The flow of electrons generates heat, and in an electric vehicle battery pack, excessive heat may damage the cells.
In order to keep an electric vehicle battery running at its most efficient and maximize lifespan, an efficient cooling system is necessary. Depending on the design, air flowing over the battery can work, such as in the Nissan Leaf, or water can be used to cool the battery, such as in the Chevy Volt.
A new cooling plate developed by Calsonic Kansei is just 5.5mm thick and is very efficient pulling heat from an electric vehicle battery, which would sit on top of it. The cooling water flows through channels in the plate through a heat exchanger. In an electric vehicle, the heat exchanger could work in conjunction with the vehicle heating system.
In a hybrid electric vehicle, the heat exchanger could work in conjunction with the engine cooling system as well, to reduce the load on the electric coolant preheaters. Either way, the addition of a more-efficient battery cooling plate could reduce the load on the electrical system, realizing longer range and lifespan.