The PowerCo Unified Cell is a vision from VW to simplify it’s battery packs with one cell design that works across more than 80% of it’s products.
When they say design, they actually mean cell format as it appears they are intending on having 3 different chemistries to support the cost / performance trade. Remember that this PowerCo Unified Cell has to work for all of the brands under the VW umbrella.
The split appears to be based on :
- Entry – Cost optimum = LFP chemistry
- Volume – Balanced cost and performance = high manganese chemistry with no cobalt
- Best in Class – Performance optimum = NMC chemistry
VW believe they can reduce the cost of this cell by 50%, achieved by:
- 15% to the cell design
- 20% to the less-costly cathode/anode material mix
- 10% to production process
- 5% to the battery-system “concept” itself
The cell is a prismatic with a tab at each end. The size shown in their presentation  suggests that this is not a “BYD Blade” type of cell.
This design would move the cell to cell busbars to the sides/centre of the pack and the cooling plate to the top/bottom.
Early indications are the cell dimensions  are: 320 x 120 x 30mm. The 120mm height would make the overall pack quite tall if this really is going to be used across all of the vehicle lines.
The presentation has some bold claims, such as Highest energy density:
- Flexibility in chemistry
- High efficiency
- Highest energy density
- Excellent fast charge performance
- Superior safety
It will be interesting to see how the Superior safety is achieved with the Highest energy density. At the moment it’s not obvious where the vent for this cell is located, one end or both ends. If the cell is 320mm then we would expect to see a vent at each end to meet the superior safety claim.
VW expects solid-state batteries to be available around 2025 with a fast charging time that is half that of today’s best in class .
The Audi PPE architecture moves the packs to an 800V system in what is described as a High Volume Industrialised approach.
This shows how the Unified cell will be integrated into a pack design.