GKN creates ‘real time’ test rig for EV development

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GKN Automotive has created what it calls a ‘real-time’ test rig capable of handling the requirements of electric vehicles. The rig, installed at GKN Automotive’s Offenbach facility in Germany, 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 wheelspin and other complex driving conditions. This, GKN states, sets new industry standards for precision and quality control in the testing of electric vehicle components and enables engineers to deliver the lightest, most efficient solutions with no compromise on capability.

Mario Syhre, director, product technology at GKN Automotive, said, “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. 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.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he oversees Automotive Powertrain Technology International and Professional Motorsport World magazines as editor.

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