Lightweight Hybrid Electrical Vehicle Structural Topology Optimisation Investigation Focusing on Crashworthiness

As focus on global climate rises, so does demand for ever more environmentally friendly technologies. Response from the automotive industry includes vehicles whose primary propulsion systems are not based upon fossil fuels. On this basis a Low Carbon Vehicle Technology Project, partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund, is currently under way; part of this project involves designing a lightweight Body In White (BIW). This has been specifically tailored to suit the drive train and general packaging requirements associated with a Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV). The future opportunities for new lightweight vehicle architecture was investigated using a technique entitled topology optimization, which extracts the idealized load paths for a given loading. The topology optimization includes equivalent NCAP dynamic impact loading conditions, as well as torsional rigidity performance. Initially a total of 7 loading scenarios are applied on a structure comprised of various battery and range extender layouts. Two different optimization modeling techniques have been undertaken comparing conventional boundary conditions against inertia relief, as well as studying the sensitivity of the BIW topology against the influence of load case direction and battery box stiffness. Optimal locations for the 2 components having the highest mass (i.e., a single battery pack and a combined range extender and fuel tank) were studied focusing on the effects of the location of their Center of Mass. It has been assumed that advances in battery technology will reduce the external dimensions of the battery package, thereby enabling an increased number of possible locations within the BIW.

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  • Authors:
    • Christensen, Jesper
    • Bastien, Christophe
    • Blundell, Mike
    • Gittens, Andrew
    • Tomlin, Oliver
  • Publication Date: 2011


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01338231
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 28 2011 2:09PM