Digital optimization can accelerate eDrive development towards a profitable future
The advancement of powertrain technology from the age of the internal combustion engine to the era of Electric Drive, became inevitable with the introduction of strict, mainly environmental, regulations. Consequently, the question facing OEMs, EV start-ups and suppliers is not ‘should we do it’ but ‘how quickly?’ – How can we make our Electric Drive more efficient, powerful, flexible, reliable, sustainable and quieter than our competitors?
It is urgent. The quickest route to development is also the quickest route to profit. And, at a time when most businesses are investing more money than they are making, finding the right route is vital. Hence ‘EVolution’ is not just a matter of survival of the fittest but also of the fastest: businesses that are first to embrace digitalization will speed up the cycles of eDrive improvement – compressing industry maturity into 10 years what took 100 years of internal combustion engine development.
Niche solutions won’t work
One of the biggest challenges is having to retrain engineering teams to design and produce Electric Drives that not only require mechanical expertise, but also electro-magnetic and electronic know-how. How do you get all these specialists – in areas such as Structures, Thermal and Fluids – to work together effectively?
That’s why niche solutions won’t be successful in the Electric Drive era. Instead, the answer is to identify a development platform that will better integrate all EV engineering disciplines and provide strategic performance insights in a holistic way.
You need solutions that enable innovation to achieve a seamless, accelerated transition to electric vehicles and allow businesses to speed up their own development cycles by working smarter. For example, how can a designer of high-calibre geometric models work in parallel with a simulation expert – or perhaps even run part of that simulation themselves?
Winning the race of rapid EVolution
By digitally transforming, an organization can progress from the old physical, drawing board world of design and prototype testing, to the virtual world of digital validation where development cycles are accelerated by combining disciplines and democratizing access. Simulation plays a starring role in that progress. It was an essential part of internal combustion engine progress and will be even more intrinsic to the coming years of electric drive development, making it possible for automakers to compete and survive.
Dassault Systèmes’ framework for multi-discipline Electric Drive optimization uses simulation on the collaborative 3DEXPERIENCE® platform in a more inclusive way than ever before. No longer the exclusive domain of specialists, simulation has undergone a democratization. That’s because Dassault Systèmes has ensured it can be integrated into the entire collaborative process, making it accessible to all.
For Spark Racing Technology, speed was of the essence when the company needed to design, assemble and deliver an electric-powered racing car on time and within budget to all 40 teams participating in the Formula E racing series. It used the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to digitally design and simulate a completely new EV architecture in just two years.
At the other end of the development process, simulation software and digital mockups allow Integral Powertrain to design for manufacturing and identify which suppliers will be used. “It avoids having to go through the learning curve with every motor, because all of that knowledge is captured in the rules-based design,” explained Luke Barker, Technical Director.
Such success stories share a common digital thread: from concept to manufacture, with continuous, end-to-end validation, everything can be accessed by everyone at the same time – designing, evaluating and optimizing in real-time with the same data set – to ultimately reveal, shape and therefore ‘EVolve’ the Electric Drive that customers require and desire.
California startup Canoo is not only reinventing electric vehicles, but also its global business model. With the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud, it shares critical details with more than 150 global collaborators. Concurrent development will ensure that they introduce their first vehicles in 2021, with innovative configurations.
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