Beginner’s Guide to Kickstarting an EV Program

Melissa NewmanBlog, Electrification

“It’s electrifying!”

The sun’s setting on the classic days of “greased lightnin’”…but John Travolta’s words are as true as ever. 

If you’re ready to step into the electric future, check out these four steps to get your EV program humming.

Step 1: Gather information

Orienting yourself about your situation is an important first step for programs as complex and high-stakes as vehicle electrification. Before starting your work, take time to explore the EV landscape and the specific objective you’re looking to meet.

If you don’t have a clear definition of the work you need to do, then you’ll want to see how people have defined objectives and problems in this space.  If you do have a clear definition, then you can learn about approaches and models. You can also look at more specific questions:  What related technologies are currently on the market? Does your product need to be compatible or competitive with other industry players?

When you’ve clarified your objectives, you’re ready to map out your solution.

Step 2: Plan your EV program

The planning stage means getting technical. You need to define your system, plan out the vehicle’s architecture, and define your program requirements. While every program is different, you’ll need to answer these questions:

  • What’s your anticipated production volume? Making 10 vehicles a year or 10,000 calls for drastically different manufacturing capabilities, and that can have implications for your development process.
  • What are your validation requirements? Functional safety standards vary widely. Vehicles involving advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) must meet specific ISO standards. Not to worry – New Eagle can help you understand the nuances of ISO 26262 and how they apply to your project.
  • What fit and finish do you envision for your vehicle? Consider not only size but also speed and range. Of course, delivery trucks traveling cross-country will have very different requirements than scooters dropping off sushi orders around town.

Step 3: Validate your concept

Next, it’s time to test your concept with a “soft design” – a prototype that can reveal if and how your idea works in practice. You’ll need to design the system architecture so you can identify what components you need and how they’ll fit together. Then procure the necessary parts…and then it’s go time: build your prototype and start testing.

Put your prototype through its paces to see what works and what needs improvement. Don’t rush this critical step – test and tweak your design as needed before continuing with production.

Step 4: Start your EV production plan

A successful prototype means you’re ready to develop a production plan. 

Start by considering assembly procedures, as well as how you’ll service your EVs later on. The vehicle itself needs to be approved in a process called homologation, which officially allows your vehicle to enter the market. Lastly, devise an end-of-line plan to test for quality assurance on your production line.

When you’re ready to start production, it’s always a good idea to do a test run of low-rate initial production to ensure your process runs smoothly.

Want to talk through your EV program?

Ready to get ideas sparking? Reach out to New Eagle today. We’re always excited to make your EV dreams a reality.