Article | Guide

What's in an EV battery?

017 May 2023

From minerals to modules…a look at the components that come together to create one of EV’s most important aspects

What is an EV battery made of?

An average EV battery is made up of a mix of different minerals—and uses a similar component to your smart phone, known as a lithium-ion. While the composition of a battery may vary according to manufacturer, as an example, an EV battery might include the following mix of minerals:

  • Graphite (28.1%)

  • Copper (10.8%)

  • Cobalt (4.8%)

  • Aluminium (18.9%)

  • Steel (10.8%)

  • Lithium (3.2%)

  • Nickel (15.7%)

  • Manganese (5.4%)

  • Iron (2.7%)*

How is an EV battery made?

An EV battery is made up of modules which, in turn, are made up of multiple cells. Each individual cell is at the core of an EV battery, and there are typically thousands packed together. Cells are arranged into modules, which are then assembled to go into the battery. The EV battery then consists of a collection of modules.

EV batteries can measure up to a few metres long and weigh several hundred kilos. As they are heavy, they are typically put in the chassis of the car in what is known as a ‘skateboard’ configuration, along the centre column, or under the front seats in existing, unused space.

What are the main functions of an EV battery?

There’s a lot that and EV battery needs to do. While every driver is likely to have different preferences when selecting an EV, it’s likely that many will want a battery that can store a lot of energy, and recharge quickly. Similarly, drivers might want an EV battery to last for a long time and be able to cope with different environmental conditions, such as extreme heat or cold.

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