Carsten Frederiksen

Saturday, April 8, 2023 · 0 min read

Real-drive Test of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles

As the automotive industry advances power conversion and battery technologies, Dewesoft has been actively working to provide flexible and powerful measurement systems specially designed for electric and hybrid drivetrains.

Measurement systems need to fulfill more and more requirements. In the case of electric vehicles, the measurement systems have to suit High-Voltage environments (up to 1000V or even higher) to ensure safe and reliable operation. The most challenging application is the real-drive tests of vehicles.

Harsh environments, temperatures from -30°C to +60°C, and all kinds of terrains require adequate measurement instruments. And that’s exactly where Dewesoft is perfect – ruggedized and powerful measurement systems.

Efficiency analysis of real-drive tests

Nowadays the determination of energy consumption and CO2 emissions is done at test benches by means of standardized driving cycles (NEFZ, WMTC, etc.). However, these driving cycles are not suitable for determining the energy consumption of electric vehicles as they do not consider fundamental influencing factors such as energy recuperation, weather conditions or the tremendous effects of auxiliary loads.

Simply put, the ideal test bench conditions do not even come close to the real driving conditions. As a result, the real energy consumption of electric vehicles can be up to 60% higher.

The electrification of vehicle drivetrains changes the requirements for testing vehicles apart from analyzing the combustion process. Electric and Hybrid vehicles can have multiple motors, inverters, and battery packs. For comprehensive energy and efficiency analysis, all energy sources and loads have to be considered.

Figure 1. Drivetrains of electric and hybrid vehicles

To analyze all necessary data there are several requirements. The measurement system must be able to measure the power at different points inside the vehicle completely synchronously.

Using conventional measurement equipment would require the use of several power analyzers, combustion analyzers, data loggers, GPS loggers, etc.

Challenges like data merging, data synchronization, the power supply of the instruments (independent of the vehicle battery), etc. make it nearly impossible to get reliable measurement results. Another important point that must be considered, especially for real driving tests, is that the power supply of the measurement instruments must be independent of the vehicle battery to carry out a comprehensive and clear statement about energy efficiency.

Figure 2. Dewesoft versatile power analyzers and measurement systems

To tackle all these problems in a convenient way the Dewesoft R2DB Power Analyser allows us to measure multiple 3-phase systems at the same time and combines the functionality of several instruments:

  • a power analyzer,

  • an oscilloscope,

  • a data logger,

  • an FFT spectrum analyzer and

  • a transient recorder

in one single instrument.

The data acquisition system also has a built-in battery pack that allows supplying the measurement device and all sensors (current clamps, GPS, video, etc.) directly out of the instrument itself.

The high measurement accuracy (0.03%) and high sampling rate (up to 15 MS/s) of the Dewesoft SIRIUS high-voltage and low-voltage input amplifiers ensure accurate analysis for electric vehicles (see figure 2.).

Check out Dewesoft's flexible and powerful precision Power Analyzer

Live and real-time data

In the measurement software, all data (electrical, mechanical, video, GPS, CAN, etc.) can be viewed together and individual screens can be generated and customized. This allows state-of-the-art analysis at Real-Drive tests.

Figure 3. Screenshot of DewesoftX measurement software

Grid to wheel efficiency

In this test case, the grid-to-wheel efficiency of a battery electric vehicle (BEV) was determined.  The routes for the road tests were chosen to consist of different representative characteristics (city, freeway, uphill, downhill, etc.) to further underline their influence on the energy consumption and the performance of BEVs under real driving conditions.

Figure. 4. Grid-to-Wheel efficiency of an electric vehicle as a Sankey chart

In this case, the power was measured at 6 different points including battery power, motor power, and power of major loads. The average energy consumption over the test track was 24.6 kWh/100km.

As you can see, the charging/discharging process, in this case, is already responsible for a major energy loss of 15%.

Due to this loss, only 60% of the grid energy arrives at the motor. This is again a 15% loss, but it is not wasted, as it is used by auxiliary loads, like heating, air conditioning, etc. Finally, 54% of the grid energy arrives at the wheel. The motor loss is 7%. The recuperation rate of the whole test-cycle was 20%, which is quite high.

This chart underlines the importance of efficiency determination of the overall system from the grid to the wheel, as it emphasizes the main factors for energy loss and thus efficiency improvements.

With the Dewesoft R2DB Power Analyser reliable statements for efficiency analysis under real driving conditions can be easily made for all types of electric drivetrains. For detailed energy consumption analysis, it is substantial to include video, log GPS, and measure also mechanical data besides the electrical parameters. In that way, each energy source and load can be analyzed in detail for any operating and driving situation.


The electrification of vehicles changes the requirements for measurement systems. On the hardware side, instruments have to suit High Voltage environments and have to withstand harsh environments.

On the software side the synchronous data acquisition of different parameters, electrical and mechanical, adding GPS, video, and others is a substantial need - features providing powerful data processing and visualization possibilities.

With the Power product line DAQ instruments, the Dewesoft electric-vehicle test solution is designed exactly for these needs and for an easier life of measurement engineers.

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