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On the Comparison of 2- and 4-Wheel-Drive Electric Vehicle Layouts with Central Motors and Single- and 2-Speed Transmission Systems

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH, UK
2
Dipartimento di Meccanica, Matematica e Management, Politecnico di Bari, 70126 Bari, Italy
3
Interactive Fully Electrical VehicleS (IFEVS), 10040 La Loggia, Torino, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2020, 13(13), 3328; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13133328
Received: 5 June 2020 / Revised: 19 June 2020 / Accepted: 19 June 2020 / Published: 30 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electric Vehicle Efficient Power and Propulsion Systems)
Electric vehicles (EVs) are characterized by a significant variety of possible powertrain configurations, ranging from one to four electric machines, which can have an on-board or in-wheel layout. Multiple models of production EVs have recently been introduced on the market, with 4-wheel-drive (4WD) architectures based on a central motor within each axle, connected to the wheels through a gearbox, a differential, and half-shafts. In parallel, an important body of research and industrial demonstrations have covered the topic of 2-speed transmission systems for EVs, with the target of enhancing longitudinal acceleration and gradeability performance, while increasing the operating efficiency of the electric powertrain. Although several recent studies compare different electric powertrain architectures, to the best of the authors’ knowledge the literature misses a comparison between 2-wheel-drive (2WD) and 4WD configurations for the same EV, from the viewpoint of drivability and energy consumption. This paper targets this gap, by assessing 2WD and 4WD powertrain layouts with central motors, for a case study light passenger car for urban mobility, including consideration of the effect of single- and 2-speed transmission systems. An optimization routine is used to calculate the energy-efficient gear state and/or torque distribution for each considered configuration. For the specific EV, the results highlight the favourable trade-off of the single-speed 4WD layout, capable of reducing the energy consumption during driving cycles by approximately 9% with respect to the conventional 2WD layout with single-speed transmission, while providing satisfactory drivability and good gradeability, especially in low tire–road friction conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: Electric vehicle; 2-wheel-drive; 4-wheel-drive; single- and 2-speed transmissions; optimal torque distribution; optimal gear selection Electric vehicle; 2-wheel-drive; 4-wheel-drive; single- and 2-speed transmissions; optimal torque distribution; optimal gear selection
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De Pinto, S.; Camocardi, P.; Chatzikomis, C.; Sorniotti, A.; Bottiglione, F.; Mantriota, G.; Perlo, P. On the Comparison of 2- and 4-Wheel-Drive Electric Vehicle Layouts with Central Motors and Single- and 2-Speed Transmission Systems. Energies 2020, 13, 3328.

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