General Motors has announced that it will be the first automaker to use an almost completely wireless battery management system (wBMS) on its upcoming electric vehicles. The system, which is being developed with Analog Devices, will be used to drive the company’s Ultium-powered EVs to market faster, including the Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer EV.

This is achieved by reducing the amount of time needed to develop specific communications systems or redesign complex wiring schemes for each new vehicle. Like its battery and platform technologies, the wBMS system is scalable across GM’s future line-up, covering everything from heavy-duty trucks to performance vehicles.

In current EVs, there are wired connections that run between the EV’s battery packs and the battery management system modules, which help to safeguard the power source. The wBMS system reduces the need for these additional wires and connectors, with each battery pack having its own slave module that communicates wirelessly with a master module.

The slave modules serve to measure various physical characteristics of the battery pack, including voltage, current and temperature of the battery cells. Benefits with the system include a reduction in vehicle weight with less wires and connectors being required, lower manufacturing time and complexity, as well as increased flexibility when it comes to the placement of battery packs.

GM also says that the system can receive new features as they become available, with support for over-the-air (OTA) updates provided by its Vehicle Intelligence Platform. The company adds that its wBMS system is protected by cybersecurity measures, including protection of wireless communications.

“Scalability and complexity reduction are a theme with our Ultium batteries – the wireless battery management system is the critical enabler of this amazing flexibility. The wireless system represents the epitome of Ultium’s configurability and should help GM build profitable EVs at scale,” said Kent Helfrich, executive director of global electrification and battery systems at GM.