Optimisation of a charging system for small electric vehicles using lithium ion batteries

Electric golf carts and other low speed electric vehicles use lead acid batteries. There are now more than two million low speed electric vehicles operating in North America. Based on lithium ion replacement and demonstration programs carried out by Electra and our partners, there appears to be a strong interest from these industries and other low speed vehicle manufacturers to convert to lithium ion battery packs. A majority of the fleets using low speed electric vehicles in North America have purchased and set up charging infrastructures for their vehicles. All of the chargers currently used are designed for lead acid batteries. If these chargers are used to charge lithium ion battery packs there is a high probability of damage occurring to the lithium ion packs due to an improper charging profile. In this proposal a development plan is presented for the development of a charge optimization system that will allow the continued use of lead acid chargers for lithium ion battery packs. The charge optimization system would work with the lead acid charger and would provide the optimized voltage and current profiles in real time for a lithium ion battery.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. William Dunford


Vanness Shen


Electra Motor Corporation


Engineering - computer / electrical


Automotive and transportation


University of British Columbia



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