Automobile industries worldwide are actively engaged in the development of electric cars. Taiwan is in urgent need of developing and acquiring relevant technologies to keep up with this trend. The battery module and power system are two critical aspects of electric car design. To support NCKU’s research on and integration of electric car technologies, E-One Moli Energy Corp., a leading lithium ion battery provider, recently donated 2000 high-power lithium ion batteries, which are equivalent to those employed in the Tesla Model 3, to be used for cross-disciplinary research and tests. In so doing, E-One expects to enter into industry–academia collaboration with NCKU, facilitating an upgrade to their technologies and accelerating the development of the domestic lithium ion battery industry.
NCKU and E-One held a press conference to announce their collaboration on 18, 2020. NCKU also took the opportunity to introduce the Intelligent Platform for Next-Generation Critical Vehicle Power Drive Module Design Integration, which is jointly directed by NCKU and China Steel and is a project under the second phase of the Great Industry–Academia Alliance Project. The platform is expected to play a crucial role in Taiwan’s development of essential electric car technologies. Additionally, NCKU briefly indicated their directions for future collaboration with relevant industries in the development of electric cars, an endeavor in which E-One is expected to play a substantial role.
In her speech at the press conference, President Dr. Huey-Jen Su expressed her gratitude toward E-One and indicated that NCKU has the cross-disciplinary research and integration capacity necessary for the development of electric car technologies. She further indicated her wish that the industry–academia collaboration would improve citizens’ quality of life, a long-held goal of NCKU for Taiwanese industry and society. The General Manager of E-One, Mr. Casey Shiue, followed by indicating that—in view of the gradual depletion of traditional fossil fuels, the pollution they cause, growing global awareness of environmental protection and renewable energy, and emerging interest in electric vehicles—he was pleased that E-One would have the opportunity to contribute to the development of relevant industries in Taiwan by offering its products for the research of NCKU.
The 2000 batteries from E-One, which are sufficient for one electric car, considerably lower the cost of the project. According to Professor Hsi-Sheng Teng of the Department of Chemical Engineering, because an electric car requires high-power battery modules, its chassis is almost entirely occupied by battery piles, which account for more than 30% of the cost of the entire vehicle. Presently, all major car manufacturers are busy developing their own battery power systems to gain an upper hand in the market. In terms of the integration of key technologies, the integration of battery modules with the power system is crucial to producing a vehicle with high endurance, accelerative power, and safety.
The Academia–Industry Technology Development Alliance Project (also known as the Great Industry–Academia Alliance Project), which is jointly sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Economic Affairs, has a mode of operation that can be summarized as follows: industry proposes a problem, and academia solves it. NCKU and China entered into collaboration in the first phase of the Great Industry–Academia Alliance Project, the Next-Generation Steel and Relevant Green Processing Methods and Innovative Product Application Industry–Academia Collaboration Project, from August 2013 to September 2018. The second phase, the Intelligent Platform for Next-Generation Critical Vehicle Power Drive Module Design Integration project, began in October 2018.
The general coordinator of the second phase of the Great Industry–Academia Alliance Project, Professor Mi-Ching Tsai of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, NCKU, indicated that the Intelligent Platform for Next-Generation Critical Vehicle Power Drive Module Design Integration project covers a wide range of disciplines and domains, including high-grade electrical steel, self-adhesive polymeric resin coating, high-performance traction motors, high-performance energy systems, intelligent transmission control, artificial intelligence, and cloud technology. The objective of the project is to establish Taiwan’s ability to design the power assembly of electric vehicles. In the Great Industry–Academia Alliance Project, the artificial intelligence computation and analysis capacity of the National Center for High-Performance Computing have also been employed in the optimization of battery performance monitoring and energy/power module integration.
E-One Moli Energy Corp. is an international enterprise specializing in the manufacturing and marketing of rechargeable lithium ion battery cells, and it has research and development and technical support centers in Taiwan and North America that support clients globally. Furthermore, it is the primary battery supplier of Dyson Ltd., a British technology company. E-One is highly experienced in the research and development of battery packs for electric cars and electric bicycles.