Would you buy this eco car?


Well would you?

If it were more expensive to buy than your current car whilst having less power and were less capable of driving long distances, I’m not sure I would.

Producing the eco car that you the customer wants at a competitive price is probably the biggest challenge facing the automotive industry today and for the foreseeable future. But first of all what is the eco car?

The obvious one is a car that pumps out less tailpipe emissions (PM, HC, NOx, CO, CO²) whilst burning less fossil fuels. The auto manufacturers have lots of technologies available today to do this (see my previous blog post), such as: making the car lighter, efficient engine ancillaries (climate control compressor, alternator, electric water & oil pumps, etc.), energy recovery from braking, engine downsizing, electro-magnetic valve actuation, variable compression ratio, etc. The fuel efficiency gain can be from 20% up to 40% – all using today’s technologies based on the good old internal combustion engine.

The not so obvious ones are a car that can be fully & easily dismantled at the end of its life for 100% recycling, or a car made of materials that are fully compliant to health and safety regulations, or a car that needs less energy and creates less pollutants to manufacture, calculation of the car’s carbon footprint, to name but a few…

In other words “a car that can meet your mobility needs while preserving the environment now and for the indefinite future,” wow that’s hot stuff!

How can Dassault Systèmes help the Automotive Industry in these challenging times?

Let’s look at an example and see what we’ve got…

Today, minimising fuel consumption and emissions is heavily dependent on correctly controlling the engine, i.e. managing the energy consumed versus the energy needed to move the car and drive the ancillaries. The tens of thousands lines of control code in the engine’s ECU are today created by a long development process (6 engine calibration engineers are needed for 1 design engineer!) where cars have to be taken to extreme climates to verify that they start, accelerate, control emission correctly…basically reproducing as many real life conditions as possible.

But what about simulating these conditions and modelling the behaviour of the mechanical and electrical systems in the car (e.g. thermal & mechanical inertia) in your offices, allowing the vast majority of the code to be created without going to Alaska?

Well, this is exactly what we’re starting to show with CATIA Systems Engineering Software at one of our preferred Automotive customers…imagine the time and effort saved to get your product to the market and the quality gained by being able to re-use the behaviour models from one system to another!

Stay tuned for more examples…

What do you think is important for the Automotive Industry to build the eco car of the future?

Thanks, Jonathan