Now operating as an entirely separate entity from its original parent group, McLaren Applied is using PMW Expo to show off its latest electronics solutions, including a brand-new VCU (vehicle control unit) developed specifically for EV applications. In the past, the company’s existing ECUs have been used for EV control; however, these carry excess functionality for IC engine applications, which is not needed in pure electric applications.
“There is so much electric coming up and if you compare this to our old unit, this is two-thirds the weight and size. It is also passively cooled, which helps with packaging,” explained motorsport director Matthias Dank.
The unit can integrate all the various discrete elements of a vehicle’s powertrain and other onboard systems, regardless of the level of control required. “You can run it two ways with an inverter. Either the inverter is very autonomous, with its own software, and this just provides a torque demand. You can also run up to four application processors and you can have motor and battery control embedded if you want. It also has high-speed data acquisition for accelerometers and that sort of thing as well as factors such as voltage and amperage,” noted Dank.
The units are in the final stages of testing, and customer deliveries are due to start in December, with a demonstration piece on display at McLaren Applied’s booth (3046) along with the company’s wide range of other motorsport products.