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A Guide for Mechanical Engineers who want to enter into the Electric Vehicle industry.

If you’re from the Mechanical Engineering stream and want to participate in the Electric Vehicle industry, this article discusses some of the proven ways in doing so.

In the world today, it pays to have a skill that you know really well – this could be a technical skill like circuit board design, or a managerial skill like turning the performance of a company around.

The first thing to do is see what in your current skill-set applies to Electric Vehicles. Here are a few examples –

  • Companies want to create smarter, more connected vehicles. An understanding of the relationship between sensor data and actuators is needed.
  • Housing of various Electrical sub-components for resistance against vibration and Electro-magnetic interference.
  • Wiring and wire harnesses that connect the various powertrain components of an EV.

The second important aspect is Thermals. Instead of a lot of moving mechanical parts, in the EV powertrain there is a dominance of power electronics, low voltage electronics and firmware. Most of the heat generation happens in the power electronics section, and that heat needs to be regulated. There is a huge amount of innovation that needs to be done here to efficiently use waste heat to warm up the cabin, or to heat up the Battery pack to its optimal temperature if need be. This will ensure that the EV powertrain sub-components not only operate at the optimal temperature, but also squeeze the last bit of efficiency from the system.

The third is about expanding your knowledge in the field of Mechatronics. You bring something very valuable to the table coming from the field of Mechanical Engineering, and with the clarity of concepts in Electronics and basic firmware you can master the art of creating devices that sit at the intersection of these three. Here are some examples of such devices that you can create with this knowledge – pyrotechnic fuses, high voltage contactors. These devices are critical safety components that are necessary inside an EV Battery pack.

This article summarises just a few ways in which Mechanical Engineering skills are in demand even in the EV industry. The next batch of our Electric Vehicle Foundations course will be launching soon. You can learn more about the upcoming batch here.

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