Williams lightens suspension components by 40%

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Electric powertrain technology is advancing month on month, but the challenge for car manufacturers is how to design and construct vehicle suitable architectures to maximize the efficiencies of such technologies. However, with its FW-EVX concept, Williams Advanced Engineering has created an advanced EV platform which features several innovations in lightweight structures, battery pack design and cooling systems, which have each been cleverly integrated into a single, scalable platform. Simply put, the platform is intended to make EVs lighter, safer and greener, with longer range and better performance.

Vehicle dynamicists will be particularly interested in the fiber-reinforced suspension components. Exact details are being kept under wraps at present, but Williams states that its engineers have developed a highly automated, near zero-waste process that can reduce weight by up to 40% compared with conventional aluminum wishbones.

The team has also developed a process that can form high-strength 3D structures from 2D materials, which they have applied to create an exoskeleton for a battery module that also contributes to the structural performance of the battery.

Craig Wilson, Williams Advanced Engineering’s managing director, said, “This represents a new direction for Williams’ advanced engineering business, as its own R&D team has developed the proprietary innovations and has submitted patents for a number of the inventions. We believe there is a high potential business opportunity here, and are excited to see where this could take us.”

Technical director Paul McNamara added, “Vehicle efficiency has always been core to Williams – whether it be in Formula One or with Williams Advanced Engineering’s customer projects. These technologies, and our thinking around how to create a tightly integrated, lightweight chassis and powertrain package, have the potential to greatly increase the competitiveness of the next generation of EVs. By making EVs more attractive to consumers, we can help accelerate their adoption and the air quality benefits they bring.”

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Adam divides his time as an editor between the worlds of aviation and motoring. These worlds may seem a little diverse today, but autonomous technology and future urban mobility is bringing them ever-closer. Adam is also chairman of the Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.

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