Modular power-train and chassis system for an electric vehicle
Within the framework of the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung’s (BMBF) competition “Key Technologies for Electomobility (STROM)” the project “eMoSys” was developed with partners from the fields of industry and research. This project was divided into two parallel sub-projects. One of which concentrated on developing and building a development tool in the form of a test rig platform for electric vehicle subsystems (sub-project: “eMoFaSys”). The other’s focus was on developing a comprehensive, optimised, and low-cost drivetrain (sub-project: “Low-Cost Drivetrain”). The Institut für Kraftfahrzeuge (ika) at RWTH Aachen University was involved in the “eMoFaSys” sub-project and was primarily responsible for designing and constructing the variable suspension designs as well as implementing a software-based development environment for various controller components that can be adapted to the diverse subsystem configurations.
The test rig platform, that was developed for electric vehicle subsystems and components, comprises of a modular vehicle structure including a variable suspension system and a comprehensive controller development environment containing all of the necessary hardware. The variable full-vehicle test rig has a wide range of adjustability for suspension and full-vehicle parameters as well as a conceptually designed integration capability for various subsystems and technologies which enables subsystems to be tested on test rigs and under real conditions on a test track. The vehicle itself is constructed using multiple modules with standardised mechanical and electronic/electric interfaces which permit several different vehicle derivatives to be produced with corresponding full-vehicle parameters. The three main modules, Front, Middle, and Rear form the basis for the smallest possible vehicle, but depending on the target goal, additional so-called adapter modules can be installed on the middle module as well. The middle module represents the central component of the entire system and contains the vast majority of the hardware for the control environment adjacent to the driver’s seat. In addition to the global vehicle parameters, other subsystem specific variations can be implemented for customising various suspension parameters. Furthermore, it is possible to integrate prototype drivetrain and suspension systems and in particular different controller components for developing potential electric power units for the test vehicle in an early development phase. Through the modular design it is also possible, depending on the application and if necessary, to interchange the entire front and/or rear module and their installed subsystems.