The rapid increase in development activities on hybrid powertrains is creating unique challenges for the management of powertrain development facilities and the test equipment suppliers to these facilities. In this article, the integration of the powertrain engineering design phase, the control and electric power management activities and the test facility, and vehicle based powertrain development phases including the use of hardwarein- the-loop (HIL) is reviewed. The specific powertrain features of both current and future hybrid powertrains are reviewed and the subsequent test equipment and test process requirements are translated down to specific equipment and operational solutions.
The significant increase in the number of hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), both already in production and under development, has created an urgent need within OEM's and Tier 1 powertrain suppliers to have the appropriate test facilities, tools and development methodologies for HEV powertrain systems. While many of the features and characteristics of HEV powertrains are similar to conventional gasoline and diesel powertrains, there are key technology and performance differences that place new requirements on the development process.