Test Rig For Electric Powertrains

| Transport

GKN has built a test rig at its Offenbach facility for performing tests on electric vehicle drivetrains

GKN Automotive has created a new test rig for EV driveline components accommodating differing demands and load dynamics of EVs on driveline components

The drive system specialist company has created a real-time test rig capable of handling the unique requirements of electric vehicles to develop the most advanced, efficient and capable products on the market.

The rig, installed at GKN Automotive’s Offenbach facility, can handle the extreme dynamics and higher torque of electrified powertrains, which make conventional load test rigs unsuitable for driveline parts of the latest generation, such as side shafts.

The ‘real-time capable’ unit can test specific load data provided by customers, from small electric city cars to the most powerful SUVs and is able to dynamically control speed and torque to replicate such phenomena as wheelspin and other complex driving conditions. GKN believes that this sets new industry standards for precision and quality control in the testing of electric vehicle components and enables engineers to deliver the lightest and the most efficient drive trains with no compromise on capability.

With over 20 years’ experience in the design, development and testing of electric vehicle drive systems, GKN Automotive has taken a pioneering approach to analysing how best to design and engineer driveline products for electrified vehicles. It was early to identify that a new testing regime would be required to replicate the different load characteristics of electric motors compared to those of conventional combustion engines.

Engineering Support

The cutting-edge test rig is complemented by GKN Automotive’s high level of engineering expertise, which is crucial to correctly setting up and executing tests on the new rig. Data must be selected and validated by the team to establish parameters for the test, and the system must be carefully calibrated during set up to accurately replicate precise load dynamics.

By enabling the team of engineers and automotive drive train specialists to meet the most exacting standards while minimising the weight of components and the amount of material used in their manufacture, the rig is able to deliver significant sustainability improvements to the company’s products and, in turn, the vehicles of its customers. This results in enhanced EV efficiency and performance, highlighting the importance of the rig in GKN Automotive’s mission to drive a cleaner, more sustainable world.

GKN Automotive has been operating in the field of drive train development for a number of years and 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 most popular electric vehicle manufacturers.

According to Mario Syhre, Director of Product Technology at GKN Automotive, Electric vehicles place different load dynamics on their driveline components and this new rig allows the company’s engineers to accurately reproduce those to achieve an unprecedented level of testing. 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 system,” concludes Syhre.

Jonathan Newell
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