Digitalization for Sustainability

Fully digital product development and certification of sustainable electric drive architectures


Dr.-Ing. Said Jamei

Mercedes-Benz Group AG

Dr.-Ing. Daniel Holder


Daniel Holder is a research coordinator at the research campus and the link between the project and ARENA2036.

Project overview

Digitalization for Sustainability (DigiTain)

In DigiTain, processes, methods and models for the fully digital product development and certification of sustainable electric drive architectures are being developed and tested using a technology carrier. Consisting of 26 funded and 2 associated partners from industry and science, the DigiTain research project started on 01.01.2023 with a total project duration of 36 months.

The project is being funded by the German government and the European Union as part of the economic stimulus package, point 35c in module b "New, innovative products as the key to vehicles and mobility of the future".  "In particular, the holistic approach, which integrates several technological innovations, the cross-value-added networking of the partners and their specialist expertise, as well as the associated transfer potential to industry and society, make Digitain a flagship project of our specialist program," says Stefan Heidemann from BMWK. The project sponsor for DigiTain was TÜV Rheinland Consulting GmbH.

Motivation and initial situation for the research project

Ecologically and economically sustainable criteria in vehicle and drive architecture development are becoming increasingly relevant in politics, society and industry. The technical and economic criteria of classic product development and optimization with an ecological product assessment only in the late phase of product development are therefore no longer sufficient and up-to-date.

Sustainability assessment during the product development process currently poses major challenges for developers, as suitable digital processes, methods and tools for ecological optimization of the entire vehicle, including the drive components, are not available. In addition, there are no binding standards for fully digital product development and assessment, which is why a large number of experimental validation tests are still required for certification.

DigiTain is therefore developing precisely those processes, methods and models for the fully digital product development and certification of electric drive architectures that not only aim to develop competitive drives from the outset, but also incorporate ecological and economic sustainability criteria. The aim is to achieve holistic overall vehicle and drive architecture development, taking into account all product property-induced areas. The application and validation of the sustainability-oriented development process (NEP) and the generic methods and models developed will be carried out using the example of the development and optimization of an electric vehicle with a hybrid drive strategy consisting of a fuel cell unit and HV battery system.

Role of ARENA2036

ARENA2036 is responsible for and works on the knowledge transfer and dissemination work package in DigiTain. The aim here is to ensure that the results and tools generated are also utilized beyond the consortium and to facilitate cross-disciplinary scientific exchange. At the same time, this work package forms the interface to society in order to sensitize the general public to technological developments in terms of sustainability.