Today, the transformation of vehicles is of most considerable importance, among other parts of a motor vehicle. The industry has been feeling the need for better drivability, higher power output, and lower emission and fuel consumption for a long time.

Considering this, the dynamic simulatory model of a powertrain vehicle is a stepping stone towards accomplishing this goal. Conventional and hybrid vehicles have been a member of the manufacturing industry for a long time. Plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles have been introduced to give a new experience to the person sitting behind the wheel.

What Is Powertrain?

The main components of a motor vehicle, which convert the engine-generated power to movement, are called a powertrain. More simplistically, it is a train that delivers torque or power to the propellor or wheels of the vehicle.

The engine, torque converter or flywheel, transmission, driveshafts, suspension, and wheels are all parts of a powertrain. The computerized system that uses these parts is known as a Powertrain Control System.

Electric vehicles eliminate the need for an engine and consequently rely entirely upon electric motors for propulsion. However, most Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) employ an Electric Machine (EM) and an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) for their operation.

Pioneers in the EV Industry

  • Robert Anderson, a 19th-century Scottish Inventor, invented an electric carriage in Scotland around the year 1890. He was the first person to do so, and the wagon was powered by non-rechargeable primary power cells.
  • Alexei Severinsky developed the Hyper-drive power-amplified internal combustion engine powertrain. This powertrain is used in many popular hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius and receives a royalty for the same.
  • Chetan Maini, an Indian business magnate in the EV industry, built the REVA Electric Car, which was the first car of its nature in this segment. He is now the CTO of Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles Private Limited.

Early Electric Vehicles

The first Electrical Vehicle was made by a Scottish inventor, Robert Anderson, in 1890. It was a very primitive design as it operated on a non-rechargeable battery, but it gives you a rough idea about how old this concept is. In the early 1900s, American inventors gave the idea of EVs a shot too. Practical Electric Vehicles were created, although they still lacked range. Hybrids were also created during this period to solve numerous issues with the EV.

Indian Automotive Market

The Indian Automotive Market is observing megatrends that are disrupting the entire industry at a level nobody could have imagined.  Electric and driverless vehicles are in demand now, and technologies like Electric Powertrain Control systems are fueling it.

The government also wants to push EVs by adopting the FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Scheme) Scheme. Concessions have been provided for EVs and HEVs in the GST, which allows the manufacturer to pay only 5%-12%, where other car manufacturers pay up to 28% GST on the same. 

Emissions and EVs

In light of climate change and global warming threats, the government has issued regulations on vehicle emissions to keep greenhouse gases in check. The stringent laws and oncoming pressure from governments and consumers alike have made EVs and HEVs an inevitable way of the future.

The latest battery technology and innovations like autonomous cars have added more usability and practicality to EVs and HEVs. The commendation for such a disruption in the industry goes to not one, but many agents.

Trends in Powertrain

Four disruptive trends in the automotive industry

  1. Electrification: This is the first and foremost step for the whole process. Electrification is the process of the introduction of power by charging over from a power source.
  2. Connectivity and IoT: This trend entails making the automobile smarter and more accessible. IoT aims to simplify the way we interact and access different devices in our environment.
    Autonomous driving cars and EVs now use various smart innovations to make that process easier for the consumers, while interacting with other devices to enhance the user interface and interaction.
  3. Autonomous Driving: Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence have brought about a disruptive change in the industry where leaders and tier-1 companies are adopting autonomous cars. Better driveability and reduced accidents are just some of the features autonomous driving cars promise to the customers.
  4. Diverse Mobility: The way the world moves around is changing very rapidly. Tech-Pundits predict that connected apps and services in the automobile will completely change how we travel. There is a need for flexible transportation and the urban environment now discourages private car ownership.
    Mobility will become diverse when new technologies like e-sharing come into the limelight. We finally have the technological advancements we need to create a shift in the automotive industry very soon.

Skills required for EV Development

The whole automotive industry has undergone an explosion of electronic systems in some or the other way. Mechanical systems have been replaced with Mechatronic systems, which better monitor and regulate the performance of the vehicle. Electrical systems are rapidly being replaced by electronic systems, given that they are way more accurate and precise.

Thus, a person looking for employability in the industry needs to have a diverse set of skills, which include a multi-disciplinary approach towards various curriculum.

Below are some points which a person wishing to undertake EV development needs to keep in mind:

  1. Multi-Disciplinary Approach: Since EV development needs a person acquainted with a lot of other stuff like programming, one must be acquainted with what disciplines like computer science or electronics systems have to offer.
  2. Eager to Upskill: People who are always looking for opportunities to learn something new all the time are the most desired ones. Since this is a relatively new industry, employees are expected to grab whatever new concepts are thrown at them.
  3. Battery Technology: Significant focus in EV development is provided to battery technology as the main aim for the manufacturers is always to make the cars last longer. A person well acquainted with battery technology will always be desirable for a company invested in EV development.
  4. Control Systems and Validation: ECUs and TCUs are vital parts of EVs and HEVs, and control systems will undoubtedly play a significant role in the industry. Electrical and electronics graduates might find themselves at an advantage here. Still, other graduates from any different course or curriculum have equal chances of getting hired if they have the right skills for it.

Future Scope

Electric Powertrain Control System vehicles aim to eradicate the conventional methods of transport. With the oncoming of such technology, renewable resources will be utilized to their maximum potential.

Conventional resources might be used less frequently, following a pollution-free environment. With greater control and accuracy, it will also be able to save precious human lives.

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