The transport sector is one of the highest emitters of CO2, which is why electric mobility has a clear role to play in supporting the energy transition. However, the battery life of electric vehicles—and the batteries themselves—are among the top drawbacks of soft mobility development. They are expensive, complex systems that are hard to predict.
This is not an inevitability, but rather a great challenge that the German startup TWAICE is trying to overcome with its Digital Battery Twins software! As its name implies, it works using a digital twin. The twin analyses and predicts the operating conditions of lithium-ion batteries for optimal use. The goal is greater reliability, a longer battery life, and a reduced economic and environmental footprint.
Two co-founders with a PhD in mechanical engineering, battery modelling engineers, data scientists, and software developers... TWAICE is teeming with a wide range of engineers!
During our research at the Technical University of Munich, we looked into 2nd life storage solutions and identified the battery condition and remaining lifetime as very important parameters that no one could determine or predict precisely. We then spent the remaining years of our research working on a solution with what became our digital twin approach. Since we also had industry contact and we approached multiple times about commercial projects, we decided to spin-off and launch TWAICE.
Any recent good news?
We were so fortunate to have had numerous good news recently. I think what is most striking is the traction we have already gained. Only a little over twelve months after the formal founding of TWAICE, we already have paying customers from four different industries, portraying the full potential of our solution from power tools to electric trucks and from stationary battery storages to insurance solutions. On top of that, we were able to collect significant funds to grow our company, hire over 24 new and very talented employees, also including several PhDs in battery modelling and having several patents in the application process.
What is the most unexpected thing that your startup has made you do?
The most astonishing things are associated with the maturity of e-mobility and the global scope of the issue. Neither did we expect anyone to actually use the contact form on our website, nor did we expect it to be major European OEMs, huge Latin American bus companies or Chinese e-vehicle manufacturers. Jumping on a quick call with them often meant that you were in a discussion with over ten people at the same time who would straight away jump into deep technical questions with often even quite basic problems. But it is great to see that we are able to build a global client base.
En quoi votre projet révolutionne-t-il votre catégorie ?
We play on a couple of trends in the mobility and energy sector. With electric vehicles driving everywhere and with grids becoming smarter but also more vulnerable due to renewables, batteries become a key asset – and an expensive one! Batteries represent 30 to 50% of the electric vehicle costs (100.000 electric cars result in over 1bn € battery value), but they are complex blackboxes and degrade over lifetime. Our digital twin approach solution combines battery expertise and data. Through an augmentation of empirical-analytical models and machine learning, we are able to predict, simulate and optimize each individual battery’s lifetime.