Market leaders in the e-mobility revolution will be determined by the speed and efficiency of their innovations, writes Pepi Maksimovich
The adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is growing. In 2021 alone, the UK’s roads were 76% higher than in 2020, and in 2022 this figure is expected to grow even more. The trend is ubiquitous: Europeans bought more electric cars than diesels in December 2021, while more than 21% of new cars sold in Europe and the UK this month were powered solely by electricity.
Even in motorsport, known for its sophisticated performance requirements, cars can now drive on tracks with powerful electric motors such as the Porsche 99x Electric, the Porsche Formula E. Many car manufacturers even test ideas and models on Formula E racing cars before running on consumer EV. With the help of simulations, engineers can test the battery, power electronics, engine and controls, all in a completely virtual environment.
Electric machines can provide many benefits to the environment, but key challenges remain in production, massive bottlenecks in supply chains, cost and common misconceptions of consumers. For example, potential buyers in the UK are concerned that EVs do not have the stock of batteries to travel long distances or do not charge quickly enough. There is also the issue of price, especially in a depressed economy, but the steady decline in battery prices, accelerated by simulation, affects the overall and operating costs of many top EVs.
Simulation enables engineers to understand how vehicles will respond and behave in real-world scenarios, reducing the need for carbon-intensive and expensive physical testing
These unusual design issues related to electrification require similarly extraordinary solutions, and with the UK’s bold goal of phasing out new petrol and diesel by 2030, the shift to electric vehicles driven by innovative technology strategies will have a solution. value for these modern and additional ambitious net zero goals. To achieve these climate goals, manufacturers are required to constantly improve all components of their cars, from energy consumption in the cabin and the experience of driving to the battery. But due to the fact that consumers are constantly weighing things like the availability of charging infrastructure, charging speed and high purchase prices, there remains a gap in trust between manufacturers and consumers when it comes to EVs.
Engineering modeling is one way to meet the design requirements that will determine a successful race in the EV market, and market leaders in the EV revolution must ensure the speed and efficiency of their ability to produce EVs for the mass market. How can simulation be used to break down EV error barriers?
Break the bank? Weighing the cost of EV
The initial cost of buying an EV is higher than cars with an internal combustion engine, but the price tag can be reduced through improvements and innovations. The answer lies in the use of powerful and comprehensive engineering simulation software that allows engineers to research and predict how batteries, components, and entire systems will work (or fail). Importantly, simulation enables engineers to understand how vehicles will respond and behave in real-world scenarios, reducing the need for carbon-intensive and expensive physical testing. By replacing physical testing with virtual testing on a computer, automotive companies are significantly accelerating the pace of technological innovation, implementing improved productivity and processes, reducing the risk of product failure, and saving costs.
Simulation allows engineers and designers to view products, or in this case EV, with X-ray vision. Figuring out how a car will respond in physical scenarios without requiring a physical prototype provides visibility for a much larger number of situations, such as compliance and road safety environments that may not have previously been used for production teams. Automakers can accelerate innovation strategies and bring cars to a highly competitive and profitable electrification market faster, with higher quality and lower costs. In addition, accessibility, especially in new technologies, is fundamental to wider use.
Can EVs provide battery power and power for travel needs?
One of the biggest consumer concerns around EVs is the notion that they don’t have enough power to provide drivers with confidence while traveling, also known as alarm range. However, many players believe that you need to change your mindset and that EV is very similar to a mobile phone, smart watch or headphones that owners charge every night. Of course, electric cars give a huge advantage in eliminating the need to spend time to find a local gas station, wait in line for a gas station and pay fast fuel prices.
It is important that engineers and automakers are constantly striving to provide a more continuous experience and travel for new vehicles, and EV manufacturers are working to provide owners with charging times that are competitive with traditional fuel stops. Accelerating product design and early market entry with an innovative product provide competitive and branding advantages. Not only that, but modeling can lead to much higher reliability, which means lower warranty costs and damage to car brands.
EV battery overload: what’s next?
With all the millions of electric vehicles appearing on the roads, the main problem arises in what to do with EV batteries at the end of their life, as well as in the possibility of a circular economy when it comes to batteries. Although EVs do not emit CO2 into the atmosphere through exhaust emissions, discussions continue on how to manage the surrounding battery footprint, including how to dispose of them responsibly. Currently, the world lacks the technology to recycle EV batteries on a large scale, less than 5% lithium-ion batteries recycled as a whole.
Many existing processes need to be reviewed and redesigned to meet the ambitious zero goals
Batteries for EVs are sophisticated, advanced engineering functions and consist of a large number of cells, modules and packages. Engineers are forced to incorporate a large number of design innovations into the battery to improve its overall performance in terms of thermal management, safety standards, structural reliability to full integration, and try to make batteries as compact as possible to minimize space. to occupy. Because of this it can be very difficult to make recycling possible and add to the circular economy cycle. Why? EV parts are made up of densely crafted parts and components, making it difficult and time consuming to disassemble many complex parts. Automation and robots can help with this by using simulations to test processes. Another solution is to make the batteries as durable and green as possible. Designing for longevity is key to achieving a circular economy at some point.
The transformation of EV is very convincing: bold and ambitious statements about the mission of leading car brands are backed by huge investments. The global economy is moving to clean renewable energy with portable solutions for energy storage in all major technology sectors. However, many existing processes need to be revised and redesigned to bring them in line with ambitious zero targets, as well as with increased consumer demand for products that are best for the planet and humans.
EVs are still concerned in the UK and Europe. From consumer fluctuations of relatively higher cost when initially buying a car, to concerns about the range and recyclability of the EV battery. Many of these critical challenges in improving EVs can be overcome with engineering simulation software to test a large number of advanced real-world vehicle scenarios that could otherwise be expensive, time-consuming, and difficult to implement with physical prototyping. Automakers and suppliers have a great responsibility to meet zero-value commitments, as well as the ability to work together and collaborate to deliver cleaner, greener, more sustainable vehicles that are better for the planet and people.
About the author: Pepi Maksimovich is the director of application development Ansys