Hybrid & Electric Vehicles

DSD’s extensive experience with hybrid and electric vehicles means we can support clients throughout their strategy planning and architecture definition. Once targets are defined, we can provide sized engineering concepts to satisfy those targets.

We understand the background environment in which these decisions are taken: for example 48v architecture is re-emerging as a potentially convenient hybrid solution, free from the safety issues of high voltage systems.

At a detail level, our expertise as systems integrators includes practical experience of such issues as thermal management of the motor and electronics cooling pack, and clutch control development, such as kiss point adaptation.

Supporting strategy

HEVs are challenging and expensive to produce, compared to the base vehicle. DSD helps OEMs develop optimum strategies to migrate HEVs from low to high volume manufacture by using scalable architecture that can be shared across multiple platforms. The objective is to maintain profitability in the end product.

Architecture selection

DSD provides clients with the data to evaluate alternative architectures, based on trade-offs between cost and functionality, identifying any compromises or brand inconsistencies. In particular, we investigate key limitations, such as motor or clutch performance, and how these impact on vehicle targets for cost, weight, NVH, efficiency and CO2 emissions.

A fundamental decision is often the choice between one motor or two. DSD’s experience with powershifting AMTs means we can help clients establish the potential for the most cost-effective overall powertrain architecture that is consistent with vehicle targets.

Hybrid integration

DSD has extensive experience of managing the mechanical, electrical and control systems in HEVs to deliver an effective solution. While system boundaries are useful for enabling many engineers to work in parallel, DSD is able to break down system boundaries to arrive at an optimum result. Successful integration is achieved by managing the interfaces between the systems and configuring key elements, such as clutches, motors, controllers, in the best locations.

Control strategy

The importance of the mechanical aspects of HEV system integration, such as packaging, thermal management and NVH, are self-evident, but the control strategy is an equally key aspect.

DSD has particular experience in the control of K0 clutches for engine start and disconnect: a vital part of successful HEV operation. Our clutch characterisation rig allows the detailed study of clutch and actuator dynamics, and friction characteristics. The data generated is used to populate unknowns in the control model, leading to better understanding and a more optimal end result.