EVs bring tough new tests to vehicle development

Swapping a conventional engine with a battery powertrain requires many new processes to ensure safety, performance and reliability. By Freddie Holmes

The rise of electric vehicles (EVs) has shaken up the automotive industry, from the way vehicles are made and sold to how they are tested and validated. And crucially, EVs are no longer governed only by conventional automotive standards, but also by electrical industry standards.

Special report: Electric vehicle testing and validation

With passengers seated above large, high-voltage battery packs and a slew of electrical systems, extreme caution has been taken to address the risk of electrocution or the breakout of a fire. This might be in the event of a crash, aggressive driving that causes overheating, or even rough roads that vibrate the battery.

Range anxiety, charging speed and battery degradation are also key considerations. Much of this comes down to energy efficiency, with the aim of doing as much as possible with as little as possible. Yet at the same time, expectations around performance and drivability do not go away. Both suppliers and automakers run extensive tests to refine how comfortable—and fast—an EV drives. Ensuring repeated high-speed acceleration without overheating is critical.

Argonne National Laboratory Nissan Leaf test EV
Over the last decade, electric powertrains have changed the way vehicles are tested

The industry has plenty on its plate when it comes to testing EVs. Engineering consultancies such as Ricardo have been on hand for decades to assist the vehicle development process, and the same goes for e-mobility. Mike Bates is Ricardo’s Technical Lead for Test Operations. Speaking to Automotive World, he

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