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White PaperTest & Measurement

Development of Driveline Electrification Technologies


How will new powertrain electrification technologies perform as they age? What are the most cost-effective strategies for optimizing each system? And how can further improvements be made through integration of systems and more effective management of their interfaces? If the sale of electric vehicles is to accelerate to meet government and industry targets, these questions must be addressed quickly.

While some vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers have valuable experience with relatively cautious technology levels, vehicles that truly push the boundaries are only just coming to market. To ensure that they continue to meet the expectations of their owners (who are no longer the more tolerant early adopters), most are engineered with a significant degree of caution.

Only by understanding the in-service performance of each system and each component throughout a vehicle’s life can these cautious specifications be transformed into weight savings, packaging improvements, faster charging, extended range and much needed cost reduction.

Adding further complexity is the fragmentation of electrified powertrain technologies, already encompassing from 48 V to 800 V, with a range of approaches to the design and architecture of every system. In every area, innovation is being driven at an unprecedented rate, putting additional pressures on resources, budgets, and timescales. Without rigorous testing at every stage, from research to development to pre-production to manufacturing conformity, the efficiency of development activities is compromised, and innovation becomes a synonym for risk.

The automotive industry has a wealth of experience that provides these insights for conventional powertrains. For electrified powertrains however, much of this roadmap is new and there are sufficient unanswered questions to require a fresh approach. For test engineers, it isn’t just new techniques that are required: it is an understanding of the design challenges, the component interactions and the subtly different drivecycles of these next generation vehicles. Test technologies must evolve at the same breakneck pace as the new EV powertrain technologies, and they must be adaptable to unique, continuously developing requirements.

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