Handling EV Complexity

Although there has been a spate of introductions of electric vehicles at the Frankfurt Auto Show, one thing that is not necessarily apparent to those who don’t have to develop these cars is that it is not just a matter of swapping out an internal combustion engine with a motor and high-powered batteries, but a fairly complex electrical engineering exercise to make the vehicles operate in a transparent manner.

Although there has been a spate of introductions of electric vehicles at the Frankfurt Auto Show, one thing that is not necessarily apparent to those who don’t have to develop these cars is that it is not just a matter of swapping out an internal combustion engine with a motor and high-powered batteries, but a fairly complex electrical engineering exercise to make the vehicles operate in a transparent manner. Or, in other words, being like a “regular” car is one of the objectives.

Mitsubishi Motors had previously announced its i-MiEV electric vehicle. And think about the complexity of making five dedicated electronic control units work together. i

So the company—as it has in engine development for internal combustion engines, by the way—deployed a hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) simulator for ECU testing from dSPACE. According to Dr. Hayafune, vice corporate general manager, MiEV Development and Development Engineering Office, Mitsubishi Motors, “Because it was possible to automatically and thoroughly run test patterns, we detected software bugs that could not be detected with conventional testing. Thus the simulator played an essential role in the development of our electric vehicle.”

 

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