All BEV Components Must Be Designed At Same Time, Says Engineer

Automakers will not solve the problem of high BEV production costs without an integrated design strategy, says a UK engineering company.

Drive Systems Design claims it can suggest ways to reduce costs of building a BEV by designing the car’s powertrain “holistically”. In a white paper by the company’s Dr Michael Bryant, Gearing up for lower cost electric drives: accelerating the development of optimal electrified powertrain architectures he bases the claim on reducing overall costs without concentrating solely on single components.

Speaking at the 32nd Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS32) Bryant told TU-Automotive:  “The idea is that you don’t just take this inverter, this transmission and this motor and suddenly, they’re going to be the optimal powertrain design solution. Instead, they should be designed in unison to come up with the best possible design, which should also reduce the cost overall.”

Bryant explained that, by putting resources and energy into reducing the cost of one individual component, the cost of other components can rise because those components will need additional development to work with the others. If manufacturers don’t design the entire system “in unison”, as Bryant called it, they risk increasing the cost above what it would have been originally.

“Ultimately, we’re trying to make sure that manufacturers are not saying ‘this motor costs less’, while shoving that cost somewhere else. The motor development cost might be reduced by, say, 10% but then the transmission cost rises by 15% or 20%. That’s what we’re trying to avoid.”

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