being created. We intend to take full advantage of these opportunities. In this respect, the high-voltage battery competence centre will make its contribution.”

The project house for the high-voltage battery technology is located two kilometers from the Ingolstadt plant. Around 100 electronics experts newly hired by Audi specifically for this project work at the facility, which covers 3,500 square meters.

Panasonic is a key external partner and is responsible for supplying the battery cells.

The basic concept behind this competence centre is to promote close collaboration between all the disciplines involved in high-voltage technology. BFFT Gesellschaft für Fahrzeugtechnik GmbH was responsible for the detailed planning of the high-voltage battery project house. Particular attention was paid to safety in terms of using the sensitive equipment. Construction began in April 2010 and was completed in May this year.

The key areas of focus of the high-voltage battery project house include:

The high-voltage (HV) testing area: testing of HV batteries at cell, module and system level
The battery pilot plant facility: prototyping and small-series production of HV battery systems
The design and development of own hardware and software for all components
The development and manufacture of batteries for the Audi R8 e-tron and all Audi A1 e-tron fleet batteries
The name “Audi e-tron” is the Audi brand name for electric mobility. The electric drive and the requisite high-voltage technology constitute an important component of Strategy 2020 for Audi. Audi’s aim is to offer an e-tron model in every segment by then.

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Rob Fraser – General dogsbody & Director Rob is the founder of the business. He constantly mutters something about way too many red wines one evening being to blame. Often known for taking the 4WD in the driveway over the sports car, he has travelled pretty much everywhere in Australia and when he is bored goes for a drive. He first learned to drive on the farm in a left hand drive WW11 Jeep when he was 11, and was hooked on 4WDriving way back then. In addition to 4WD he is an avid motoring enthusiast and has maintained a strong interest in the industry ever since his teens. He has owned way too many cars in his time as well. Having previously lived at the top of corporate life he retired in 2000 and hasn’t put a suit and tie on since. Cars are his passion so why not have a business doing what you love he figures. He has towed either a caravan or camper trailer to most parts of Australia, has run guided tours for camper trailers’ and instructed drivers in off road towing.