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New Energy Automotive PCB Assembly: Navigating the Road Ahead


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The automotive industry is undergoing a significant transformation. Traditional fuel vehicles are gradually being replaced by electric vehicles (EVs). This shift is driven by the need for cleaner, more sustainable transportation options. Electric vehicles offer numerous benefits, including lower emissions, reduced fuel costs, and quieter operation.

At the heart of these electric vehicles are Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs). These vital components are essential for the operation of new energy automobiles. PCBs act as the backbone of the vehicle's electronic systems, enabling everything from battery management to motor control. Without advanced PCBs, the complex electronics in EVs wouldn't function.

This article aims to dive deep into the world of new-energy automobile PCB assembly. We'll explore the different types of PCBs used in electric vehicles, their unique features, and their critical roles.

Whether you're an automotive industry professional, an EV enthusiast, or simply curious about the technology behind electric vehicles, this article will provide you with detailed and valuable insights.


Understanding New Energy Vehicle PCBs

Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) are the backbone of electronic systems in vehicles. In electric vehicles (EVs), they play an even more crucial role. But what are PCBs, and why are they essential in new energy automobiles?

PCBs are boards that hold and connect all the electronic components in a vehicle. They allow electrical signals to pass between these components, ensuring the vehicle operates smoothly. Traditional fuel vehicles use PCBs for various functions like engine control, lighting systems, and entertainment systems. However, in electric vehicles, their role is much more extensive and vital.

Significance of PCBs in Electric Vehicles

In EVs, PCBs manage complex electronic systems that are not present in traditional vehicles. These include battery management systems, motor controllers, and charging systems. Without advanced PCBs, electric vehicles wouldn't function efficiently or safely.

Comparison Between Traditional Vehicle PCBs and New Energy Vehicle PCBs

PCBs in traditional vehicles are designed to handle more straightforward tasks with lower power requirements. They manage functions like fuel injection, braking systems, and in-car entertainment. These boards are built to withstand the conditions of a fuel-based vehicle, which include exposure to heat and vibrations.

In contrast, PCBs in new energy vehicles are designed for higher power and more complex tasks. They must manage the battery, control the electric motor, and ensure efficient energy distribution. These PCBs are often multilayered to handle the increased electrical load and are built with materials that can withstand higher temperatures and more rigorous operating conditions.


Key Components of New Energy Vehicles

Electric vehicles (EVs) have several unique components that ensure efficient operation. Here are the key components:

  1. Onboard Charger: This converter converts AC from a charging station into DC to charge the vehicle's battery safely and efficiently.
  2. Power Battery: The heart of the EV, providing electricity to power all systems. Its capacity determines the vehicle's range.
  3. Energy Storage: Stores electricity for later use, maintaining a steady power supply to the vehicle's systems.
  4. Power Distribution: This system distributes electricity from the battery to various parts of the vehicle, ensuring that all systems function correctly.
  5. Driving Motor: Converts electrical energy into mechanical energy, propelling the vehicle with high efficiency and instant torque.
  6. Speed Controller: Regulates the vehicle's speed by controlling the power supplied to the driving motor, providing smooth acceleration and deceleration.

Main Power Control Systems in New Energy Vehicles

Electric vehicles (EVs) rely on sophisticated power control systems to manage their operations efficiently. These systems include the Vehicle Control Unit (VCU), Motor Control Unit (MCU), and Battery Management System (BMS). Each system is built on PCBs, which are crucial for their functionality.

Vehicle Control Unit (VCU)

The Vehicle Control Unit (VCU) is the brain of the electric vehicle. It oversees and manages the overall operation of the vehicle.


  • Supervision: The VCU monitors the vehicle's systems and ensures they operate correctly.
  • Decision-Making: It makes crucial decisions for the power control system, such as when to draw power from the battery or how to distribute power to different components.
  • Coordination: The VCU coordinates with other control units, such as the MCU and BMS, to ensure seamless operation.

PCB Requirements

  • Size: The PCB for the VCU is relatively compact, approximately 0.03 square meters.
  • Components: It includes control circuits and algorithm software, requiring a robust and reliable PCB design to handle complex functions.

Motor Control Unit (MCU)

The motor control unit (MCU) works closely with the VCU to manage the vehicle's electric motor.


  • Regulation: The MCU regulates the electric motor's operation based on instructions from the VCU.
  • Power Management: It controls the power supply to the motor, ensuring efficient energy use.
  • Current Control: The MCU converts DC power from the battery into AC power needed by the electric motor, managing the current flow to optimize performance.

PCB Requirements

  • Size: The PCB for the MCU is larger than the VCU's, about 0.15 square meters.
  • Components: It contains control circuits and algorithm software designed to handle high power loads and precise motor control.

Battery Management System (BMS)

The Battery Management System (BMS) is vital for the health and efficiency of the vehicle's battery.


  • Monitoring: The BMS monitors the battery's voltage, current, and state of charge (SOC).
  • Protection: It protects the battery from damage by managing the charge and discharge cycles.
  • Balancing: The BMS balances all battery cells, preventing overcharging or deep discharge.

Hardware Components

  • Battery Control Unit (BCU): The BCU controls the relay operations, estimates SOC, and provides electrical protection.
  • Battery Monitoring Unit (BMU): The BMU supervises voltage data and battery current, ensuring balance and safety.

PCB Requirements

  • Size: The PCB for the BMS varies, with the main control unit requiring approximately 0.24 square meters and additional layers for other components.
  • Complexity: BMS PCBs are typically multilayered to handle the complex monitoring and management functions needed for the battery system.

Applications of New Energy Vehicle PCBs

Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) in new energy vehicles are crucial for numerous applications. These boards control various electronic systems, ensuring the vehicle operates efficiently and safely. Here are some key applications of new energy vehicle PCBs:


Braking Systems

PCBs play a vital role in the braking systems of electric vehicles. They control the electronic braking system, ensuring quick and efficient response times. This is crucial for the vehicle's safety and performance. Advanced braking systems rely on PCBs to monitor and manage braking pressure and force distribution.

Engine Control

The engine control systems in electric vehicles are different from those in traditional vehicles. PCBs manage the electric motor, ensuring it runs smoothly and efficiently. They control the power supply to the motor, monitor its performance, and adjust operations based on the vehicle's needs. This helps optimize the vehicle's performance and energy consumption.

LED Lighting Systems

LED lighting is common in modern vehicles due to its efficiency and durability. PCBs are essential for controlling these lighting systems. They manage the power supply to the LEDs, ensuring consistent and reliable lighting. PCBs also enable advanced features like adaptive lighting, which adjusts the brightness and direction of lights based on driving conditions.

Electronic Control Units (ECU)

Electronic Control Units (ECUs) control various electronic systems within the vehicle. PCBs are integral to these units, providing the necessary circuitry and connections. ECUs manage everything from engine performance to vehicle stability, making PCBs a critical component in ensuring the vehicle's overall functionality.

Electronic Control Logic (ECL) Modules

ECL modules are specialized units that manage complex logic operations in the vehicle. PCBs in these modules handle the intricate electronic pathways required for these operations. They ensure that the vehicle's systems communicate effectively and operate as intended. This is essential for the advanced functionalities found in modern electric vehicles.

GPS Navigation Systems

GPS navigation systems are a staple in modern vehicles, providing real-time location and navigation assistance. PCBs in these systems manage GPS functionality's processing and communication tasks. They ensure accurate and reliable navigation, enhancing the driving experience and safety.

Vehicle Monitors

Vehicle monitors provide essential information about the vehicle's status and performance. PCBs in these monitors manage the data collection and display processes. They ensure drivers receive accurate and timely information about their vehicle's health, battery status, and other critical parameters.

Radar Systems

Electric vehicles increasingly use radar systems for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving features. PCBs in these systems handle the processing of radar signals, enabling features like collision detection, lane-keeping assistance, and adaptive cruise control. They ensure that the radar system functions accurately and reliably.

Unique Features of New Energy Vehicle PCBs

New energy vehicle PCBs are designed to meet the specific demands of electric vehicles. Here are their key features:

  1. High-Temperature Resistance: Electric vehicles generate significant heat. These PCBs are made with materials that can handle high temperatures, ensuring stable operation and preventing overheating.
  2. Reliability in Diverse Environments: Electric vehicles operate in various conditions, from extreme cold to intense heat. These PCBs are built with durable materials to perform reliably, no matter the environment, ensuring the vehicle's longevity and dependability.
  3. Dirt Resistance: Vehicles encounter dust and dirt that can affect electronic systems. These PCBs are coated or laminated to resist dirt and prevent short circuits, enhancing the vehicle's durability and reliability.

Materials and Technologies for New Energy Automotive PCB Assembly

The rapid evolution of new energy vehicles (NEVs) demands innovative materials and technologies in PCB assembly to meet higher performance, reliability, and efficiency standards.

Materials for NEV PCB Assembly

  1. High-Frequency Laminates: These are essential for applications requiring minimal signal loss at high frequencies, such as radar, GPS, and other communication systems. Materials like Rogers, Teflon, and FR-4 high-speed variants are popular due to their excellent dielectric properties and low moisture absorption.
  2. Metal Core and Heavy Copper PCBs: Metal core PCBs (MCPCBs) and heavy copper PCBs are preferred for power electronics and applications requiring efficient heat dissipation and high current handling. Aluminum and copper are used as substrate materials in MCPCBs, balancing thermal performance and cost-effectiveness.
  3. Thermally Conductive Materials: Materials with high thermal conductivity, such as ceramic-filled laminates, are used to manage the thermal challenges in NEVs. These materials help dissipate heat effectively, protecting sensitive components from thermal damage.
  4. Flexible and Rigid-Flex Materials: Polyimide is widely used in flexible and rigid-flex PCBs for its excellent electrical properties, flexibility, and thermal stability. These PCBs are crucial for space-constrained applications and where movement or bending is required, such as in cameras, sensors, and wiring harness replacements.

Technologies for NEV PCB Assembly

  1. High-Density Interconnect (HDI) Technology: HDI PCBs feature finer lines and spaces, smaller vias, and higher connection pad densities than traditional PCBs. This technology allows for more compact, lightweight, and efficient designs, crucial for the densely packed electronic environments of NEVs.
  2. Surface Finish Technologies: The choice of surface finish significantly impacts the reliability and longevity of PCBs in automotive applications. Electroless Nickel Immersion Gold (ENIG), Immersion Silver (Ag), and Organic Solderability Preservatives (OSP) are among the preferred finishes. They provide excellent surface planarity, solderability, and oxidation resistance.
  3. Embedded Component Technology: Embedding passive components within the PCB substrate helps reduce surface clutter, lower electromagnetic interference (EMI), and improve thermal management. This technology is particularly beneficial in creating compact and efficient power electronics modules.
  4. Advanced Assembly Techniques: Surface mount technology (SMT) remains the cornerstone of PCB assembly, but advancements such as Package on Package (PoP), System in Package (SiP), and Through-Silicon Vias (TSVs) are increasingly used. These techniques enable higher integration levels, better performance, and smaller form factors, which are essential for the complex systems within NEVs.
  5. 3D Printing for Prototyping and Manufacturing: Additive manufacturing or 3D printing revolutionizes PCB prototyping and production. It allows rapid prototyping of complex, multilayer PCBs with high design flexibility. This technology accelerates the development process and enables customization that traditional manufacturing methods cannot achieve.

Design and Prototyping Process for New Energy Vehicle PCBs

Creating PCBs for new energy vehicles involves several meticulous steps. Each step ensures that the PCBs meet the high standards for efficient and reliable performance. Here's an overview of the design and prototyping process:


Determining Specifications

The first step is to define the specifications of the PCB. This includes several key factors:

  • Board Thickness: Deciding the appropriate thickness based on the vehicle's requirements.
  • Number of Layers: Determining how many layers the PCB needs to handle complex circuits.
  • Material Type: Choosing materials like FR-4 or high-frequency materials for specific applications.
  • Impedance Requirements: Ensuring the PCB can handle the electrical impedance necessary for stable signal transmission.
  • Finishing Options: To protect the PCB, select finishes such as HASL (Hot Air Solder Leveling) or ENIG (Electroless Nickel Immersion Gold).
  • Hole Size and Spacing Parameters: Setting the dimensions for vias and spacing to accommodate component placement and electrical connections.

Checking Design for Errors

Once the specifications are determined, the next step is to create the PCB layout using specialized design software. During this phase:

  • Design Rule Checks (DRC): The software checks the layout against design rules to identify any spacing or placement issues.
  • Electrical Rule Checks (ERC): Ensures that the electrical connections meet the design requirements, preventing short circuits and other electrical problems.

Generating Gerber Files

After the design is finalized and error-free, Gerber files are generated. These files are:

  • Industry-Standard: Gerber files provide detailed descriptions of the PCB design, including copper layers, solder masks, silkscreen, and drill holes.
  • Essential for Manufacturing: These files guide manufacturers in fabricating the PCBs accurately according to the design specifications.

Creating Stack-Up Documents

For multilayer PCBs, creating stack-up documents is crucial. These documents:

  • Define Layer Arrangement: Specify the order and arrangement of the PCB layers, including signal layers, power planes, and ground planes.
  • Maintain Signal Integrity: This helps control impedance and ensure mechanical stability, which is vital for the PCB's performance.

Prototype Manufacturing

With the design and stack-up documents ready, the prototype manufacturing process begins. This involves:

  • Subtractive Process: Etching away unwanted copper from the board to create the desired circuit patterns.
  • Surface Finishes: Applying finishes like HASL or ENIG protects the copper traces and ensures good solderability.

PCB Assembly and Testing

Once the prototype boards are manufactured, the components are assembled onto the PCBs. This process includes:

  • Surface Mount Technology (SMT): Placing and soldering components directly onto the surface of the PCB.
  • Through-Hole Technology (THT): Inserting components through holes in the PCB and soldering them on the opposite side.
  • Rigorous Testing: Performing functional and compliance testing to ensure the PCB works as intended and meets all specifications.

Iterative Design Refinement

If any issues are identified during testing, the design undergoes refinement. This step involves:

  • Addressing Identified Issues: Making necessary corrections to the design based on test results.
  • Optimizing Performance: Continuously improving the design to enhance the PCB's performance and reliability.

By following these detailed steps, manufacturers can ensure that new energy vehicle PCBs are designed, prototyped, and validated to meet the highest standards. This meticulous process is essential for creating reliable, high-performance PCBs that support the advanced electronic systems of electric vehicles.


Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) are crucial for the functionality of new energy vehicles. They manage and control the complex electronic systems required to operate electric vehicles (EVs). From the Vehicle Control Unit (VCU) and Motor Control Unit (MCU) to the Battery Management System (BMS), PCBs ensure that every part of the vehicle works seamlessly.

The future of new energy automobile PCBs looks promising. As the demand for electric vehicles continues to rise, advancements in PCB technology will further enhance their efficiency and reliability. Innovations in materials and manufacturing processes will lead to even more robust and capable PCBs, supporting the evolution of electric vehicles.

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