GKN Automotive develops real-time EV test rig

GKN Automotive has created a ‘real-time’ test rig for electric vehicles, aiming to enable development of more advanced and efficient EVs.

GKN Automotive

Installed at GKN Automotive’s Offenbach facility, the company said its new rig 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 and dynamically control speed and torque to replicate wheelspin and other complex driving conditions. 

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GKN Automotive believes this can set a new industry standard for precision and quality control in the testing of EV components, enabling engineers to deliver lighter and more efficient solutions with no compromise on capability.

Described as ‘cutting-edge’, the rig requires high levels of GKN engineering expertise for correctly setting up and executing tests. Data must be selected and validated by the team to establish parameters for the test, and the system must be carefully calibrated during set up to accurately replicate precise load dynamics.

According to GKN, the rig can also deliver significant sustainability improvements for the company’s products through minimised weight of components and the amount of material used in their manufacture. 

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

“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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