China started to set up a major scientific and technological project for “Electric Vehicles” from the “Tenth Five-Year Plan” 863 Plan to develop fuel cell vehicles, hybrid vehicles, pure electric vehicles and related technologies. During the “Eleventh Five-Year Plan” period, a larger-scale “Energy-saving and New Energy Vehicles” major project plan was launched to conduct research and evaluation demonstrations on the technologies of electric vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles. The “Twelfth Five-Year Plan” launched the “Electric Vehicle” major technological industrialization project, emphasizing the adherence to the “Three Vertical and Three Horizontal” strategy: The three verticals are fuel cell vehicles, hybrid vehicles, and pure electric vehicles. The three horizontals are the new energy powertrain control technology, motor drive system and control unit, power battery and management system, referred to as electronic control, motor, and battery.
China’s battery management system for electric vehicles is in a stage of rapid development. In the early days, some universities, relying on their own scientific and technological advantages, jointly carried out research with some large automobile manufacturers and battery suppliers, such as Tsinghua University, Beijing Institute of Technology, Tongji University, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, etc., which have achieved fruitful results. The battery management system provided by Tsinghua University for the EV-6580 light-duty electric bus can measure and monitor the charging and discharging current, voltage and other parameters of the battery in real time during the driving process to prevent overcharging and overdischarging. At the same time, it has also developed a charging system that matches the system. The main functions of the lithium-ion battery management system developed by Tongji University and Beijing Xingheng Battery Co., Ltd. include: current, voltage and battery temperature collection, SOC estimation, automatic balance, accident handling and recording, etc. The main functions of the Ni-MH battery management system developed by Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics include: current, voltage and battery temperature collection, SOC estimation, operating status judgment and protection functions.
At present, China has made great progress in the research and design of BMS and related technologies, and some technologies even exceed the advanced level of other countries. Major universities, vehicle manufacturers, battery manufacturers and third-party BMS companies have designed and produced battery management systems with complete models and functions, and some have been mass-produced. For example, Beijing Jiaotong University has designed and developed a number of high-performance BMSs for Beijing Public Transport Company, Beijing 121 demonstration line, and Beijing Olympic electric buses in the National Electric Vehicle Operation Pilot Demonstration Zone.
After a lot of research and loading tests, BMS has gradually shifted from a single monitoring system to a fully functional management system. However, there are many areas where BMS needs to be improved and improved, such as further improving the detection accuracy, optimizing the communication network, more appropriate control strategies and efficient fault diagnosis and analysis. At the same time, in-depth research is needed to continuously optimize and innovate the charging and discharging control strategy of the battery pack, the equalization function, the establishment of the battery pack model, and the estimation of SOC and SOH. BMS is the core component of new energy vehicles. From the perspective of the market, the main players in all links of the new energy industry chain are participating in the layout. Generally speaking, there are three main types of participants in the Chinese BMS market.
(1) Power battery companies. At present, China’s first-echelon power battery companies are all involved, and most of them are in the “BMS+PACK” model. They have mastered the whole set of core technologies from power battery cells to battery packs, and have strong competitive strength. Representative companies include BYD, CATL, Guoxuan, etc.
(2) Vehicle companies. Vehicle companies have less participation in battery cells, generally through mergers and acquisitions, strategic cooperation, etc., while BMS is the key consideration field for large car companies. China’s auto companies such as Shanghai Automotive Group Co., Ltd. (SAIC for short) and Beijing Automotive Co., Ltd. (BAIC for short) have dedicated R&D teams for BMS research and development; in addition to the mastery of core technology, it is more competitive than other companies in terms of cost and efficiency.
(3) Professional third-party BMS company. At present, China’s third-party BMS companies still occupy a major position. As a professional third-party BMS company, technology accumulation has natural advantages. At present, there are many participants in this type of enterprises, but the technology is quite different. The leading companies in China are mainly Yineng, Hangzhou Gote Electronics, and Kelie.