E-mobility & hybridization: Alternative powertrain technology is gaining ground

The upward trend continues: Electrified vehicle powertrains are becoming increasingly important owing to the demand for sustainable forms of mobility which are low emission, climate-friendly and at the same time affordable for the customer. Interest in hybrid and battery electric vehicles has continued to grow, especially because of their potential for reducing emissions on a local scale.

While these alternative powertrain forms offer many new opportunities, they also present new developmental challenges. Due to the many variants and possible combinations, development issues, such as the definition of powertrain concepts, the optimization of operating strategies as well as system integration and the interaction of control units, are becoming more and more important.

With virtual test driving, we can support you in meeting these growing requirements as well as in ensuring lean development processes despite the complexity.

Simulation-based powertrain concept analysis and assessment

Design and concept studies of hybrid and battery electric vehicles

There are many ways in which the propulsion sources, powertrain variants and energy storage systems of hybrid and battery electric vehicles can be combined. All the greater therefore is the challenge of defining the powertrain concept that best suits the development objectives. The position, design and especially the weight of powertrain components affect many aspects of the vehicle, from driving performance and consumption to emissions right up to vehicle dynamics.

Due to the high level of complexity, testing powertrain concepts with real prototypes is a very expensive and time-consuming process and cannot be carried out until a later stage of development when real components are available. In contrast, our virtual prototypes make it possible to implement your conceptual ideas at an early stage in the process and evaluate them directly in the virtual test run. And not only that: With our test method, you can define the optimum target properties of the individual powertrain components and incorporate the results directly into your development process.

You can use virtual test driving to analyze and assess powertrain concepts in the following ways:

  • The real-time capable powertrain model environment, comprising pre-defined powertrain layouts with variable configuration options and the definition of the operating strategy, allows for a targeted analysis of conceptual ideas – both in various standard driving cycles and in real-world driving situations
  • CarMaker and TruckMaker enable you to make a simultaneous assessment of powertrain concepts and control systems in terms of consumption and driving performance as well as vehicle dynamics (for example, torque vectoring)
  • Detailed mechanical and thermal models can be incorporated via the numerous model interfaces
  • Carry out range tests for hybrid and battery electric vehicles on real routes in the simulation environment

Powertrain model concept in CarMaker and TruckMaker

Developing and optimizing the operating strategy

The operating strategy – the control center of the powertrain

If the driver decides to accelerate or brake their electrified vehicle, this can often be implemented by the powertrain components and the hydraulic braking system in different ways. How exactly this is done is determined by the operating strategy.

The operating strategy is especially important for hybrid electric vehicles as these are frequently propelled by different power sources, enabling the load requirement to be distributed accordingly. Moreover, the braking effect can be achieved not only via the hydraulic braking system but also by switching over the electric motors into generator mode (recuperation).

The driving performance, consumption and emissions of your vehicle can be optimized in various ways by using one or more electrical powertrains to support the internal combustion engine. New modes of operation such as “sailing” with the powertrain disengaged increase the number of degrees of freedom in the operating strategy.

Virtual test driving can be used as follows to develop and optimize the operating strategy:

  • CarMaker and TruckMaker contain operating strategy models along with an intuitive means of inputting data in order to implement different operating strategies efficiently and to assess them in the virtual test run
  • With the CarMaker product family you can reliably define the optimum distribution of the braking capacity on to electric machines and your vehicle’s hydraulic braking system
  • Test predictive systems and use map data (eHorizon) as well as information from the infrastructure (Car2X) or other vehicles (Car2Car) in order to optimize the vehicle’s operating strategy
  • Carry out range tests for battery electric vehicles
  • Customer-specific operating strategy models can also be incorporated using the numerous model interfaces
Test bench tests: engine-in-the-loop

Operating real internal combustion engines with virtual powertrains

There are many ways in which the propulsion sources, powertrain variants and energy storage systems of hybrid electric vehicles can be combined. All the greater therefore is the challenge of defining the powertrain concept that best suits the development objectives. The position, design and especially the weight of powertrain components affect many aspects of the vehicle, from driving performance and consumption to emissions right up to vehicle dynamics.

The engine-in-the-loop method gives you the necessary flexibility to precisely define the suitable powertrain concept – without the need for expensive whole vehicle prototypes. This allows you to operate the internal combustion engine on the test bench with a simulated powertrain and whole vehicle. The powertrain and the whole vehicle can therefore be easily exchanged or modified and the engine can be run in a “virtually electrified” form.

The engine-in-the-loop method is eminently suitable for testing the effect of different hybrid variants on consumption and emissions as you can measure both target values directly on the test bench.

How we can support you in assessing your concept with the engine-in-the-loop method:

  • Use the real-time capable model environment in CarMaker and TruckMaker to model different hybrid powertrain variants and operating strategies directly on the engine test bench using our test bench interface
  • Benefit from our parameterizable driver model and reproducible real driving simulation with online visualization
  • Assess hybrid concepts in terms of real driving emissions with the engine-in-the-loop method on engine test benches
  • Model the effects of the driver on different hybrid concepts during tests
  • Make changes between different vehicle variants and routes quickly and easily
  • Incorporate customer-specific operating strategy models via the numerous model interfaces
Integration and control unit tests

Perfectly coordinated

The smooth interplay of individual components and systems in modern vehicles is becoming increasingly important. This applies not just to the individual powertrain components themselves, for example electric motors or gearboxes. Control of the individual components and the entire system by means of the corresponding control units must also be ensured.

The key to efficient simultaneous development is therefore the integrated development of the different components and systems, with attention paid to interactions and compatibility at an early stage. Of crucial importance here are not only the interactions of subsystems in the powertrain but also the interactions with other vehicle systems such as brakes or the advanced driver assistance systems.

How you will benefit from using virtual test driving in integration and control unit tests:

  • Use the CarMaker model environment of the entire vehicle with its real-time capability for testing the interplay of the different subsystems
  • Our simulation solutions contain all the vehicle and environmental parameters that can be used for control systems and restbus simulation
  • Simulation-based examinations or integration tests on the test bench with real or virtual components and control units can be carried out in the same scenarios and maneuvers

Find more information here.

Brochure CarMaker TestBed
1.04 MB / PDF / 2018 / IPG Automotive/ English
Weather influences and consumption: CarMaker at FZI (Apply & Innovate 2016)
3.43 MB / PDF / 2016 / FZI, Stefan Köhler/ English
Plug-in hybrid bus: TruckMaker at Hino Motors (Apply & Innovate 2016)
3.03 MB / PDF / 2016 / Hino Motors, Ltd., Yujiro Kunibe/ English
Powertrain electrification in the simulation by BEG (Apply & Innovate 2014)
1.57 MB / PDF / 2014 / Bosch Engineering GmbH, Christian Appel/ English
Traffic study of electric bus operation in TruckMaker by KIT (Apply & Innovate 2014)
1.39 MB / PDF / 2014 / Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Manuel Großkinsky/ English
Hybrid powertrain development: CarMaker at JLR (Apply & Innovate 2012)
1.27 MB / PDF / 2012 / Jaguar Land Rover, James Chapman/ English
Hybrid powertrain development: CarMaker at TU Darmstadt (Apply & Innovate 2012)
1.11 MB / PDF / 2012 / TU Darmstadt, Matthias Kluin/ English
Torque vectoring: CarMaker at Lotus Engineering (Apply & Innovate 2012)
5.08 MB / PDF / 2012 / Lotus Engineering, Richard Hurdwell/ English

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