AYRO Engineers on Testing the AYRO Vanish
After months of meticulous design, engineering, and manufacturing, the new AYRO Vanish has made it to the test track. This is a crucial milestone at the end of the road map for designing a utility low-speed electric vehicle (LSEV) that is unlike any other on the market. AYRO’s engineering team is completing the process of performing rigorous testing that exceeds the industry standards, right here on a private local track.
We wanted to give you a glimpse into this process and show you the unparalleled care and attention that AYRO is putting into this step, so we sat down with members of our engineering team and asked them a few questions about the key elements that they are testing.
Regenerative Braking with Frank Ajieh
What is regenerative braking and why is it important?
Regenerative (regen) braking harnesses energy generated from wheel rotation and channels it back to the vehicle’s battery. This technology allows us to recoup some of the energy expended while driving, resulting in several benefits.
- Regenerative braking significantly extends the range and operational time of the Vanish, by recouping energy that would otherwise be lost as heat during conventional braking, the vehicle becomes more efficient and can cover greater distances on a single charge.
- Additionally, the Vanish offers a One-Pedal Driving Mode, which further enhances the regen system’s advantages. When this mode is enabled, as soon as the driver releases the accelerator pedal, the regenerative braking system kicks in, gradually slowing down the vehicle. This not only contributes to energy savings but also reduces wear and tear on traditional brake pads and rotors, leading to lower maintenance costs.
As part of our commitment to vehicle adaptability, the regenerative braking system on the Vanish is customizable. Drivers have the option to adjust the level of regen or even disable it, based on their personal preferences and driving style.
Overall, regenerative braking is a key feature that sets the Vanish apart. It empowers drivers with greater efficiency, longer range, and a smoother driving experience while making a positive impact on the environment by reducing energy waste.
How are you testing regenerative braking?
To ensure the effectiveness and reliability of regenerative braking on the Vanish, we employ a comprehensive testing approach. One of the primary methods involves comparing the stopping distances of the vehicle with regen turned on and off. This careful calibration process takes driving comfort into consideration, as it is one of our top priorities.
Additionally, we’re evaluating how the regen braking system impacts the energy efficiency of the Vanish. We do this by measuring efficiencies in kWh/mile using the standard city cycle (Urban Dynamometer Drive Cycle). This standardized testing procedure allows us to assess the energy efficiency of the vehicle under various driving conditions, providing valuable insights into the regen system’s performance.
By conducting rigorous testing through these methods, we ensure that the regenerative braking technology in the Vanish is both safe and optimized for providing a smooth, energy-efficient driving experience.
How is the Vanish performing?
With this testing phase nearing completion, I’m pleased to inform you that the regen braking system is performing well. Our tests on the One-Pedal feature have been showing promising results, and we are now just fine-tuning it. We are on track, no pun intended, to complete the evaluation of how much the regen system extends the Vanish’s range in the next few weeks.
Suspension with Stefan Waller
What is suspension tuning, and why is it important?
Suspension tuning is the process of adjusting suspension components to make sure that the vehicle handles well, feels comfortable, and operates safely while both fully loaded and unloaded.
Most LSEVs in this space aren’t very comfortable, don’t handle well, and can’t keep up with the variety of tasks that they were designed to do. We want to make sure that the Vanish excels in all these areas, so we’ve put a lot of work into the design and tuning of the suspension with an eye towards engendering the finest ride dynamics in the industry.
The Vanish is designed to be highly adaptable, and its suspension reflects that. It’s equipped with an adjustable coil-over front suspension, which allows the driver to change the suspension based on their situational needs. The Vanish may be the only LSEV that has this feature.
When tuning and testing the suspension, what are you looking at?
While tuning the suspension, we are looking at ride comfort, vehicle handling and stability, and load capacity. We’re also studying how the suspension performs both on and off pavement, on a testing loop that we’ve developed.
We are also working on ensuring that the center of gravity of the Vanish is just right, so that the vehicle is as stable and predictable as possible while still maximizing payload capacity.
How did the Vanish Perform?
The Vanish is performing exceptionally well. We’ve made huge improvements over the past few weeks. The front suspension and overall steering feel are tuned in, and we are now completing the final tuning of the rear suspension.
Performance – Acceleration and Deceleration with Manoj Mohan
Given that the Vanish is a low-speed electric vehicle (LSEV), what are the expectations for this vehicle with regard to acceleration and deceleration?
Even though the Vanish is a low-speed vehicle, we have high expectations for its performance. We want to do more than just meet the standards set by government regulations. Our goal is to make sure that the Vanish accelerates and decelerates as smoothly and efficiently as possible regardless of the payload or environment.
What do you look for when testing?
We are paying a lot of attention to drive feel, and vehicle capability. Specifically, we are tuning the throttle response to make acceleration as smooth as possible to improve drivability. To mimic the experience of driving a standard on-road vehicle, we’re also testing a creep mode.
Regarding deceleration, we are testing and tuning an intelligent coasting mode that is designed with both drivability and efficiency in mind. The coasting mode kicks in when the driver takes their foot off the brake while at higher speeds on a flat road, or at any speed while on a decline. It allows the vehicle to coast for a bit before the regenerative braking engages so that the vehicle uses as little energy as possible.
We want to make sure that the Vanish is just as capable as a standard full-size truck, so we are testing its ability to drive up steep hills with up to a 40° grade while fully loaded.
Why is this important?
None of the testing and tuning I’ve mentioned is required by law, in fact this type of testing is typically reserved for performance vehicles, but we think they are crucial for developing a reliable, capable, utility LSEV that people enjoy driving. We’re performing more than just the standard tests because we want the Vanish to be an above average LSEV.
How is the Vanish performing?
So far, The Vanish is performing brilliantly. It’s climbing up steep inclines with ease, and the throttle response, creep mode, and coasting mode are undergoing final adjustments. We are well on our way to meeting the high expectations that we set for this vehicle.
Cab-Over Design with Tony Nguyen
What is cab-over design and why did we include this style of cab on the Vanish?
Cab-over design is when the occupants of a vehicle sit above or in front of the front suspension. We embraced a cab-over design because a utility vehicle should have real cargo capacity, including the ability to carry full 4’ x 8’ sheets of plywood or drywall. The cab-over approach, in addition to space gain, allows for better weight distribution and enhanced stability while fully loaded. Additionally, the driving position improves road feel and dramatically improves visibility.
What are we looking for at the test track regarding cab-over design?
Though there are many benefits to cab-over designs, sitting on top of the wheels tends to make the ride feel a little rough, and the steering feel a bit unusual. We are tuning and testing the suspension to try and make the driving comfort and steering feel more like your standard on-road vehicle.
How is the tuning going?
It’s going great! We set off to make the Vanish as comfortable and enjoyable to drive as possible, and we are doing just that. Through suspension tuning and weight distribution, we aim to achieve a benchmark far beyond today’s competing products.
Our engineering team is testing the Vanish like it is a performance vehicle to mimic a vehicle that people are not only used to driving, but one they enjoy driving, as well. As we continue our testing with the Vanish, we’ll continue to update progress on our blog.