Virtualising battery pack development through scalable multi-physics models

Vehicles and their sub-systems are complex; their development requires expertise from many different domains of science and technology. Global economic forces require a constant reduction in the time-to market and cost for a given functionality. Concurrently legislators and consumers drive a continuous reduction in energy consumption coupled with improvements in safety and comfort.


To answer these needs, more effective vehicle development processes are required. Modelling and simulation, through increased virtualization, are tools to achieve this effectivity. Simulation (“Virtual testing”) has earned its place in the automotive development process as a valuable complement to performing physical tests. These physical tests are often time-consuming, costly, and of limited use in the early stages of product development when hardware representative of the final design is not available.

Ricardo as part of the HI-FI ELEMENTS project are leading the work package responsible for the development of individual electric vehicle (EV) component sub-models. They are also working specifically on developing an integrated battery designpack toolchain, as part of this overall work package.

Customer Benefit

The goal of the project is to provide the following for OEMs and suppliers of EV technologies:

  • Recommendations for standards: standard functional model interface specifications for various e-drive components, as well as standardised model metadata for third-party EV development cycle comparison
  • Reductions in development and testing effort, by over 50%, with new streamlined workflows
  • Decreases in vehicle energy consumption, by up to 20%, due to early system-level optimisation
  • Increases in validation test coverage, up ten-fold, with the newly developed workflows.


The project will investigate and implement a streamlined workflow that makes the use of diverse modelling and simulation tools more efficient. The workflow will be conducive to model reuse, promote consistency between different models of the same physical component, and will require the developers working in the concept stages to consider the evolution of their models as the design matures.

Coupled with this workflow, a standard of functional model interfaces (FMI) will be proposed. Existing standards focus on the formulation of a formal interface format description under the assumption that the physical signals, data rates and data types have been defined. The proposed functional model interface standard - defining model boundaries, signals and data particulars - will add crucial elements towards the consistency and the seamless use of models during the vehicle development process.

Website: www.hifi-elements.eu/hifi/

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 769935