Chapter 1

Introduction 1

Throughout the history of Mankind, human beings have endeavored to extend the radius of their activities, which has always led them to improve transport techniques.

Each time new progress was made with transport, this altered humans’ lives. Today, it is mobility concepts that are the focus. This mobility has multiple implications; it supports the choices made for our environment, the rules of traveling and the design of “automobiles” (cars). It is to cars themselves, and particularly to automotive electrical engineering, that we devote this work.

We will review all of the electric technologies that are used, with this first volume focusing on technologies relating to electric drive-trains.

1.1. Automotive constraints

Having come into existence more than one hundred years ago, cars are now a predominant part of our everyday lives. It is a very original “thing”, which, as the years have passed, has managed to make a place for itself as a method of transport, a high-tech object, a consumer good and a representation of our social behavior.

The future of this “thing” in the coming years is thus a captivating subject for thought.

The car, this method of preserving our individual freedom as we travel, today forms part of our daily life, and has largely surpassed its functional role; it is a symbol representing our identity and our subconscious.

Whereas in the past, during the growth phase of this market, work was primarily entrusted to engineers, today it is a ...

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