Introduction to Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Battery Systems C0626

Introduction to Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Battery Systems C0626

Driven by the need for lower emissions, better fuel economy and higher efficiency, hybrid vehicles are appearing in many different configurations on today’s roadways. While the powertrain components such as the drive motor, motor controller and cooling system are somewhat familiar to the automotive industry, the battery systems are a relatively unfamiliar aspect. This seminar will introduce participants to the concepts of hybrid vehicles, their missions and the role of batteries in fulfilling those requirements. Battery topics including limitations, trends in hybrid development, customer wants and needs, battery system development timelines, comparison of electrochemistries and safety will be examined. Current offerings, cost factors, pack design considerations and testing will also be reviewed.

Students will have an opportunity to perform a battery pack analysis exercise using a real world application and are requested to bring a calculator to class.

Learning Objectives

By attending this seminar, you will be able to:

  • Capture customer wants and expectations of the battery system
  • Identify factors that drive power and energy requirements
  • Determine test program structure
  • Compare and contrast the newest relevant battery technologies
  • Calculate estimates of electric range and quantify the assumptions
  • Critically assess media claims of new battery discoveries

Who Should Attend

This seminar is primarily intended for vehicle systems engineers, battery system integration engineers, testing engineers, electrical engineers and thermal management engineers recently assigned to their roles or returning to hybrid or electric vehicle programs. It will also be beneficial to those involved in the specification, design, development, testing and planning of hybrid vehicle programs. Product planners and program managers will find the overview aspects helpful.


Material presented will be practical in nature with basic mathematics used to describe quantitative measures. An undergraduate degree in electrical or electromechanical engineering will assist in gaining maximum benefit from the material presented. Experience or training in battery electrochemistry is helpful, but not essential.

You must complete all course contact hours and successfully pass the learning assessment to obtain CEUs.

Course Outline


  • Terminology, Definitions and Conventions
  • Brief Review of the Hybrid Market
    • Market drivers and expectations
    • Market influences
    • Competing technologies
    • Customer expectations
  • Review of Common Vehicle Product Offerings (battery descriptions, power, technology, size, architecture)
  • Fundamentals
    • Fossil fuel vs. hybrid vs. electric
    • Source ragone plot
    • Efficiencies, weights
    • Cost of fuel (fossil vs. electrons)
  • Role of Battery
    • ICE vs. electric systems
    • Energy vs. power
    • Expectations over vehicle lifetime
  • Product Liability / FMEA
  • Battery Development Cycle
    • You don’t know what you don’t know!
    • Why does it take so long and cost so much?
  • Cost Factors
    • Scope of product: system vs. cells vs. sticks
    • $/kW vs. $kWh
  • System Considerations
  • Electrochemistry Selection
  • Safety
    • Advance planning for safety tests
    • Thermal runaway
    • String configuration (series, parallel)
  • Range Estimation (hybrid vs. electric)


  • Real-life Battery Analysis Exercise (using a contemporary vehicle as an example)
  • Battery Pack Design Considerations
  • Failure Modes
    • Wear-out
    • Power and energy degradation
    • High resistance / open circuit
    • Controller / signal malfunction
  • Vehicle Trends
    • Plug-in hybrid
    • Battery electric
    • Demanding applications
    • Fuel cell hybrids
  • Battery Trends
  • Battery Warranty
  • Battery Recycling


Mr. Erik Spek is an advisor and seminar leader for battery and cell manufacturers, vehicle OEMs and utility grid users of energy storage systems. He is also a consultant in the field of energy storage systems focusing on applications, verification testing, cell and battery production facilities safety and sodium ion battery development. His industrial work has been with GE, Black and Decker, ABB, Magna International and ThinkCoulombic Inc. Battery technologies development has included NaS, Zebra, NiMH and Li-Ion.  Mr. Spek is co-holder of a patent for next generation sodium metal chloride architecture for low cost and high energy density. He has authored articles on Weibull statistics for battery life and BEV range modeling and has been active in the battery industry since 1984. Mr. Spek is a member of SAE International and is a Certified Manufacturing Engineer with SME. He received an M.A.Sc. from the University of Waterloo and is a registered Professional Engineer in Ontario, Canada.

Mr. Kevin Konecky recently joined Byton Automotive as Director of Powertrain; responsible for all development and design activities for the high-voltage powertrain. Byton is a newer global company developing an innovative and connected long-range electric vehicle. Recently, as an Energy Storage Systems consultant for Total Battery Consulting, where he’s worked with a number of companies in the field of Energy Storage Systems (ESS) for automotive, stationary and consumer applications. Mr. Konecky has been a career-long proponent of strong product development and validation plans that ensures a robust product for production. Mr. Konecky has worked in the advanced vehicle and battery industry for 20 years at Fisker Automotive, General Motors, EnerDel, Cobasys and Lockheed Martin. Mr. Konecky has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Clarkson University (Potsdam, NY) and a MS in Electrical Engineering from Purdue (IUPUI-Indianapolis, IN).

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