Italdesign and Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) have announced a partnership that will develop a complete high-performance EV production solution. The partners will combine a composite electric vehicle (EV) rolling chassis from WAE with turnkey vehicle development services from Italdesign. The joint venture says the offer will enable newcomers to the automotive sector, as well as established OEMs, to be supported in the creation of a range of upper premium EVs, such as high-performance GTs, crossover or sedans.
The foundation of the venture is WAE’s EVX architecture;, a new rolling chassis which distils WAE’s expertise in electrification, lightweighting, chassis structures and vehicle and system integration into one advanced architecture.
EVX is differentiated from other EV platforms currently on the market, as it integrates the battery casing with elements more commonly perceived as part of the body structure. For example the front and rear chassis structures are mounted to the carbon composite case, and crash loads can be transferred via internal reinforcements to the integral side sills. The resulting, higher-profiled cross section achieves much of the torsional stiffness needed to deliver the full potential of the platform. These two design philosophies reduce reliance on the upper structure, which then gives greater design freedom for a variety of “top hats”.
Italdesign’s Engineering Team then takes the WAE rolling chassis and completes the vehicle architecture, adding the safety systems, structures and UX devices that constitute the modular platform, creating the base to build-up several different high-performances vehicles. Recycled composite materials are combined with aluminium to ensure that EVX is lightweight, with high levels of static and torsional stiffness.
The modular platform is ready for customisation by the Italdesign styling team, who will shape the final vehicle to match the brand’s requirements in terms of marketing positioning, design direction, etc.
The partners say the new platform is capable of supporting production runs of up to 10,000 units, up to 500 of which could be manufactured by Italdesign at its facilities. As well as being a structural component of EVX, the platform can accommodate wheelbases from 2900mm to 3100mm, with customers able to choose rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive layouts.
The moulded composite structural battery reduces both investment and part costs. The core pack, designed in-house by WAE, has the ability to deliver 1,000kW of power with 104kWh-120kWh of energy. The flexibility within the module design enables expansion of the pack, for up to 160kWh for a potential 1000km vehicle range.
Paul McNamara, technical director at WAE stated, “Demand for high-performance electric vehicles is continuing to show considerable growth but, to date, there has not been a complete EV production solution. This unique relationship brings together state-of-the-art EV rolling chassis technology with one of the world’s leaders in vehicle body engineering”.