Electrification is in the air and is everywhere. There’s not a week we don’t hear about a carmaker getting public about a new electric vehicle within a specific segment. If the electrification trend was still questioned a few years back, it is now impossible to deny it. As the New York Times mentions, what was considered as a “Californian-way-of-life” accessory not a long time ago is now entering mainstream. 2017 is considered as the year in which the electric car became inevitable, and even the most skeptical automakers (like Toyota) announced plans to develop battery-electric vehicles. But there are still resistances to dissipate to go for a massive public adoption. In addition to acquisition cost, range anxiety is still a key issue to overcome, even if vehicle brought to the market today easily reach 200+ miles.
There is undoubtedly fun to drive an electric car (it’s quiet, it as an incredible power and torque) but for everyday driving, could we really live with a battery-powered vehicle? With electric cars, no tricks, no cheating possible. Who has never gone out of gas and walked to the next station with an empty bottle of water to make it possible to refill for the 5 kilometers required to reach the “black gold oasis”? I admit, it happened to me. But we definitely cannot use our portable mobile phone battery charger for a car – actually the analogy of being anxious to get out of battery for your phone really rings a bell, so I can definitely start getting what could be the feelings of an e-car owner.
The hilarious blog “My husband’s electric car – Tips for surviving life (and marriage) with a Nissan Leaf” totally addresses those issues – in a very funny way. “My husband and I had an important appointment and dinner planned for last Monday evening. So why did he arrive late? And why, afterward, did we get stuck eating dessert in an empty parking garage at 10:30 p.m.?” Deborah Petersen speaks up on what it is to own an electric car, and addresses charging stations, driving pleasure, life spontaneity, and much more. But electric car drivers just want to have fun, don’t they? So, how can we arrange that?
Range anxiety is a strong point being addressed by car makers and manufacturers. But how to extend range? This is not that simple, and it ends up being a combination of technology and engineering choices. Range is strongly dependent on a variety of factors: the battery chemistry selection, the e-motors performance, the thermal management of electric devices, the choice of material that impact weight, the car design and aerodynamics, etc. It’s not only about the battery itself. And decisions made to improve range need to be balanced with the impact they have on drivability, safety, NVH and design. Adding cells to a battery can improve its power, but it also adds weight that can totally anihilate the benefits of its additional power. It’s all about balance, and this requires to compare hundreds of combinations of different systems, at a component, system and vehicle level. Being able to rapidly analyze what is the best vehicle architecture and what are the best options in terms of systems choices requires new engineering methodologies.
But the good news is, that’s what we do at Siemens PLM Software. We propose simulation and testing solutions covering every aspect of electrification for both hybrid and electric vehicles. We offer a complete, integrated, and accurate digital twin addressing challenges for all aspects of electric and hybrid vehicle engineering – from electric powertrain to electrical/electronic system architecture to vehicle engineering, controls, and embedded software. This not only enables companies to achieve a significant competitive advantage, ROI, and operational performance edge in developing electrified vehicles but also empowers them to adapt and evolve in the fast-approaching era of new mobility. We believe vehicle electrification will play an essential role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and we are committed to support the electrification supply chain with engineering tools and solutions to help develop cars that are affordable, safe, performant and with a comfortable range.
If you want to know more about our solutions for vehicle electrification, you can watch an on-demand presentation where we’re talking about what we do for our customers to support vehicle and system performance engineering in the context of vehicle electrification, and, as an example, how we help them to make range anxiety become something of the past. Watch it, it’s free and fun!