GKN Automotive has created a real-time test rig for the development and testing of electric vehicle driveline components. The rig, installed at GKN Automotive’s Offenbach, Germany, facility, is said to be able to handle the extreme dynamics and higher torque of electrified powertrains, which make conventional load test rigs unsuitable for driveline parts in the latest generation vehicles.
The ‘real-time capable’ unit can test specific load data provided by customers, from small electric city cars to powerful SUVs, and is able to dynamically control speed and torque to replicate wheelspin and other complex driving conditions. This sets new industry standards for precision and quality control in the testing of electric vehicle components.
To correctly set up and execute tests on the new rig, data must be selected and validated by GKN’s Automotive team to establish parameters for the test, and the system must be carefully calibrated during set up to accurately replicate precise load dynamics. By allowing the team to meet exact standards while minimising the weight of components and the amount of material used in their manufacture, the rig is anticipated to deliver significant sustainability improvements to GKN Automotive’s products and, in turn, its customers’ vehicles.
GKN Automotive is already providing eDrive systems to more than two million electrified vehicles across the globe, with core driveline components selected for use in powertrain systems by a number of the world’s leading electric vehicle manufacturers.
“Electric vehicles place different load dynamics on our driveline components and this new rig allows us to accurately reproduce those to achieve an unprecedented level of testing,” stated Mario Syhre, Director Product Technology at GKN Automotive. “Components need to be much stronger to cope with the higher torque and the extra weight of EVs, without increasing significantly in size or weight, and remain as cost-effective as possible. The new rig allows us to accurately replicate the loads on our components, from small electric city cars to the most powerful SUVs, and deliver the lightest, most efficient solution.”