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Electric Vehicles R&D
Focus Areas
Electric Drive Electric and hybrid-electric vehicles are powerful technological advances over conventional vehicles. Ingenious companies are capitalizing on more than just a more efficient drivetrain. Electric motors are more compact, and the energy storage systems is reconfigurable, such that the entire vehicle can be shaped to more precisely meet its required mission. [Low floor vehicles paper]
Battery Systems and Charging Advancements in battery systems over the last two decades has brought electric vehicles to reality. Select electrochemical cells are being manufactured today with extremely high charge rates, allowing for fast “fueling”. Smart chargers using resonate coupling will soon eliminate the use of plugs and cords. Vehicle-to-grid chargers may, one day, facilitate the reselling of electrical energy by consumers with large batteries in their vehicles.
Aerodynamics Refinement in aerodynamic enclosures, and aggressive experimentation, has produced unassisted, human-powered bicyclist capable of exceeding 82 miles per hour on level ground. If part of that technology were applied to conventional bicycles, daily bike commuters would be traveling at 30 mph. Enclosing electric motorcycles will allow for hundreds of miles per charge. And they would be safer.
Project management Execution of projects can be simplified through forethought and planning. Experienced project managers provide a goal-focused course of action, align objectives and organize tasks to achieve the desired outcome on time and within budget.
Mechanical engineering Developing and validating mechanical solutions requires fundamental understanding of materials, mechanism, and tools such as FEA (finite element analysis).
Aerodynamic engineering Aerodynamic engineering is an exciting field with recent knowledge gains in the refinement of vehicle structures like those from Tesla. Newer materials allow shapes of unique body configurations unseen in the history of road vehicles, trains and human-powered vehicles.
Electronics and electrical engineering Electronics and software are key elements to almost any electric, or hybrid-electric vehicle. Battery management systems and drive systems are still evolving, with plenty of opportunities for advancements.
Human Factors Partnering with human factors engineers can ensure a more user friendly and safer final product or system. Incorporating the human interface and understanding the human expectations and responses is essential during the preliminary design phases for applicable projects.
CAD Computer Aided Design is a key capability for engineering and product development. Models are used for both product or concept promotion and computer aided analysis such as FEA.
Fabrication Having knowledge of fabrication techniques and the tools available to produce limited parts and components is fundamental to efficient product research and development. CAD models can be quickly printed using an array of technologies available in the industry.