Driven by climate concerns and governmental policies, the end consumer demand for electric vehicles has been on the rise and is expected to continue to grow significantly in the next decades. Despite the compelling advantages of electric vehicles (EVs), the successful adoption of electric vehicles requires automotive manufacturers to address a range of end-consumer concerns. These include high prices, range anxiety, reliable performance, and passenger safety.
These concerns are part of an even wider and complex range of engineering and commercial challenges. The heart of any vehicle is the powertrain, and while internal combustion engines (ICEs) have years of research and development behind them, for hybrid and electric powertrains, the journey has only just begun.
The architecture of an EV powertrain can be understood by distinguishing between three major systems: the battery pack, the electric drive system (or electric motor), as well as various power conversion electronic components (inverter, converter, on-board charger). Key engineering challenges across EV powertrain components include efficient thermal management, integrating electric systems, miniaturization, total vehicle weight reduction, and ensuring safe and reliable vehicle performance. At the same time from a commercial perspective, electric vehicle prices need to be brought down by reducing overall system costs.