Significant advances in digitization offer new opportunities for the automotive industry in terms of virtual product development and production, reducing the time-to-market of all types of electrified vehicles at lower costs. The increasing hybridisation and electrifications (i.e. multi-energy powertrains including for instance, BEVs, PHEVs and FCEVs on the same platform) leads to significant increased number of vehicle variants and increased system complexity requiring a massive front loading of development activities by means of digitalization in order to keep development times at comparable levels as today.

Optimisation of the various parameters (for instance, the proportion of power and energy between battery and engine/fuel cell in PHEVs and EREVs) on such platforms requires advanced simulation capabilities at vehicle level (excluding engine/fuel cell development). Furthermore, by exploiting the potential benefits of digitization to the full, radically new multi-disciplinary, cross organisational and connectivity-based approaches to electric vehicle design and production should be possible which in turn will enable the development of new vehicle concepts, architectures, and integrated solutions with significant reductions in time-to-market, energy consumption and emissions over the full life-cycle while enabling performance and safety to be improved. The challenge will be that next generation virtual product engineering and manufacturing tools become fully integrated and adaptable across the entire value chain of electrified vehicles including production, operation and maintenance in accordance with the principles of Industry 4.0.


Proposals will have to address at least one of the following technical areas:

  • Development of fully integrated, multidisciplinary, scientific-based and validated design tools (including processes) that exploit high performance computing resources and enable the efficient design, personalisation, optimization and flexible manufacturing of electrified vehicles and their components;
  • Development of high-confidence, real-time capable simulation models for virtual and X-in-the-loop testing;
  • Seamless integration and validation of computational tools and product/processes across the entire value chain including the handling of all kinds of uncertainties along the value chain while managing digital upgrades and ensuring traceability of data used;
  • Development of strategies and processes enabling the seamless validation of simulation models with physical data from experimental testing facilities;
  • Development of simulation environments capable of merging the different technologies involved (digital, communications, physical domain, software…);
  • Development of concepts and methods utilizing data-mining and machine-learning in the automotive industry, supporting decision-making processes and circular economy approaches;
  • Digitalization and optimisation of electrified vehicles and components production processes utilizing virtual tools, big data and connectivity;
  • Value driven design and assessment methods and tools for including novel technologies to enhance system performance that lead to a radical simplification of EVs.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 2 and 4 million depending on the number of addressed areas would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

  • Substantial reduction in BEV, FCEV and (P)HEV lead-time and time to market (-20%) with consistent or improved quality through digital integration of design with manufacturing and supply chain.
  • Increasing multipower platforms development efficiency at minimized costs despite increased complexity such as modularity.
  • Accelerated uptake of innovations leading to increased market penetration of more energy-efficient vehicles and hence faster and more flexible reaction to the dynamics of mobility and transport demands.
  • Supporting circular economy through fully integrated tools across the entire value chain and life-cycle.
  • Improved integration of suppliers, SMEs and research into the automotive product development leveraging the EU competitiveness.

Dateline for submission: 4 April 2018 17:00:00 (Brussels time)

Source: The European Commission

Illustration Photo: Jaguar Electrifies with I-Pace Concept Car (credits: Jaguar MENA / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0))

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