Automakers Need to Address New Challenges pertaining to Electric Vehicle Development
The automakers are facing new challenges when it comes to the development of an electric drive system. The current focus is on areas such as fuel consumption, range, considerable charging time, and efficiency of electric vehicles. The range of an electric vehicle is calculated taking into account the energy volume stored in the battery and the total consumption to fulfill the journey. Efficient electrical accessories and their energy consumption are also important factors that are taken into account. This further means that there is a dire need to design a drive system that can fulfill its task with optimum efficiency.
An appropriate design will help optimize space for installation and further compact the electric engine and accommodate the axle. In addition, factors such as performance and torque cannot be neglected as these features provide the driver with driving pleasure.
The geometry of the axle needs to be designed in such a way that there is sufficient installation space for the electric engine to be accommodated inside the axle module. Integrating the engine system with the axel module and also satisfying the need for a high performance gear will remain a challenging task for the automakers. Electric motors can replicate the four-cylinder power output and torque with a twelve-cylinder engine, but the main challenge will be to control the engine noise.
The center of the vehicle is affected by all the adjustments done with respect to the vehicle architecture. Enough space needs to be allocated for the body and underfloor area to accommodate the battery. In the future, for efficient space allotment, the rear and the front end of the vehicle will witness a significant change. In addition, when a compact electric motor occupies the installation space of transmission plus combustion engine, a new concept for crash assessment needs to be developed. There is a need to completely re-invent the vehicle; steering, axles and other components.
The vehicle torque opens new dimensions for electric vehicles. The electric vehicle torque generation phenomenon is based on electric charge and is completely different as compared to the combustion engine or gasoline power car. There is a need to control and limit the torque in a way that the driver and mechanical parts can bear the pressure. The basic configuration should not focus on the acceleration that the mechanical parts and driver cannot bear. At present, Zurich and Stuttgart University are competing in Formula E Competition to achieve the world acceleration record between 0 to 100 km/h. The current record stands at 1.51 seconds. The driver needs to be trained to withstand the pressure and speed and not faint in the ongoing vehicle operation.
At present, electric mobility is still lagging behind with respect to the payment plans for standardized and charging infrastructure. To address this challenge, automakers are collaborating to provide dense charging infrastructure. This will further allow a 75-kilowatt-hour battery to be 80% charged in less than 20 minutes using a 350 kilowatts charger. The innovative payment solutions still need to be standardized across the charging stations by introducing effective payment plans such as monthly payments or mobile phone payments directly for every charging
Within a decade, the range of electric vehicles will be increased by 100 kilometers and in terms of PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle), most of the journey time, that is, approximately 80%, will be covered with the help of electric charge.
There is a need to find a sweet spot between energy consumption and charging time taken. The consumers can compromise on the range if the charging time is lowered and the operational performance is increased. In the future, the consumers will opt for electric vehicles only if they see an advantage in time saved and range covered.