Modeling a Battery-Electric Three-Wheeled Car Concept 2020-01-5052
This paper describes a multi-degree-of-freedom model of a three-wheeled car implemented in Matlab®. The purpose was to investigate the dynamics of the car (assumed to be rigid on its suspension) during cornering. While the problems associated with three-wheeled cars are well known, much of the guidance in the literature and off-the-shelf software assumes a conventional four-wheeled car. Consequently, the authors were approached with a battery-electric concept car which was thought to offer better performance than the existing variants because the use of hub motors lowered the center of gravity and, hence, reduced rollover coefficient. However, simulation of the vehicle model in cornering shows that the concept is still prone to instability. Indeed, it suffers greater roll velocities than a comparable three-wheeled car with an internal combustion engine (ICE) because the ratio of sprung to unsprung mass is significantly altered. This paper, therefore, recommends a programme of further simulations and model-based design changes to progress the concept to a marketable performance product.