An Architectural Analysis of Green Cars

Type de publication:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Puebla, Mexico (2016)


As the automobiles of the 21st century face severer environmental-energy-safety constraints, major changes of their designs are indispensable. As for the vehicle motive power, we have a variety of alternative technologies including traditional internal combustion engines (e.g., gasoline, diesel), electric motors (e.g., with secondary batteries, furel-cell), and their hybrids (parallel, parallel-series, series or range extender). As all of these alternative motive technologies have strengths and weaknesses, we foresee that the motor vehicle market of the 21st century is characterized by a mixed motive power technologies with different technologies positioning different application segments.
An important question, based on the above-mentioned discussion, arises as to how such a vehicle technology mix is translated into an architectural mix of the future vehicle market, because these products' architectures are likely to affect design-based comparative advantages of firms and regions. While existing literature and discourse tend to foresee that the shift from internal combustion engine to electric vehicles (EV) will result in modularization of the dominant products of the future (EV) and subsequently horizontal supplier structures, using analogies of such digital products as personal computers, we need to conduct a more careful systematic analysis of future vehicles of different technologies. For example, product architectures of series hybrid cars and parallel-series hybrid cars can be very different.
This study will be based on technological experts' opinions about function-structure connections of each category of the future motor vehicles. as well as some propositions regarding product architectures, functional requirements and constraints: Other things being equal, a product with higher functional requirements and constraints tends toward more integral architecture,; Engineers of an integral and complex product tend to be more motivated to seek for modularization of its architecture for reducing their design coordination workloads; Modularization of a product, when the level of its functional requirements are unchanged, tends to force its modules in question to become more integral-inside; The existence of an integral-inside-integral-outside component (a complex and customized component) tend to make it easier for the engineers to design other components modular-outside (standardized or common parts).



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