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Industry Insight: Electric Drive Systems Powered by Simulation

Tuesday July 26, 2022 at 12:00pm

It's no surprise that electric cars are defining the next era of the automotive industry. Because of this, car manufacturers now need to navigate new challenges, such as the need to maximise the power of electric motors while reducing their mass and electromagnetic losses. 

There is a sense of urgency, with businesses under increasing pressure to compress the electric vehicle industry maturity into 10 years, which is a stark change following the 100 years it took to develop the combustion engine. 

The Need to Evolve

The care for the environment is not just a hot topic. It has reached a phase where public authorities are deploying regulations to limit the carbon footprint of vehicles. Car manufacturers are now facing unprecedented challenges. In Europe, where vehicles generate around 12% of total carbon dioxide, we saw a decrease in emission targets on new cars from 130 to 95 grams of CO2 per km in 2021. OEMs will have to pay high fines if they are unable to reach that goal. Knowing that, they invest in electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) as a way to compensate for cars with high CO2 emissions – typically SUVs that meet rising demand and generate high profit margins.

Now green motives are turning the wheel. Auto makers have to reinvent electric powertrain and make it suitable for modern cars. Expectations are high: customers demand the same level of price, performance and comfort in EVs and traditional vehicles. The key challenge consists in maximising the electric motor power and torque while reducing the motor mass and electromagnetic losses.


The Power of Simulation

In light of these challenges and increasing pressures to adapt and innovate quickly, businesses must embrace digitalisation as rapidly as possible to speed up the cycles of electric drive improvement. Digital transformation allows companies to switch from drawing boards to virtual prototyping and validation. Engineers now need to understand the physical behaviour from molecules, cells and battery packs considering various parameters such as temperature, weather, aging or thermo-electrical losses. Simulation plays a starring role in this respect, by allowing engineers to analyse:

  • Electromagnetic performance of the electric motor to optimise power density.
  • Noise & vibration performance of the full system to offer a better acoustic experience and increase durability.
  • Lubrication and cooling performance to improve operating efficiency.
  • System-level behavior to understand driving cycles performance and impact on other sub-systems.
  • Strength and stiffness performance to ensure the structural integrity of the system.


Level-Up with Electric Drive Simulation on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform

Using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform changes the way simulation is used throughout organisations. 

On the one hand, it provides the advanced technologies that analyst communities use to validate detailed designs. 

On the other hand, it connects simulation to requirements, such as design and manufacturing data, thus establishing a “single source of truth” and closing the gaps between project participants. Automakers and suppliers can collaborate on one platform to design better electric drive systems. 



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