Lightweight platform concept points the way to longer-range EVs
Just last month, Williams Advanced Engineering announced it would be teaming up with Singer Vehicle Design to create a 500-hp air-cooled flat-six. Now, the firm is demonstrating its versatility with a new electric platform concept. Dubbed FW-EVX, the chassis has been designed to make electric vehicles lighter, safer and more efficient.
According to Williams, the thinking behind FW-EVX is simple. The motoring industry is currently trying to plot a course from a reliance on internal combustion power to the wide adoption of electric vehicles, but battery technology (or the world, depending on who you ask) isn't quite ready. Williams has tried to extract more range and performance from EVs by taking a fresh look at how they're designed and built.
To start with, the engineers have developed a new process for building carbon fiber reinforced suspension components for the platform. It's highly automated, produces very little waste and provides a claimed 40 percent weight saving over a conventional aluminum wishbone.
Williams is also using the chassis to showcase a production process where 2D materials are used to form a high-strength 3D exoskeleton for the battery module. The structure also serves to reinforce the battery pack. Although it's just a concept at the moment, the company is hoping it demonstrates its ability to make new technology a production reality.
"Vehicle efficiency has always been core to Williams – whether it be in Formula One or with Williams Advanced Engineering's customer projects," says Paul McNamara, Technical Director at Williams Advanced Engineering. "These technologies, and our thinking around how to create a tightly integrated, light-weight chassis and powertrain package, have the potential to greatly increase the competitiveness of the next generation of electric vehicles. By making EVs more attractive to consumers, we can help accelerate their adoption and the air quality benefits they bring."
The concept will be on show at the Low Carbon Vehicle Show at Millbrook, which kicks off today.
Source: Williams Advanced Engineering