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August 17, 2022

GKN develops ‘real-time’ test rig for EVs

GKN says rig sets new industry standards for precision testing of EV driveline components

By David Leggett

GKN Automotive 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, it says.

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 wheelspin and other complex driving conditions. This 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.

By allowing the team to meet the most exact standards while minimising the weight of components and the amount of material used in their manufacture, GKN says the rig delivers significant sustainability improvements to GKN Automotive’s products and, in turn, its customers’ vehicles. 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 says it is 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 leading electric vehicle manufacturers.

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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