Virtualization in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Development

From Engine Testbed to Virtual Powertrain Testbed

The complexity of hybrid powertrain systems has increased dramatically in recent years. Our virtualized solutions can help simplify this issue and we found a way to make conventional engine testbeds ready for hybrid vehicle development.

Virtualization in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Development

The automotive industry is moving rapidly in the direction of environmentally friendly drive systems. Hybrid powertrains are capable of reducing CO2 consumption and pollutant emissions. At AVL, we look for solutions that meet these trends and support our customers in their development processes. Along our customers' virtualization journey, we see high potential in optimizing the interaction of hybrid powertrain systems, and utilizing existing test facilities for the development of hybrid electric vehicles. We call this solution the “Virtual Powertrain Testbed”.

Under current global legislation, vehicles must not exceed prescribed emission levels. Hybrid electric vehicles are one possibility to meet these legislative requirements. However, hybrid powertrain systems are very complex and traditionally, the performance of the engine, transmission, aftertreatment and e-drive systems are evaluated and often optimized separately by different departments. Testing is expensive and the multi-dimensional nature of the problem makes optimizing the whole system nearly impossible for engineers. Additionally, the development of hybrid electric vehicles requires a lot of testing resources, that might not be available. Most of the system testing is done on powertrain testbeds, which are complex to operate and very cost intensive.

Hybrid Electric Vehicle Development

In AVL, we uncovered the many resource conflicts and successfully transformed an existing internal combustion engine testbed into a hybrid vehicle test environment. Specifically this means, we have made it possible to use engine testbeds, as if they were powertrain testbeds. How does this upgrade work? We are bringing simulation to the testbed. The complete solution consists of a real-time execution platform, the necessary virtual components, and a commissioning tool to form a virtual pallet. As a last important part, we add preparation and execution tools, as it is necessary to bring the real-life cycles to the testbed, and, moreover, to efficiently execute the test plan using optimization software.

Hybrid Electric Vehicle Development
Hybrid Electric Vehicle Development


Increase testing resources

Maximum use of expensive test facilities, prototypes and models.

Lifetime extension

Extend the lifetime of your engine testbed and re-use it for hybrid electric vehicle development.

Seamless integration

Easily adapt the configuration of your testbed and integrate virtual components into the development ecosystem.


Real-Time Execution Platform

Allows that models, created in the office can be used at the testbed. With up to 10kHz of real-time execution, even the highly dynamic models e.g. for drivetrain and vehicle simulation, are properly executed. Our technology is open for implementing non-AVL vendor models.

Model Library

A modular and open model kit, compatible with office co-simulation environments and real-time execution platforms. Included are models for powertrain components, the driver, but also the testbed dyno and the unit under test (like the internal combustion engine).

Test Preparation and Execution

Preparation and execution tools, to bring real-life cycles to the testbed, and furthermore efficiently execute the test plan by using an optimization software.

Ales Kolar

Together with one of our customers, we recognized the resource conflict and jointly developed a solution to convert an engine testbed into a test environment for hybrid vehicles. Now this solution is available to all our customers and offers significant savings potential.

– Aleš Kolar, Senior Product Manager, Virtual Testing Solutions, AVL

Hungry for more? Gain more valuable insights through additional material.

Advanced Methodology for Hybrid Calibration at Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center

A whitepaper about how HMETC was able to transform a pure internal combustion engine testbed to a hybrid vehicle test environment.


We are constantly working on new solutions. The following  might be interesting for you:

Solutions for the Virtualization of Development Processes

Virtualize your development process from configuration to SOP.

Bring Simulation to the Testbed With Testbed.CONNECT™

A powerful open execution platform that connects simulation models to the testbed.

AVL Cameo 5

AVL CAMEO 5™ unlocks a new maturity level of calibration and validation in automotive software testing. 

You are currently on the AVL Global Site. Click below if you would like to switch to