Customers all over the world expect electric drive systems with the same high level performance such as modern powertrains. In this context, the control and actuation of electric motors by ECUs becomes crucially important. Developing these ECUs requires intensive testing, primarily in non-linear and dynamic operating ranges.

For electric motors, the following rule applies: the earlier in the development process that they can be effectively tested, the more efficient their development will be – and the better and more reliable the performance of the subsequent electric propulsion unit.

Testing ECUs for electric motors

The LABCAR-MODEL portfolio comprises simulation models of the IC engine, lithium-ion battery for vehicle propulsion, electric motor, fuel cell, and vehicle dynamics, as well as the vehicle, driver, and environment.

However, it is not always useful or possible to carry out tests using real components. For this reason, tests with hardware-in-the-loop (HiL) systems and the corresponding models are used. They make it possible to carry out safe and reproducible tests – even within limit ranges.

ETAS’s LABCAR HiL test system offers a complete and unique solution for all types of electric motor system tests. With its PC-based simulation target LABCAR-RTPC and its openness, the system can be adapted to every customer request and to changing requirements. Above all, it combines demands for accuracy and speed in an ideal manner.

The motor type PMSM (permanent magnet synchronous motor) plays an important role in electric vehicle powertrain systems.

ETAS’s LABCAR model simulates the behavior of this motor, including inverter and load. It allows users to comprehensively test ECUs for electric powertrains on the HiL system.

Typical test applications

  • Function tests of electric motor controls
  • Tests of ECU diagnostics
  • Integration tests of motor ECU software
  • Robustness analyses of ECU software by varying motor parameters
  • Tests of system behavior with aging effects


  • Robust, proven, and comprehensive model that has been in use for many years in a wide range of ECU variants across the broad spectrum of current motor technology
  • Ensures seamless transition from component design to real-time model
  • Can be combined with all ETAS simulation models in LABCAR-MODEL product family
  • Provides extremely high simulation speed and accuracy thanks to execution on FPGA board

ETAS is a one-stop shop for hardware, software, and models as well as engineering services for customization and expert consulting.