Charging electric vehicles without human interaction
With the increasing need for CO2 reduction resulting in electrification of the automobile industry, Prodrive Technologies provides OEM (Original equipment manufacturer) companies with innovative power solutions for battery charging. This includes comfort charging, smart charging, and more.
We are ready to develop the charging infrastructure of the future, are you?
Three weeks ago, I finished the PCB design of our latest electric vehicle charging station. As we produce our products in-house, I was able to track its progress via our, mobile, manufacturing application and knew it would be finished today. It feels good to have the product you designed yourself in your hands on such short notice.
Next up is its qualification. The first power-up from this morning look very promising, but I’ll have to continue for the next two weeks to make sure everything is within spec. If no unexpected issues pop-up, then I’m sure our customer is thrilled to receive the qualified product!
I am responsible for the electronics of our charging station. It is my responsibility to make sure the specifications, electronic design, PCB routing and qualification are perfectly executed by our team. The ability to take this responsibility and see a product progress from specification to product is very rewarding.
With great power comes a great electricity bill
Electrical engineer profile
- BSc, BEng, MSc or PhD in Electrical engineering or Applied physics or a related technical education
Pros and cons
- Amazing to visit the factory and see my product progressing through the production line
- I feel proud about my designs
- I need more than 24 hours a day to do everything I want to do at Prodrive Technologies
Last night, I did not sleep very well… I am currently implementing the Vehicle-2-Grid communication protocol, which allows our charging solutions to communicate to the electric vehicle it is supposed to charge. However, for some reason it never stops charging. Somehow the charging station does not understand when the vehicle is fully charged.
So, my morning was going to be classic; debugging. I headed into the laboratory and fired up my development system. I have a very nice electric vehicle simulation box that makes debugging a lot easier. Luckily, I found the bug. It appeared to be a faulty implementation in the open source code that I reused for this project.
A quick update to resolve the bug and we’re ready to test our charging system on that Tesla that I’ve seen in the parking garage for several times now.
Besides my activities as software engineer, I’m also involved in the ISO 15118 standardization committee. Being part of this committee allows me to get to know other companies involved in the same field and discuss with them how the future of electric vehicle charging is going to look like. Did I already mention that these meetings are all over the world?
It’s not a bug, it’s a feature
Embedded software engineer profile
- BSc, BEng or MSc in Computer Science
- C/C++ for DSPs/MCUs at a low software level
- Implementing control loops and microcontrollers like ARM (Cortex-M) or TI C2000 etc.
Pros and cons
- Developing state-of-the-art charging solutions
- I can borrow my co-worker’s Tesla for testing
- Working in a team full of passionate people
- Bugs haunt me at night
A couple of months ago I was asked to join the Conductive Handsfree Charging project, which had just started. When I learned that the aim of the project was to develop a robotic automotive charging solution I, of course, gladly accepted!
The main challenges are to make a moving system that fits under a car and can work with a wide range of vehicle sizes. It must be cheap and be able to withstand years of daily charging cycles with dirt, rain and accidently being run over by the car. Together with system architect Koen and fellow mechanical designers Pim and Tom we started coming up with countless concepts for the ground device and vehicle receptacle, eventually choosing one.
Several weeks later, the design of the chosen concept was progressing nicely. After finishing the design of one of the milling parts in the morning, I got a call from Richard if I could assist in the cleanroom. The endurance test setup for the camera for an electron microscope that’s being developed needed some tweaks.
We finished just in time to have lunch, after which I reviewed a few milling parts for some colleagues. Having done CAM work preparation for nearly a year at Prodrive’s own in house CNC manufacturing facility gave me a lot of experience with what’s possible with milling parts. Sharing that knowledge with colleagues is great! After a meeting with a cable supplier I ended my day in the Prodrive gym with an exhausting spinning class.
Engineers create the world that never has been
Mechanical engineer profile
- BSc, BEng or MSc Mechanical Engineering
- Familiar with 3D mechanical design software – preferably Siemens NX
- Knowledge of systems design, structural analysis and design principles
- Affinity with design for manufacturability (DFM)
Pros and cons
- Seeing a product from text to CAD files to physical product is simply amazing
- My colleagues always keep me sharp
- Nice lunch and dinner and all the fruit you want
- Way too many awesome projects to choose from
This morning I woke up with a fresh insight about how to structure part of a safety argument for the automatic charging system we are working on. The argument would help to guarantee the safety of the vehicle using our charging system while at the same time simplify our initial design.
As I arrive at work, I quickly get myself a cup of coffee and start drafting the argument in the safety concept. I then schedule a meeting with the hardware and software architects to work out the implications for their design.
Early in the afternoon, a weekly teleconference with the safety manager of our customer is planned. I intend to share some insight into some new risk we recently identified. To get up to date on this risk, I quickly pay a visit to the lab where my colleague is busy with a test setup. The setup uses one of the prototype hardware boards that were manufactured at our production facility earlier that week to check the effect of a very short interruption in the power supply. He shows me that the effect is not as severe as initially estimated but could result in some undefined behavior of our software. I love the symbiosis between hardware and software!
The rest of the morning I work on a fault tree analysis of the design of the safety-related hardware and review part of the software code one my colleagues wrote.
After having had lunch and a nice refreshing walk, the meeting with the customer is rather uneventful. During the meeting though I get a phone call from a colleague, so I call her back afterwards. She is asking if I am available for a review later this week to provide feedback on their safety plan for the wall box project, which is a few steps behind in the development process.
In the afternoon, a colleague from our sales department comes by to ask about the implications of an ASIL B requirement a potential new customer has requested. I briefly explain the extent of the development processes and resources required to comply with ISO 26262 and agree to sit in on a meeting with this customer next week for further explanation.
After the meeting I get a call my 2-year-old son is not feeling too well. So, I pack my laptop, leave a little earlier than normal, pick him up, and finish my work for the day later that evening from the comfort of my kitchen table.
I can solve the most challenging technical problems because of the freedom, trust and responsibility that I experience within Prodrive Technologies
Functional safety engineer profile
- BSc, BEng or MSc in Electrical engineering, (Embedded) Software engineering, Industrial engineering or a related technical education
Pros and cons
- Challenging projects that have impact
- You can see your own designs being produced in the factory
- Flexible working hours
- Direct your own career
The Prodrive Technologies Mindset
You don’t just go to work, you feel responsible for your project
You decide when, where and how much you want to work
You like to think about manufacturability when designing
You don’t sit and wait, you have a hands-on mentality
0Employees, of which 1300 fulltime
0Annual growth over the last 20 years
0Average age of our employees
0The year Prodrive Technologies was founded
What we offer
- Perfect environment for people willing to take full responsibility in a project
- Unlimited growth opportunities and freedom in taking different roles in different projects
- We are open 24/7 and provide lunch, dinner and a company gym
- Young and dynamic culture
- Unlimited personal budget for training courses, classes or studies
- We keep management positions to a minimum, so there is virtually no hierarchy
- Create your future with your own personal development plan
- Tools and equipment such as an iPhone, iPad and laptop
- The flexibility to work wherever and how much you want
- Salary that grows with your performance
- Opportunity to become a shareholder and entrepreneur in the company
- Travel allowance based on the days you are actually at Prodrive
- 31 Holidays
- Money for retirement
- Distribution of profits
- We’ll take a look at your application as soon as possible.
- You will receive a link to Prodrive Technologies’ online aptitude test to see if you’re up for the challenge.
- We will set you up for a personal interview to ask you difficult questions about yourself. Afterwards, others will ask you some more difficult questions about your expertise. We will immediately decide if we will make you an offer after the interviews.
- When there’s enough time left, we will discuss employment conditions directly after the interviews.
- If you survived everything, only your signature stands between you and being a Prodriver.