Electric and hybrid electric vehicles

The utilization of electric propulsion systems in passenger and goods vehicles is rapidly increasing with the commercial introduction of plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles (PHEVs and BEVs) to supplement the already robust presence of hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs).

A significant variety of hardware layouts is possible for electric propulsion systems for BEVs, in terms of number of electric motor drives, centrally located or individually controlled (and in this case in-wheel or on-board variants are possible), and mechanical transmission system configurations (e.g. single-speed or multiple-speed).

The number of possible architectures is even larger in the case of HEVs and PHEVs, where the interaction between the internal combustion engine and the electric motor drive is the focus of current research. The range of solutions simulated, assessed and optimised is increased by the possibility of adopting architectures with central or distributed (e.g. one for each electric powertrain) energy storage units, either formed by a battery or the combination of a battery and a supercapacitor.

Moreover, the precise controllability of the torque generated by the electric motor drives can improve vehicle drivability and dynamics.

In this subject area the research of CAE focuses on:

  • Vehicle dynamics control of PHEVs and BEVs with torque-vectoring functionality
  • Novel seamless multiple-speed transmission systems for PHEVs and BEVs and their control
  • Energy management and regeneration in braking
  • Hybrid energy storage systems, consisting of a battery and a supercapacitor

The group is involved in several ongoing European research projects, such as E-VECTOORC, iCOMPOSEAUTOSUPERCAP, PLUS MOBY, FREE-MOBY and SilverStream, dealing with BEVs with multiple drivetrains.

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