Integrated Design of a CVT-equipped Electric Powertrain via Analytical Target Cascading

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Electric vehicles are gaining momentum as a valid alternative to conventional engine-based cars.
However, in order to realize this goal, they must achieve a similar, if not better, performance and driving range.
To this end, their powertrain must be carefully designed accounting for the interconnections among the various components in an integrated fashion.
In this paper, we present a co-design framework for electric powertrains, whereby we jointly optimize the size of the electric machine (EM) and the geometry of a continuously variable transmission (CVT) together with its ratio trajectory, with the goal of minimizing the energy consumption of the vehicle.
Specifically, we first frame the minimum-energy co-design problem in an integrated manner, accounting for the CVT geometry and dynamics, and the EM size.
Given the problem complexity, we decompose it into an EM-design and a CVT-design subproblem, whereby we jointly optimize the CVT-ratio trajectory, and leverage analytical target cascading (ATC) to effectively solve the design problem.
Finally, we showcase our framework on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), highlighting the importance of designing powertrains in an integrated manner: Compared to the case whereby only the EM, the CVT, or the control are optimized, our joint EM-CVT design can improve the energy consumption of the vehicle by 1 to 20%.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 19th European Control Conference (ECC 2021)
PublisherEuropea Union Control Association (EUCA)
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event19th European Control Conference (ECC 2021) - Virtual, Delft, Netherlands
Duration: 29 Jun 20212 Jul 2021
Conference number: 19 (conference website)


Conference19th European Control Conference (ECC 2021)
Abbreviated titleECC 2021
Internet address


  • Optimization, co-design, automotive, powertrain design


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