Category Archives: EV

Mini Cooper SE EV Undercarriage Analysis

Munro Analyzes the 2022 Mini Cooper SE EV Undercarriage

In this next installment of the 22′ Mini Cooper SE EV series, we introduce another long time Munro Associate, Jordan Arocha, who has been with the company for 10 years and has been a consistent provider of ideas for talking points on the Model Y and other vehicles. Cory explains some of Jordan’s background and then moves on findings they and the team have observed on this Mini Cooper SE EV.

The pair first have a look at the huge galvanized leading triangle which protects the battery behind it. This is an improvement from an earlier model which could experience damage to the battery if the car ran over something that reached and impacted the battery box. They then look at the battery box tunnel itself and find that it is basically an adaptation of an ICE architecture underbody, utilizing existing space that would be normally taken up with the exhaust system, brakes lines, etc.

The housing of the battery box is a steel stamping with robotically applied body sealer on the bottom to protect the housing from corrosion and possible to reduce NVH. One observation that shocks our group is that some of the high voltage lines are not hidden within a rail or some other structure to protect it, but instead are somewhat haphazardly tied to the undercarriage.

Moving on, looking at the K member or craddle, this large stamped steel weldment is tied into the battery pack with creates structural support and rigidity by tying the 4 bolts into the weldment. Typically we see K members/rear craddles isolated in vehicles and rarely solid mounted.

Cory finds the place where the “noise maker” of the car is mounted, sitting in the middle of the space for a spare tire underneath the rear of the car. It does have a space smaller diameter “run-flat tire” as opposed to a 15″ spare tire, but this is purchased separately.

The team then moves on to talking about the suspension which is fairly simple in nature. Then they discuss what we find when comparing European cars, how companies approach converting existing vehicle product lines to EV. Then on to the front suspension, aerodynamics, and other features we find, but to see all of our findings, you will need to watch the video by clicking below:

Ford Mach-E Wrap Up and Final Thoughts

Ford Mach-E Teardown Wrap Up Munro

In this episode of Munro Live, Sandy Munro and Ben Lindamood take the viewers on a final overview of their thoughts of the Ford Mach-E after tearing it down and examining it. This episode has more than just a short overview of the vehicle, it covers some comparisons and charts not revealed in previous episodes.

Sandy and Ben first start off talking about their personal experiences with driving the vehicle. While Ben didn’t get a chance to extensively drive the vehicle, Sandy had chances before and after the teardown, thanks to Chris Billman, Chief Engineer of Ford Driver Assist Technologies, who took Sandy on a tour of the highway using the BlueCruise self driving feature. As previously noted though, Sandy still believes that the BlueCruise technology is still 6 or more years behind Tesla and that there are upcoming Chinese companies that will give rise to future competition due to their technology being more superior than what Western companies are giving them credit for.

One of the best parts of this episode is where Sandy shows a chart comparing several important attributes of the various electric vehicles that we have analyzed recently. The emphasis (in this episode) is drawing comparisons to the Ford Mach-E, Volkswagen ID.4, and the Tesla Model Y as it relates to Battery size, efficiency, and range compared to vehicle weight and drag co-efficient. This is chart points out many of the reasons we think that the vehicles get the performance that they do and point out some interesting points for improvement – but you are going to have to watch the video to get all of the good stuff.

One of Sandy’s main points is really how important an issue weight is with a vehicle, and although these electric vehicles have to take on more weight to improve their crash worthiness and safety, protecting the batteries and the occupants, there is a lot of room for improvement.

The episode goes on to talk about the body-in-white and crash safety of the Ford Mach-E which is very good as well a many places that Ford can improve on their vehicles.

To watch the full episode, click below:

KIA NIRO Hoist Review With Sandy

KIA NIRO Hoist Review Munro Associates

Sandy is back in this next episode of Munro Live and he is having a look at the undercarriage of the KIA NIRO. The first thing he points out is that unlike many other EVs we’ve had a look at, this vehicle has a huge motor in the front end. Sandy’s explanation is that because the KIA NIRO was made to be a compatible body design to accommodate it being an, EV, Hybrid, or and internal combustion engine vehicle, it already gave them the space to put the main motor up-front.

Because there is so much space under the hood, KIA made a really interesting design choice that Sandy likes, where they put the AC pump inline with the electric motor, which balances shake and is more efficient. This also allows it not have to have a separate isolation and to have only a single line coolant hose which Sandy gives them a big star for innovation.

Sandy then moves further back to the half-shafts which are attached to an offset transmission as opposed to inline which we find on several other EVs. As Sandy points out, the KIA NIRO is a vehicle made for your average person and perhaps even a timid driver, not a speed demon or an off-road enthusiast. But in that vein, Sandy does find a few interesting choices such as designing out a tusk that would tear the wheel off in a SORB test or similar crash, and instead putting a LOT of iron behind the wheel in the longitudinals/rockers.

Looking back at the battery box, Sandy points out that they used friction-stir-welding to attached the bottom plates to a plate or channel above it perhaps separating the batteries. However, at other points they used TIG welding to other bolts which is a mystery to Sandy why they would do that. This leads Sandy to another mystery object which appears to be some sort of access panel at the bottom of the battery pack.

Sandy goes on to identify some other interesting features such as the spring being separate from the shock instead of over it because there is a lack of room. To accommodate for that they created a massive stamped lower control arm. The video carries on to explain some dampening characteristics and part alignment features. Sandy and the team remark that there are many design choices that remind him of 90’s, but not in a bad way, it’s just interesting to him to find those design choices in an EV.

To watch the whole video, click below:

Taking The KIA NIRO For Test Spin

KIA NIRO Ride and Drive with Cory Steuben

In todays Munro Live episode, Cory Steuben takes the KIA NIRO out for a ride and drive through various terrain on his way home. Cory first points out that he likes the feel of the wheel and the interior of the KIA NIRO including the fit, finish, and quality of the vehicle.

One of the things that is different about the KIA NIRO is that the shifter is a knob where you turn it to put the vehicle in either reverse, park, or drive. Cory is a fan of doing things different, so this break from the norm is a positive in his books. Another added feature is that the car will make a beeping sound as you back up, similar to a truck.

Cory begins the ride and drive explaining that he endeavors to cover some features that are not covered in other videos. Munro in general takes a different approach to our analysis of vehicles which he explains in the video. We have done analysis and teardown of several hundreds of vehicles over the past two decades. What you see us cover publicly on our channel only represents a fraction of vehicles that we analyze on a regular basis.

An interesting point that Cory covers on the KIA NIRO, as well as EVs in general, is that the increased weight given to the car by the battery system, also give the vehicle a lower center of gravity which makes a tremendous difference in driving feel and handling.

The video goes on to cover things like cruze and driver assist, the intuitiveness of the internal features including infotainment, how it navigates highway, side streets, and even rough dirt roads. It will cover what it feels like drive and what you can reasonably expect from using it in a utilitarian way.

Also, we would like to announce to our viewers that we are hiring at Munro for 10 new positions. If you are interested please send your resume to HR@leandesign.com. Visit this link to view job openings: https://munrolive.com/opportunities

To watch the full episode, click below:

KIA NIRO EV: Sandy’s Impressions

Sandy Gives His Opinions On a KIA NIRO EV

In this episode of Munro Live, Sandy has been given a KIA NIRO to evaluate. Sandy first points out that the the vehicle definitely has a Korean look – that almost looks angry. That being said, for it’s target audience, that is just fine. Sandy’s general opinion of the vehicle is that it is a decent car and seems to have reasonable features. However, although utilitarian and functional, nothing completely stands out on this car.

From a Fit, Finish, and Quality perspective, KIAs used to be terrible, but now are excellent, including beating some luxury cars that we have benchmarked them against. The gaps that are noticeable on the doors are relating to design of the doors and are a choice.

Sandy’s first ding against the KIA NIRO is with the rear hatch not having an assisted open and close feature. Instead the NIRO is relying on you to manually open and close the hatch. Sandy is equally unimpressed with the trunk, especially the under the panel that is designed too small.

Sandy is happy with the KIA NIRO simple interior and the space is good. The doors also have a solid closing feel. He is especially happy with the infotainment system – showing the map right away. Instrumentation is simple and easy, if not dated. Sandy also likes the mirror configuration.

Sandy goes on to talk about the KIA NIRO charging port placement and the frunk… or lack thereof. KIA created a platform such that you can make the vehicle an EV, a Hybrid, or even an internal combustion. A one-size-fits-all solution. But to hear what Sandy’s opinion is, you will just have to watch the video. If you are a KIA fan or are looking to purchase this vehicle than this will be a good video for you:

Mach-E Front Motor Blows Sandy Away!

Mach-E Front Motor Analysis Munro Live

In today’s episode of Munro Live, Sandy is absolutely blow away by the simple and Lean Design that the motor product design team has achieved on the Mach-E front Motor. From the contents of the gearbox to the rotor and stator, Sandy is impressed with Ford’s cost effective and elegant design.

With less bearings than the Tesla Model Y’s front motor the Ford Mach-E (while not having the same horse power) has a major cost and complexity advantage. The excellent and simple design of the differential made by Magna has a gears are machined in place of the forging and the design of the forged output shaft allows them to have an inline drive system.

The housing plate incorporates the ability to have the stator pressed in, which eliminates a lot of unnecessary bolts as commonly found in other motor designs. It also have grooved slots on the outside of the stator housing allowing coolant to flow around it which eliminates the need for oil, similar to the design found in the ID.4 stator housing. No filters, squirters, or extra pumps, just a simple effective solution.

Sandy goes into more depth on the rotor and it’s design as well the other parts of the drive train, electronics and connectors, the inverter (which Sandy is also very impressed with), and more but to find out what else he has to say about what he finds in this great design from Ford, you will have to watch the full video by clicking below:

Ford Mach-E Rear Motor Teardown and Analysis

Ford Mustang Mach-E Rear Electric Motor Teardown Sandy Munro

In this episode of Munro Live, Sandy goes into great detail about our recent teardown of the Ford Mach-E Rear electric motor.

Well, this motor isn’t exactly what Sandy expected to find in this vehicle. The part Sandy was the most impressed with was the magnets themselves, but from there is seems to be a series of pointers for improvements. From excessive laminations, buried pumps and filters, and the largest motor casing we have ever seen, there is a lot of surprises.

In general, this motor has a lot of parts and processes involved in its manufacturing and assembly, and although it has come up in other videos and popular quotes that electric vehicles have fewer parts than ICE vehicles, especially comparing engines to electric motors, but this video proves, that is not always the case.

When comparing this electric motor to Tesla’s and VW there are many points of improvement that are possible from a complexity reduction standpoint, with Sandy giving a special shout out of praise to the design of VW ID.4 motor that removes the need for an oil pump by creating an innovative component that solves this problem.

In general, this is a concise and very interesting episode that will tell you all you need to know about the Mustang Mach-E rear motor as well as providing many moments of Sandy’s subtle humor and his lifetime of design experience.

Click below to watch the video now:

Sandy Does a Walkthrough of How Seat Works in the Mach-E

Sandy Does a Walkthrough of the Mach-E Seats

Sandy Does a Walkthrough of How Seat Works in the Mach-E

Sandy takes us on a walkthrough of what you can expect to find in a seat, in particular, one of the Mach-E seats.

From hog rings to the controls of a 6-way seat with 2 lumbar controls (or an 8-way seat if you are Ford), the viewer will learn the basics of what is inside a seat, how seats are assembled, and the controls and structures.

For the full video click below:

Does The Mach-E Pass The SORB Test?

Does the Mach-E pass the SORB test Sandy Munro

Does The Mach-E Pass The SORB Test?

In this episode of the Mach-E teardown, Sandy and Ben first examine the air-intake for the HVAC and the battery management cooling system.  Sandy discusses the design choices that the Ford team made and why are good, allowing the Mach-E to make space to have a frunk.

Sandy goes on to talk about the front facia of the car and design choices he likes that were made such as the snap fits for attaching the facia onto the vehicle frame. Sandy is particularly impressed with the snap fits found on the headlamps that help also to locate and align their position.

The topic then shifts to how Sandy and Ben feel about the design choices made on the body to withstand the SORB test (Small Overlap Rigid Barrier), where the car is run at a speed of 40 Mph towards a barrier that is at a 25% offset of the front side of the vehicle to simulate a collision with a roadside barrier.  There are many design choices that Sandy is happy with that add safety and perform well.

Then Sandy and Ben move on to the side of front fender area where the discuss some re-design choices that Ford could make to save both money and weight to the vehicle, but to hear about those, you have to watch the video:

 

 

Sandy And Ben Talk About The A B and C Pillars on the Mach-E

Sandy and Ben talk ABC Pillars For Mach-E

Sandy And Ben Talk About The A B and C Pillars on the Mach-E

In this episode of Munro Live’s series on the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Sandy and Ben explain what they have found on the A, B, and C pillars.  The good and bad are covered and Sandy explains why you should make certain design choices, including why threaded fasteners, even covered with a lot of glue, are still a design problem and always

Also,very important update, WE ARE BUYING A TESLA PLAID!  However, we still need a bit more money, but if you are interested in helping, Sandy is now selling bumper stickers with his signature for $50.  For more information, you need to check out the video below: