Alternative powertrains, in particular electric and plug-in hybrids, create a wide range of unique and challenging NVH (noise, vibration & harshness) issues in today's automotive industry. Among the emerging engineering challenges from these powertrains, their acoustic performances become more complicated, partially due to reduced ambient masking noise level and light weight structure. In addition, the move away from conventional displacement engines to electrical drive units (EDU) has created a new array of NVH concerns and dynamics, which are relatively unknown as compared to the aforementioned traditional setups.In this paper, an NVH optimization study will be presented, focusing on four distinct factors in electric drive unit gear mesh source generation and radiation: EDU housing and bearing dynamics, gear geometry, EDU shafting torsional dynamics, and EDU housing structure. The study involves intensive FEA modeling/analyses jointly with physical validation tests. All four factors are evaluated for their contributions to noise performance, as well as their theoretical performance boundaries. Results are presented, which demonstrate the ability of this engineering approach to both optimize mass and performance of EDU products.