Electric Vehicles

Sandia develops technology for electric vehicles and their supporting infrastructure. Our research advances battery safety and materials, power electronics, vehicle charging technology, and grid integration.

Battery Safety and Materials

Sandia engineers demonstrate how a drop tower built by Sandia abuses batteries to understand how the lithium-ion cells respond to different types of stress.
Sandia engineers demonstrate how a drop tower built by Sandia abuses batteries to understand how the lithium-ion cells respond to different types of stress.

Battery safety is a critical factor to battery technology’s widespread adoption in the electric vehicle marketplace. Any safety issues resulting from poorly designed vehicle batteries could destroy consumer confidence in plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs). Sandia’s decades of experience in applied materials R&D, systems engineering, and abuse testing assists industry in implementing advanced, science-based safety features that can avoid such incidents.

Sandia’s goal is a science-based understanding of electrochemical atomic/molecular processes that is connected with the macroscopic response of packaged batteries to mitigate safety concerns, extend battery lifetimes, and increase battery efficiency through three coordinated thrusts:

  • Large-scale battery testing to measure critical thermochemical and thermophysical response phenomena that can provide detectable signatures of end-of-life degradation mechanisms,
  • In-situ nano-scale characterization to gain an atomistic understanding of these mechanisms, and
  • Multi-scale modeling, building predictive models linking atomistic processes with macroscopic responses.

These thrusts, using commercial materials and systems from industry partners, will enable the predictive simulations of battery performance so critically needed to increase battery material capacity, lifetime, and safety.

Kyle Fenton

(505) 284-3377

krfento@sandia.gov

Power Electronics for Electric Drive Systems

Sandia’s power electronics research focuses on developing and evaluating optimized materials and components including wide-bandgap (WBG) semiconductors as well as dielectric and magnetic materials. Sandia provides simple device prototyping and performance data for power electronics in stressing environments. Also, learn more about how Sandia contributes power electronics research for electrical grid control systems.

Robert Kaplar

(505) 844-8285

rjkapla@sandia.gov

Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

An electric vehicle at a charging station.
An electric vehicle at a charging station.

With increasing number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the road, Sandia researchers are developing cybersecurity threat and grid integration models to accelerate the safe and secure deployment of smart EV charging infrastructure on the nation’s power system. Learn more about Sandia’s research integrating renewable energy and distributed systems.

Summer Ferreira

(505) 844-4864

srferre@sandia.gov