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PrintCast Approach for Ultra-Lightweighting of Battery Electric Vehicle Battery Enclosures

Industry Participant:Falcon Lakeside Manufacturing

National Laboratories:Oak Ridge National Laboratory


The rapid deployment of battery electric vehicles (BEV) is transforming the light-duty transportation landscape. Improvements in energy density and reduced powertrain cost have enabled an increasing rate of deployment of BEVs. However, this rapid deployment has relied mainly on traditional manufacturing process and techniques, that are not optimal for BEV production. This CRADA team is poised to address one of these shortcomings through an advanced multi-material processing technology called PrintCast developed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

This team is targeting scale up of advanced lightweight materials for the battery enclosure as a needed area for technology improvement and associated vehicle efficiency improvements through mass reduction in battery electric vehicles. According to the EPA’s light duty trends report, the average weight of a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle in 2021 was 1945 Kg. However, the average BEV weighs nearly 33% more than conventional ICE counterparts, with an average of 2472 Kg. The specific mass increase of a BEV reduces range, increases energy usage, and increases negative externalities like particulate matter emissions from tires and brakes. The upper end of this CRADA teams’ estimation is that if fully deployed PrintCast approaches to BEVs (battery containment structures, multi-material joining, thermal management, and future body-in-white optimization) offer an impressive weight reduction up to 600 Kg per BEV.

This CRADA team will address one of the largest opportunities for BEV weight reduction, the battery enclosure. By demonstrating PrintCast advantages for weight reduction, crash protection/energy absorption, and thermal management in. this single component, we calculate that for an light-duty BEV a 175Kg weight savings (7% of total vehicle weight) will be realized, as compared to the existing enclosure.


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