In recent years, electric scooters have been gaining tremendous popularity as an eco-friendly and convenient mode of urban transportation. From commuting to running errands, e-scooters provide a quick and affordable way to get around cities while producing no emissions. According to market research, the global electric scooter market size already exceeded USD 30 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 9.9% from 2023 to 2030 as adoption continues to rise sharply. Key to the performance and safety of these ubiquitous electric scooters are advanced electric scooter BMS.
A BMS is essentially the “brain” within the battery pack that monitors and manages the battery cells. Its core functions include protecting battery cells from operating outside safe voltage and temperature ranges. BMS helps scooters optimize power utilization, balances the charging/discharging of cells, calculates remaining battery capacity, and even detects faults or failures within the battery. This prevents issues like overheating, short circuits, overcharging, etc. Which can lead to explosions and fire hazards. In this blog, we will take a closer look at electric scooters, BMS technology and explore why sound BMS design is fundamental for building safe, long-lasting, and efficient electric scooter batteries. Understanding BMS also provides insights into diagnosing and preventing common electric scooter battery problems.
About Electric Scooter
A. What is an Electric Scooter
Electric scooters, also known as e-scooters, have gained immense popularity as sustainable and convenient modes of urban transportation. Electric scooters have become the transportation of choice thanks to their lightweight designs and electric drive trains that enable quick acceleration and efficiency compared to gasoline vehicles. Unlike traditional scooters powered by internal combustion engines, electric scooters are propelled by electric motors. At their core, e-scooters consist of components like motors, controllers, throttles, and most importantly – batteries.
Electric Motor: At the heart of the electric scooter, the motor converts electrical energy from the battery into mechanical energy to drive the scooter forward.
Controller: Responsible for managing the power flow from the battery to the motor, the controller regulates speed and ensures efficient energy utilization.
Throttle and Brake System: Similar to traditional scooters, electric scooters are equipped with a throttle for acceleration and a brake system for deceleration and stopping.
Battery Pack: The power source for electric scooters, batteries store and provide the energy needed for the electric motor. Scooter BMS battery packs can vary in type, such as lithium-ion or lead-acid, and capacity, influencing the scooter’s range and performance. High-capacity, durable, and efficient battery packs are the heart of electric scooters. They supply power to the central motor which enables the scooter to drive forward. The battery also powers auxiliary electronics like displays, lights, and computing. With sufficient power reserves in the batteries, e-scooters can achieve faster speed, longer range per charge, and better overall performance.
By optimizing an E-scooter’s battery technology for metrics like energy density, cell durability, and rapid charging capacity, manufacturers can create longer-lasting batteries with smaller form factors. As batteries account for around 30% of overall scooter weight and substantial cost, advancements around efficiency and technology are key to lighter, affordable e-scooters with improved speed and range. This is where an intelligent Battery Management System steps in to ensure batteries operate smoothly, safely, and to their full potential.
B. Importance of Battery Efficiency for Optimal Scooter Performance
The efficiency of the battery plays a pivotal role in determining the overall performance of an electric scooter. Key considerations include:
Energy Conversion: Efficient conversion of electrical energy to mechanical energy minimizes energy loss and enhances the scooter’s performance.
Charging and Discharging Rates: Battery efficiency is influenced by how quickly it can charge and discharge energy. Efficient batteries support faster charging and longer operating times.
Temperature Management: Maintaining optimal operating temperatures is crucial for battery efficiency. Overheating can lead to reduced performance and a shorter battery lifespan.
Longevity: A high-performing battery contributes to the scooter’s longevity, providing a consistent and reliable power source over an extended period.
Understanding the significance of battery efficiency underscores the importance of implementing advanced technologies such as Battery Management Systems (BMS) to optimize and safeguard the performance of electric scooters.
Why Use Scooter BMS for Your E-scooter
A. What is BMS on Electric Scooters
A Battery Management System (BMS) serves as a vital component in monitoring, controlling, and protecting the battery in electric vehicles or other electronic devices. Its primary role is to guarantee that the battery operates within safe limits, preventing overcharging, over-discharging, or any potential damage.
While BMS is a standard feature in various electronic devices, its role in electric vehicles is multifaceted. It functions as an integrated system, continuously monitoring the battery pack and individual cells to identify, address, and optimize the vehicle’s performance in response to voltage and temperature-related issues. This system collects data regularly to ensure seamless operation and optimal energy utilization.
The BMS encompasses several functions categorized into the Safe Operating Area (SOA), State of Charge (SoC), and State of Health (SoH) for the battery. State of Charge provides a short-term evaluation of the battery’s energy usage before requiring a recharge, while State of Health focuses on the battery’s long-term performance and lifespan since its inception. The Safe Operating Area is paramount, ensuring the BMS employs active and passive temperature control mechanisms to keep the battery pack within the prescribed limits.
B. Key Functions of BMS
In the realm of scooter BMS, the parameters of Safe Operating Area (SOA), State of Charge (SoC), and State of Health (SoH) play pivotal roles, particularly in optimizing the performance of electric scooters.
Safe Operating Area (SOA):
The SOA is a critical aspect of the BMS, ensuring that the electric scooter’s battery operates within safe limits. This involves monitoring and controlling both voltage and temperature levels. Active and passive temperature control mechanisms are employed to prevent the battery from operating outside its designated temperature range. By doing so, the BMS helps maintain optimal conditions for the battery, ensuring its longevity and sustained performance.
State of Charge (SoC):
SoC is a measure of the remaining energy in the battery relative to its full capacity. For electric scooters, accurate SoC monitoring is crucial for providing real-time information to riders about the remaining range before a recharge is needed. BMS continually assesses the SoC, enabling riders to plan their journeys more effectively and reducing the likelihood of unexpected power depletion.
State of Health (SoH):
SoH is a long-term assessment of the battery’s overall health and performance. In the context of electric scooters, where battery life directly impacts the vehicle’s reliability and cost-effectiveness, SoH monitoring is indispensable. The BMS keeps track of the battery’s degradation over time, helping users gauge when a replacement might be necessary. This proactive approach ensures that electric scooter owners can optimize the lifespan of their batteries and make informed decisions about maintenance or upgrades.
Drawbacks of Not Using a BMS in An Electric Scooter
Lack of Overcharge and Over–discharge Protection: Without a BMS, the battery has no protection against overcharging or deep discharging, which can lead to cell damage, capacity loss, and reduced battery lifespan.
No Cell Balancing: A BMS actively balances the charge of all cells in a battery pack to prevent individual cells from becoming overcharged or undercharged relative to the rest. Without balancing, some cells will fail prematurely.
No Thermal Management: BMS monitors battery temperature and modulates current flow to prevent overheating. Without thermal oversight, the battery is at risk of temperature-related damage or failure.
Inability to Accurately Gauge State of Charge and Health: With no monitoring chip, there is limited visibility into the battery’s state of charge or overall health, making it difficult to prevent issues before they cause operational failures.
Increased Safety Hazards: Lack of critical safeguards managed by BMS software and hardware significantly increases the risk of overcurrent, short circuit, overtemperature, and other dangerous faults.
Overall Lower Reliability: The battery vulnerabilities listed above ultimately lead to reduced reliability, performance issues, shorter operating life per charge, accelerated degradation, and higher failure rates.
The importance of BMS becomes even more pronounced when considering the broader landscape of electric scooters. After we delved into the electric scooters, we learned that the pivotal role played by Battery Management Systems (BMS) in augmenting their functionality. As explored in the discussion, BMS acts as a guardian for the heart of the electric scooter—the battery. By balancing cell voltages, ensuring optimal charging and discharging, and implementing safety measures, BMS becomes the linchpin for enhanced battery performance, safety, and overall efficiency.
MOKOEnergy’s commitment to innovation and excellence in battery management technology positions it as a key player in shaping the future of electric mobility. With a focus on balancing cell voltages, optimizing charging and discharging processes, and implementing cutting-edge safety measures, our BMS solutions stand out as a hallmark of reliability and performance. You can talk to our experts for more information about BMS OEM&ODM services.