Electric vehicles (EV), including plug-in hybrid and extend-range EVs, rely on high power and high capacity batteries, such as lithium-ion batteries, as the main source of propulsion energy. The EV battery technology is progressing rapidly as a plurality of battery designs in cells, modules and packs are emerging on the market. Current EV battery pack assembly is mostly manual and has faced significant challenges in coping with such fast development of automotive batteries. Meanwhile, there is a lack of systematic study on the implications of varieties in battery designs on assembly system. This paper reviews various battery module or pack designs and characterizes them from the assembly process perspective, and discusses their implications with respect to assembly methods, process flexibility and automation feasibility. The associated cost, quality, and safety issues of assembly are also addressed and research opportunities and innovations are discussed. This study can assist in creating guidelines on the development of new generations of battery products that enables highly efficient and responsive battery assembly.

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