Unlocking the advances that more collaborative engineering can bring to new EV products is now crucial in levelling up automakers as new players make headway. For instance, Lucid Motors overhauled how its motor and transmission systems are designed by combining previously siloed departments into a holistic system-level approach. By analysing the electric drive unit as a single system and combining engineering talent across disciplines, the company created the smallest, lightest, and most efficient units on the market. Its compact electric drive unit comprises the motor, transmission and differential and invertor into a 73 kilo 500 kW drive unit with market-leading performance.
Beyond development, Arrival is pioneering vertically-integrated component production and robotic assembly to realise highly automated micro-factories – the polar opposite of traditional production lines. Rapid change in the automotive manufacturing ecosystem requires suppliers to utilise a different skill set and participate in a process that’s more vertically integrated and involves more agile ideas, such as continuous improvement and deployment that are more familiar to software companies.
In the past, a design or programming problem that reared its ugly head during production would previously result in the job being passed between departments to get a fix identified, designed, approved, tested, and sent back to the shop floor. Resolving such problems could take days, weeks, or months and — while this still happens — new players are fixing issues with more dynamic and often automated methods.
A few years ago, you’d never here the phrase ‘We’re building the place whilst flying it’, but when you consider the pace of change its more apt in the eMobility era.