This chapter presents an overview of the different types of electric traction vehicles and the characteristics of their batteries. It also discusses battery management of such vehicles and presents specific details for today's traction vehicles. BMSs for electric traction vehicles are significantly different from traditional management systems employed in consumer and industrial products such as laptops, cellular phones, two-way radios, power tools, and portable power products. Electric scooters, bicycles (e-bikes), and motorcycles are the smallest and lightest of EVs and are categorized as light electric vehicles (LEVs) due to the size of the vehicle and the battery. They share many of the characteristics of a full EV but their batteries are often smaller, have simpler components, and require charging from an external power source. Full size electric motorcycles are more similar to full size EVs than to e-bikes and have NiMH or Li-ion batteries due to the higher energy density. Industrial forklifts are used by the material handling industry for warehouse operations and are often similar in size and power requirements to mid and full size EVs. They often use large and heavy Pb-acid batteries for motive force and counterbalancing. A battery management system (BMS) is put in place to ensure that the battery is operated within safe limits and achieves optimum performance over its life. Apart from monitoring, measuring, calculating, communicating, control, and balancing, the BMS can also be constructed by using two basic architectures such as centralized and distributed. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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