PARIS Chipmaker Maxim Integrated Products said it is supporting, financially and technically, OptaMotive, a Californian startup that is building an electric vehicle (EV) to compete for a $10m competition for clean, production-capable vehicles that exceed the electric equivalent of 100mpg (MPGe).
OptaMotive said its electric vehicle, dubbed E.Rex, is competing for the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE whose purpose is to inspire a new generation of viable, super fuel-efficient vehicles that offer more consumer choices.
With E.Rex, the startup said it aims to combine fun-to-drive performance (0-60 in less than 5 seconds) with energy efficiency of better than 150 MPGe.
Beside its financial support, Maxim is providing battery-management technology to optimize energy efficiency and control in E.Rex.
OptaMotive is indeed using Maxim's 12-channel battery-monitoring IC (MAX11068) to track voltages in each cell within the noisy automotive environment. Maxim claimed that its patent-pending SMBus-laddered interface allows up to 31 MAX11068s to be connected in series to monitor as many as 372 cells.
"Maxim's battery-management technology was an obvious choice for us," stated Mark Demers, an OptaMotive founder. "It allows us to shed weight and cost while optimizing the charge/discharge characteristics of our 96-cell battery pack. This has yielded incredible results in both driving performance and efficiency."