Wolfgang Ziebart, the Technical Design Director at Jaguar, recently shared thoughts on the development of the all-electric I-Pace.
After more than three-years with Jaguar, Ziebart said that the I-Pace was the most exciting project in his career.
The goal was to combine performance (0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds), long-range (240 miles expected in EPA rating) and a smooth ride.
Asked about the tough choices, he said that there was need to understand and evaluate the best type of electric motors, inverters, costs of the powertrain and so on.
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There was definitely a need to find the most suitable battery chemistry in terms of energy density, charging and discharging capabilities, price, operating temperatures and longevity.
"There are so many choices … it starts with the motors. There are induction, permanent magnet, switch-reluctance motors and so on. To take one or the other you must have the characteristics of each in your head, and also the impact each has on the inverter. What protection circuit, for instance, is required in the inverter? How much does this cost? No one can know everything, of course, so we listened to outside experts. But when one of them or one of our own engineers takes a really strong, impassioned position, you have to have the depth of knowledge to evaluate."
The most important part turns out to be the in-house developed battery management system (the software, to be precise).
"The most important element in this or any electric car is the battery management system. That is why we have all this in-house. The development of the software for battery management was done by our team, not delegated to some supplier."