ISSUE 012 Winter 2021 Sigma Powertrain EMAX transmission dossier l In conversation: David Hudson l 48 V systems focus l 2021 Battery Show North America and Cenex-LCV reports l Everrati Porsche 911 digest l Switching insight l Motor laminations focus

in line with worldwide standards on NVH. India’s import controls were being relaxed so Tata suddenly had to compete with foreign-built vehicles and a much more demanding consumer base,” he explains. In 2011, however, things changed significantly. Hudson was promoted to chief engineer for vehicle integration, and he was also made engineering lead for a proposed concept of a small EV suited to global markets. “Tata Motors’ European technical centre had been working on EVs since 2007, and by 2009 had a European- certified EV ready for production,” he says. “That was the Indica Vista EV, and it was the first EV to receive European Whole Vehicle Type Approval, pre- dating the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe by some years. “Admittedly it didn’t go on to commercial sale, largely because lithium-ion batteries cost something upwards of $1000/kWh back then and Tata didn’t have the means to subsidise such an expensive loss leader. But it was a crucial knowledge builder for Tata Motors, as essentially every part was all-new and either made in-house or commissioned by Tata – the drive motor, power electronics and the battery were all built to order.” Subsequent years at Tata Motors saw Hudson advance through chief engineering positions across the OEM’s growing hybrid and advanced vehicle divisions, until eventually being made head of propulsion in 2017 and head of powertrain engineering in 2019. “There were a lot of interesting projects in those years, for example an Innovate UK programme aimed at building a range extender auxiliary power unit based on the two-cylinder IC engine from the Tata Nano,” he says. “It was probably the lowest-cost way to develop a range extender and reduce the battery size. Lithium-ion costs per kilowatt-hour had maybe halved since the Indica Vista years, but adding a range extender still helped tremendously to lower development costs, emissions and range anxiety. Ricardo, Lotus, AVL and others had all made blank-sheet concepts for range extenders, but we decided to go the route of using our compact engine that was already in production. “We met all the MPGe targets, but by the end of the project battery prices finally hit a point where battery EVs looked like a golden opportunity. So, just as BMW were launching their i3 range extender concept – with a remarkably similar engineering strategy to ours – we moved on to new, fully electric pastures, including a modular EV architecture project in 2017 and a full-electric conversion of the Tata Racemo sportscar in 2018.” ePropelled Hudson’s introduction to ePropelled came when the company was still a young start-up. Its inception came about after a conversation between Nick Grewal, then a US investor looking for patented technologies in the EV space, and Dr Nabeel Shirazee, who had invented and patented what would become the eDTS technology. The interests of the two were soon combined to found ePropelled, with Grewal as CEO and Dr Shirazee as CTO, and with the start-up initially concentrating on commercialising the latter’s additional r&d into small UAV motors. Automotive e-motors remained a long-term target however. “To meet that target, Nick and Nabeel were looking for opportunities to work with automotive OEMs, and realised they needed drive-cycle data to simulate how ePropelled EV motors would compare against existing e-machines,” Hudson recounts. “Around 6 months after the company had been formed, they and I were introduced through Embed, a software company that was working with both ePropelled and Tata Motors, and was intrigued by what Nick and Nabeel had in store.” Initially, Grewal offered Hudson an advisory board position to add an OEM perspective. Their discussions also led to Tata, Embed and ePropelled collaborating on a demonstrator vehicle for the eDTS technology, under the UK Advanced Propulsion Centre’s Advanced Route to Market Demonstrator programme, which was unveiled and discussed at Cenex-LCV 2021. “What really appealed to me was that ePropelled’s r&d is so focused on efficiency,” Hudson recalls. “Nabeel’s technical goals were all about making motors, power electronics and all the related parts lighter and more power- dense. By that time, I’d already spoken at many conferences about Hudson’s NVH work at Ricardo in the late 1990s included making the gears quieter on General Motors’ pioneering but ill- fated EV1 (Courtesy of General Motors) 18 Winter 2021 | E-Mobility Engineering