A Eugene-based electric car company, Arcimoto, is partnering with the Oregon Institute of Technology’s Energy Storage Laboratory to develop a cheaper electric vehicle battery with a longer battery life.

The prototypes will be manufactured by Cascade Systems Technology, a Hillsboro company.

Arcimoto, now in its seventh year, has finalized their design with a financial boost from Oregon BEST, an organization that contributes funding to sustainability research. The company's name means "Future I drive."

Arcimoto’s projection is to “develop products that help catalyze the shift to a sustainable transportation system,” according to their mission statement. The Generation 7 EV, Arcimoto’s latest design, will have a swappable battery to facilitate maintenance and upgrading as systems improve.

"We hope this effort will help Arcimoto achieve a competitive position in the market for its own EVs and enable the company to license the new pack design for use in other EV applications such as e-bikes, micro EVs and special purpose EVs like small electric buses," says Oregon BEST President and Executive Director David Kenney.

Oregon BEST has also contributed to Bettery, a PSU energy-storage project, and CSD Nano, an OSU/UO advanced materials energy-efficiency project.

Oregon BEST donated $150,000 to Arcimoto and Oregon Tech to fund an Electrode Tab Welder (a tool used to regulate consistency in battery cells) and the Renewable Energy Engineering Master’s Program, whose grad students are analyzing heat generation and dissipation as well as chemical activity.

Chemical reactions within the battery cells are inconsistent, causing generated heat to concentrate into hot spots that shorten the battery's overall lifespan.

Overheating is an ongoing challenge to EV batteries, which are the most expensive piece of the vehicle. The project will investigate how to eliminate hot spots and efficiently dissipate heat in batteries to improve their lifespan and reduce their cost.

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