GKN Automotive Develops Real-Time Test Rig For Electric Vehicles

 GKN Automotive is a global leader in drive systems that has created a real-time test rig. The test rig should contain all it requires to test an electric vehicle in terms of function and advancement. The rig also considers sustainability improvements by minimizing the amount and weight of material used during production. 

GKN installed the rig with high torque requirements and extreme dynamics at its Offenbach facility. EVs are expected to control torque and speed in the best way possible to represent wheelspin. It tests specific load data provided by customers, which ranges from small electric vehicles to big SUVs.

This set of new requirements will become standards in testing for precision and quality control on electric vehicles. Engineers are left with no choice but to create vehicular solutions that are efficient and 100% reliable. 

Real-time tests answer the following questions:

  • How much energy is consumed under differing load cycles for a given vehicle?
  • How much energy does a vehicle use?
  • What determines the battery, module, or cell life?
  • How does regenerative braking help? 

A real-time test rig like this helps to answer these questions not only by imagination but by facts and figures. 

The London-based drive system GKN produced this technology from a rich bank of engineering expertise and technical know-how of EVs. Before any test, the engineers must select and validate the parameters to be tested, ensuring that the system is carefully calibrated during setup to represent precise load dynamics.

Knowing there would come a period where validation tests would be necessary, GKN has prepared to create a test rig that will replicate the requirements and then analyze the design and engineer driveline products for electric motors. The condition includes load characteristics of different EVs compared to conventional combustion engines.

‘Electric vehicles place different load dynamics on our driveline components, and this new rig allows us to accurately reproduce those to achieve an unprecedented level of testing. Components need to be much stronger to cope with the higher torque and the extra weight of EVs without increasing significantly in size or weight and remain as cost-effective as possible. The new rig allows us to accurately replicate the loads on the components and deliver the lightest, most efficient solution,’ said Mario Syhre, Director of Product Technology at GKN Automotive.

In line with sustainability, GKN Automotive is providing eDrive systems to more than two million electric vehicles worldwide. Several world-leading electric vehicle manufacturers will utilize its core driveline components. 

About GKN

GKN has led the way in designing and analyzing driveline products for EVs for over 20 years. They are a global company that pioneered electric drive systems, specializing in developing and supplying ePowertrain technologies and market-leading drive systems to EV manufacturers.

The ePowertrain division offers solutions for all electrified vehicles, creating the ultimate electrified driving experience. It can integrate full eDrive systems from its all-wheel drive legacy and leadership. The first eDrive system was fitted to a production car over 20 years ago and now powers over 2 million electrified vehicles globally. GKN Automotive has its headquarters in the UK with 25,000 employees and operations in 20 countries worldwide. 

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