The development of future automotive powertrain systems is characterized by a holistic development with special consideration of energy sources and powertrain technologies. This requires an environmental balance sheet that accompanies the entire development process, starting at the early concept stage and extending to the production phase. Within the framework of life cycle analysis (LCA), raw material and energy flows are balanced in detail and evaluated over various periods of time with regard to aspects such as pollutant emissions and climate impact ("cradle to grave", "well to wheel"). The aim here is to develop mobility that is as emission-free and climate-neutral as possible. At FKFS, this includes the further development and accompanying analysis of all energy sources and technologies, from battery-electric to fuel cell-based and hybridized powertrains to thermal converters or combustion engines with renewable energy sources. Here, both the production of the product (vehicle) and its use (consumption of energy sources, maintenance) up to its end of life and the further use of raw materials (recycling) are considered. This is supplemented by the determination of the total cost of ownership (TCO) for the production, operation and disposal of the vehicle.
Since the total energy consumption of vehicles over their lifetime is of great importance, both for their climate impact and their costs, the increase in efficiency of automotive powertrain systems is of particular importance. For this purpose, a wide range of tools are available at FKFS, which enable the holistic experimental and simulative optimization of battery-electric, hybrid and fuel cell drives at the system level using the latest data science methods.