Determination of load cases...

ZF presented the idea that an intelligent network of chassis, propulsion and driver systems would bring in its Advanced Urban Vehicle at the 2015 International Motor Show (IAA). This allows for a versatile, locally emission-free concept networked with the driver and the environment.

TECOSIM assisted ZF by determining different load cases and dynamic rigidities in the axle sections and battery installation locations.

The Challenge

The Advanced Urban Vehicle exhibits innovative solutions for personal transport in the small and compact vehicle segment.

ZF’s stringent standards for pre-production solutions were applied during vehicle concept development. ZF was faced with the following challenges:

  • Ensuring the greatest possible manoeuvrability in urban traffic. This was achievable with the implementation of a newly designed front axle with a 75° steering angle.
  • Integrating an innovative eTB (Electrical Twist Beam) rear wheel drive system, installed close to the wheels.
  • Networking semi-automated assistance functions.
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Project Description Info Box

  • Project time of only eight weeks
  • Calculation and simulation of new drive and chassis units
  • Design and integration of various battery assemblies
  • Crash design for completely new vehicle front end


ZF is a world leader in drive, chassis, active safety system and passive safety system technology production.

In 2015, they took over and integrated TRW Automotive into their Active and Passive Safety Technology Division.

In the same year, 138,300 employees generated 29.2 million euros worth of sales.

They currently operate across 40 different countries.

For further information on ZF:


  • Battery load cases non-critical across different weight scenarios
  • Influence of electric chassis compensated
  • Chassis and its connections to the series-production vehicle level
  • Vehicle front load values achieved for low-speed crash.

TECOSIM Company Profile

A team of over 460 computer-aided engineering (CAE) specialists positions TECOSIM as the go-to development process partner. With branches in the UK, Japan, India, Germany and Romania we deliver unbeatable solutions that fully satisfy your requirements.

The Solution

TECOSIM fulfilled multiple conflicting requirements in a short period of time through crash, chassis and other simulations. The computer-aided engineering (CAE) experts incorporated results from pre-defined load cases and dynamic rigidities into the axle geometry reorientation and the related battery installation location.

Individual solutions were optimised, ensuring that the behaviour of the ZF prototype was formulated in a similar way to the unmodified basic series production vehicle.

  • Development of a laminated glass simulation method which far exceeds previous standards
  • High prediction accuracy regarding the risks of injury for head impacts on a windscreen
  • Simulation results can be incorporated into new car designs immediately
  • Recommendations for improvements to structural designs for windscreens and panoramic windscreens.
  • A research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi).

TECOSIM Services

Location of battery installation

Battery mounts needed to be strong enough to withstand the acceleration effects of bad road surfaces (such as potholes). To achieve this, TECOSIM ran multiple weight scenarios using 85 and 60kg respectively.

Chassis design

The complex re-design of the front and rear axles required driving performance analysis. TECOSIM engineers secured the wheel hub motors on the rear axle and the sophisticated double wishbone axle with a steering angle of 75° in the front of the vehicle. Using the multidisciplinary structural analysis application NASTRAN, CAE specialists performed calculations across 30 typical chassis load scenarios. From these, they determined dynamic and static rigidities for all other chassis connections.

Front vehicle strength

TECOSIM re-calculated the strength of the vehicle, which was greatly optimised through the changes in the axles.

Both longitudinal beams were subjected to a load of 43 kilonewtons. This is based on typical load levels for low speed crashes in small standard serial-production vehicles.

Benefit to the client

The project was a complete success with TECOSIM impressing the client, working as a solution-orientated project partner. The team ensured that ZF could present a concept vehicle to trade experts, ready for series production. ZF’s performance and safety requirements were achieved within a short time frame. “TECOSIM helped enormously with ensuring that this cutting-edge project was able to go ahead and was successful in its completion. The close, creative, committed cooperative partnership enabled us to achieve an ambitious objective over the two months.” Dipl.-Ing. Joachim Cichy, ZF Friedrichshafen AG

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