With great innovation comes
great responsibility.

Technological Transition

For over 100 years the combustion engine has been the center point of vehicle development – and has therefore influenced an entire industry.

The change towards electromobility poses a technological transition for the user, as well as the entire automotive industry. Technical innovations don’t flow directly into the drivetrain anymore, but rather into the traction battery of the vehicle. Through the bidirectional charging system it enables a much more comprehensive utilization than before and can therefore be a deciding factor in the urgently needed energy revolution.

Increasing Raw Material Demand

The growing market for battery electric vehicles is responsible for an enormous demand for lithium-ion accumulators, the accompanying worldwide demand for raw material is rapidly rising.

Along with consumer electronics, the transition towards electromobility is creating another industry with large consumptions of metals such as lithium or cobalt. These are commonly used in the production of glass or ceramics, specifically for superalloys and catalytic converters.

The view from space illustrates the enormous dimensions of the brine pools in Salar de Atacama, Chile. The salt lake encompasses 1,100 km² and contains close to a third of the worldwide lithium reserves.

Photo: Operational Land Imager, NASA.

Precious Raw Materials

Extracted from nature, selected resources are turned into the raw material for the cell chemistry of the batteries. Since these materials are finite and mined with high effort, the efficient use and application must have highest priority.

Aluminium

Copper

Graphite

Nickel

Manganese

Cobalt

Lithium

Raw Material Mining

There are good reasons for criticizing the mining of raw materials like lithium or cobalt.

Lithium is found in the earth’s crust and is obtained through brine and bedrock deposits. During the extraction from brine, water containing the dissolved salts is pumped to the surface and channeled to evaporation pools. Due to the high water usage the groundwater level sinks, posing a major problem for the people and animals of the region.

The value chain of cobalt begins in regions that, in many cases, have a high conflict risk. Currently close to half of the world’s cobalt demand is obtained in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Partially, the cobalt extraction takes place with simple, non-industrial methods in mines where inhumane working conditions prevail.

Our Responsibility

We see ourselves as responsible to be working toward improvements in the supply chain and have therefore incorporated environmental protection and social justice into our purchasing guidelines.

This includes the obligation for our suppliers and contractual partners to uphold human rights, exclude discrimination, combat forced, punitive or child labor and keep the impact of their actions on nature and the environment as low as possible.

Our aim is to make the supply chain transparent in the long term and to improve working conditions in the mining regions in cooperation with our partners, other companies and NGOs.

Architecture

To conserve resources, we use a cell chemistry with reduced cobalt content and a powerful liquid cooling system. For efficient use and maximum lifespan.

Cell Technology

The battery is made up of 192 prismatic lithium-ion cells that are contained in 16 modules. Each cell has a capacity of around 185 watt hours and a nominal voltage of 3.65 volts. The positive pole of the battery has a reduced cobalt content and is composed of nickel, manganese, and cobalt at a ratio of 6/2/2.

Ideal Temperature Control

The longest possible service life with regard to conserving resources can only be guaranteed with a high-performance thermal management. Therefore, the battery has liquid temperature control and can be actively cooled and heated via an integrated base plate. This ensures that each battery cell is kept within an optimum temperature range of 15–35° C at all times. This thermal management also guarantees a consistently high charging performance, even after several rapid charging processes.

Moderate External Temperatures

In case of moderate outside temperatures, such as in spring or autumn, the energy requirement for cooling the powertrain is low. If necessary, the excess heat from the engine can be used for the interior.

Heat Recovery

During cold temperatures the excess heat of the battery and engine can be used to heat the interior. This helps reduce loss of range during the winter.

Heating

Auxiliary heating or rapid heating of the interior is faster due to the liquid heating system than it would be for combustion vehicles. If required, the battery can also be preheated.

Maximum Cooling

During high temperatures, such as in summer or while fast charging, the thermosystem ensures optimum temperature control of the battery cells. By using the air-conditioning system, both the battery and the interior can always be kept cool.

Carbon Footprint

The battery production generates roughly 6 tons of CO₂. For comparison: An air travel from Munich to Bangkok and back emits about the same amount of CO₂.

The amount of CO₂ emissions of a battery are influenced by several factors. These include the origin of the raw materials, but especially the electricity used for the energy-intensive production. All greenhouse gas emissions along the supply chain that cannot be avoided or reduced are fully offset by us.

Efficient Usage

In order to use the battery's resources as efficiently as possible and for the longest possible period of time, the Sion comes with a whole range of important additional functions. The battery capacity of 35 kWh enables a range of 255 kilometres according to WLTP driving cycle, which does not take into account the additional range from solar integration. Ex works integrated sharing systems maximize vehicle utilisation. The battery also functions as a large power storage device and can transfer energy to other electric vehicles and electrical devices via the biSono bidirectional charging system. These functions enable the battery to be used in its entirety over its entire service life.

Lifecycle

After their use in electric vehicles, batteries still have sufficient capacity to serve as energy storage, for example for solar panels at home. In the end, the battery can be almost completely recycled and its valuable resources returned to the cycle.

The depictions provided are intended for illustrative purposes only and do not necessarily reflect the originals.

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