Next Article in Journal
Analysis and Research on the Comprehensive Performance of Vehicle Magnetorheological Regenerative Suspension
Previous Article in Journal
A Study on the Influence of Tire Speed and Pressure on Measurement Parameters Obtained from High-Speed Tire Uniformity Testing
Previous Article in Special Issue
An Approach for Estimating the Reliability of IGBT Power Modules in Electrified Vehicle Traction Inverters
Open AccessEditorial

Special Issue on Future Powertrain Technologies

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Institute for Mechatronic Systems in Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Darmstadt, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 September 2020 / Accepted: 28 September 2020 / Published: 30 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Powertrain Technologies)
Beside others, climate change and digitalization are trends of huge public interest, which highly influence the development process of future powertrain technologies. To handle these trends, new disruptive technologies are integrated into the development process. They open up space for diverse research, which is distributed over the entire vehicle design process. Recent research on this topic incorporates results for selecting and designing the powertrain topology [1,2,3,4,5,6,7] with their vehicle operating strategy [8,9], as well as results for handling the reliability of new powertrain components [10,11,12].
In [7], the optimal passenger car vehicle fleet transformation is developed based on lifecycle assessment. The results differ for short-range and long-range requirements, where battery electric vehicles are best for short-range. For longer distances, and at least until 2040, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) offer the greatest potential. In accordance with these results, ref. [6] optimizes an aftermarket hybridization kit, which can convert a combustion engine vehicle into a PHEV. Such kits may accelerate the passenger car vehicle fleet transition. With [1], a method for measuring non-volatile particle emissions is given. This method is highly relevant in the context of upcoming vehicle regulations within the transformation process.
In case of battery electric vehicles (BEV), ref. [5] investigates the influence of increasing the speed of the electric machine. Whilst this increases the system complexity through a higher gear ratio, a better power density of the overall powertrain system may be achieved. Different powertrain complexities in case of vehicles with dedicated hybrid transmissions are compared in [4]. The results show that a high complexity in the transmission may lead to a higher potential in reducing the vehicle’s CO2 emissions. However, an increased powertrain complexity also increases the cost. In [2], a low-end multipurpose vehicle is proposed. Here, the combustion engine is designed only to meet the constant driving power requirements. On short distances, this vehicle drives purely electric. For longer distances, the constant driving power is delivered by the combustion engine.
In [3], the environmental and ecological benefits of a dual-battery BEV are considered. The authors propose to decrease the size of the Lithium-Ion battery and use a Zinc-Air battery pack as range extender. The results show that the vehicle cost can be reduced significantly by introducing a second, less costly battery.
PHEV offer new possibilities for intelligent operating strategies. A user-specific operating strategy that adapts during operating is proposed in [9]. The strategy uses supervised machine learning methods, and achieves lower consumption compared to a reference. Furthermore, new vehicle concepts, such as fuel cell vehicles, may introduce additional requirements regarding their operating strategy. In [8], an operating strategy for a fuel cell bus with a supercapacitor is developed based on real life data from London, UK. Here, it has to be assured that the capacitor is never over- or undercharged, and that the power requirements can be met.
Future powertrain technologies must be equipped with new and reliable system components. For example, in [12], condition monitoring and remaining useful lifetime estimation methods for switching devices in the electric powertrain are developed. The authors validate their results with a 100 kW traction inverter. The overall system reliability also depends on the mechanical components. With [10], a systematic study of machine learning based reliability analysis methods is given. The authors integrate ensemble learning strategies into mechanical reliability estimations and compare the results that show the high potential of these methods. A crucial powertrain component is given by the clutch system. In [11], a novel method for clutch sensor fault diagnosis is developed and tested.

Author Contributions

All authors contributed equally to this work. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This research received no external funding.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


  1. Giechaskiel, B.; Melas, A.D.; Lähde, T.; Martini, G. Non-Volatile Particle Number Emission Measurements with Catalytic Strippers: A Review. Vehicles 2020, 2, 342–364. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  2. Zhen, Y.; Bao, Y.; Zhong, Z.; Rinderknecht, S.; Zhou, S. Development of a PHEV Hybrid Transmission for Low-End MPVs Based on AMT. Vehicles 2020, 2, 236–248. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  3. Tran, M.-K.; Sherman, S.; Samadani, E.; Vrolyk, R. Environmental and Economic Benefits of a Battery Electric Vehicle Powertrain with a Zinc–Air Range Extender in the Transition to Electric Vehicles. Vehicles 2020, 2, 398–412. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  4. Sieg, C.; Küçükay, F. Benchmarking of Dedicated Hybrid Transmissions. Vehicles 2020, 2, 100–125. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  5. Schweigert, D.; Gerlach, M.E.; Hoffman, A.; Morhard, B. On the Impact of Maximum Speed on the Power Density of Electromechanical Powertrains. Vehicles 2020, 2, 365–397. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  6. Eckert, J.J.; Santiciolli, F.M.; Silva, L.C.d.A.e.; Corrêa, F.C.; Dedini, F.G. Design of an Aftermarket Hybridization Kit: Reducing Costs and Emissions Considering a Local Driving Cycle. Vehicles 2020, 2, 210–235. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  7. Belmonte, B.B.; Esser, A.; Weyand, S.; Franke, G.; Schebek, L.; Rinderknecht, S. Identification of the Optimal Passenger Car Vehicle Fleet Transition for Mitigating the Cumulative Life-Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions until 2050. Vehicles 2020, 2, 75–99. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  8. Partridge, J.S.; Wu, W.; Bucknall, R.W. Investigation on the Impact of Degree of Hybridisation for a Fuel Cell Supercapacitor Hybrid Bus with a Fuel Cell Variation Strategy. Vehicles 2020, 2, 1–17. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  9. Harold, C.K.D.; Prakash, S.; Hofman, T. Powertrain Control for Hybrid-Electric Vehicles Using Supervised Machine Learning. Vehicles 2020, 2, 267–286. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  10. You, W.; Saidi, A.; Zine, A.-m.; Ichchou, M. Mechanical Reliability Assessment by Ensemble Learning. Vehicles 2020, 2, 126–141. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  11. Lv, Z.; Wu, G. A Novel Method for Clutch Pressure Sensor Fault Diagnosis. Vehicles 2020, 2, 191–209. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  12. Kundu, A.; Balamurali, A.; Korta, P.; Iyer, K.L.V.; Kar, N.C. An Approach for Estimating the Reliability of IGBT Power Modules in Electrified Vehicle Traction Inverters. Vehicles 2020, 2, 413–423. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
Back to TopTop