Build Your Electric Car with Simulation and Design!

August 1, 2022

Create Your Own Electric Car with Simulation and Design!

My goal is to create the FIRST electric Jeep that has all of the same functions as a regular gas-powered Jeep. Throughout this project, I used a lot of simulation to understand and make better decisions about what components I would need to buy.

I have a background in simulation, so I was very excited to dive into this part of the conversion. Professional car manufacturers also use design, modelling, and simulation to understand different concepts of a car in a virtual environment. However, most of the time we do not see a lot of the simulation process, so I want to explain how I used simulation to design my own electric car!


For the space claim analysis, we used 3D Solidworks to figure out the options for the electric powertrain and understand where all of the components would go.


The first model I used was not exactly the same as my Jeep, but worked as a rough outline to consider what components I actually need and where they would be placed. Next, laser scanning allowed us to get an exact 3D model of the Jeep.

We were able to test out different concepts and eventually decide on having four modules in the front, two underneath the floor, and one in the back.

In a virtual environment, I could test out different options and investigate where I wanted all of the parts to go before I actually bought them.


How hot do batteries get? Do we need to cool them?

For my Jeep conversion, I am building my own battery modules. I got battery modules from scrapped cars, and I will reassemble them to get the size and voltage level that I need for my Jeep. Building our own battery modules means we need to make sure that the batteries are mechanically and thermally safe.


We can also run simulations of Winter conditions, and figure out how to heat the batteries as well.

What affects the range of our electric Jeep?

We set up a model of the whole vehicle using MATLAB. This way you can play around and understand all of the components. Changing the battery size and electric motor will help you understand the efficiency and performance of the vehicle you want to build.

I calculated the route to a beach here in Wisconsin, and was able to find out how many times I could make that trip before recharging.

Using a virtual environment is a fast and cheap way to understand my electric car conversion! I was able to test different components and understand how my electric vehicle would work before making major decisions.

Watch my YouTube video discussing the simulation and design for my Jeep Conversion here: