A battery system includes a load bearing structure having battery cells, or structures formed by battery cells, and at least one mechanical switch, and an electrical connection coupled with the battery cells of the load bearing structure. A battery has a rate-sensitive component that is configured to deform into a first state to provide a first reaction force under a mechanical loading of a first magnitude. The rate-sensitive component is configured to deform into a second state to provide a second reaction force under a mechanical loading of a second magnitude.
FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
 The invention was made with government support under DE-AR0000396 awarded by the Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in this invention.