It’s not a stretch to call the 2020s a decade of electrification, says an industry expert at the Germany-based design company Siemens.

According to projections from Bloomberg’s Electric Vehicle Outlook 2020 , 30 percent of cars and light commercial vehicles are projected to have fuel cells or be classified as battery-electric or plug-in hybrid.

In 2020, buses have already reached a fair amount of electrification: 33%.

And the Bloomberg research estimates that the number for electric buses is expected to jump to almost 60% — a fair guess, says Puneet Sinha, Director of New Mobility at Siemens Digital Industries Software, thanks to new initiatives from leaders around the world.

“A lot of countries have announced their plans to phase out internal combustion (IC) vehicles,” Sinha told an audience of Tech Briefs attendees during a live presentation titled: Accelerate Electric Vehicle Engineering with Simcenter Digital Twin.

In late 2021, at least six major automakers — including Ford, Mercedes-Benz, General Motors and Volvo — and 30 national governments pledged to phase out sales of new gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles by 2040.

As the development of an electric vehicle becomes more feasible, does the design approach change? Do the same design rules for internal combustion engine vehicles apply to EVs?

During the presentation, a reader had the following question for Sinha:

“How different is the body engineering between an internal combustion (IC) vehicle and an electric vehicle?”

Read the edited response from Sinha below.

Puneet Sinha, Siemens Digital Industries Software

Puneet Sinha, Siemens Digital Industries Software: The engineering is very, very different. Think of it this way: With an IC engine vehicle, there is a body; the body, you can say, is at the center, and the engine has to “get in.” It needs to map into the boundary condition of that vehicle body.

The engineering is completely flipped in the electric vehicle.

More and more companies are working on the native electric vehicle (EV) platform. What that means is that the electric powertrain is defined, and then you determine what body needs to be put on top of it, rather than the other way around. That is changing the overall process.

Also, another big difference: With an EV body, you are going to attach a very heavy battery pack at the bottom; that is not the case in an IC engine vehicle. When you have such a heavy weight at the bottom of a structure, that adds certain issues: Is there a certain advantage overall when your center of gravity goes down? There are also issues regarding structural behavior, when such a heavy thing sits on the bottom of it.

There are things that very make it the bodies different, definitely.

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