Toyo Tire & Rubber (Toyo) has entered a joint development project for a modular suspension system for EVs (electric vehicles) with GLM, a Japanese EV manufacturer. The quiet nature of EVs is a key factor in the design of the module, mainly because any rubber components such as the tires and air suspension will need to be much quieter than those of noisier combustion engine vehicles. The module will also need to offer optimal damping control to counteract vibration generated from sources such as uneven road surfaces and e-motors.
Who is GLM?
GLM (Green Lord Motors) is an emerging EV manufacturer born out of Kyoto University’s electric vehicle development project. GLM develops and distributes complete vehicles such as the Tommykaira ZZ electric sports car, launched in October 2015, and also has a ‘platform business’ for chassis’ and powertrains, offering parts, developmental expertise and collaborative relationships with other manufacturers and organizations.
What are they working on?
The primary project for the companies is the development of an active air suspension designed to create a “smooth, flat ride”, through optimal damping and anti-vibration qualities, with active control of the vehicle shock absorbers and embedded electronic control technology.
The partners are aiming to commercialize the system by 2020, and have set up a business unit focused on mobility, including automotive tires and components to achieve this.
“We take the view that jointly developing product modules for EVs with GLM as a partner will contribute to expanding the potential for deepening and advancing our future vehicles. We aim to become a supplier that can [create]greatly added value by accumulating experience in total design and packaging of suspension modules specifically to resolve the unique technical issues confronting EVs through our collaboration with GLM,” said Toyo in an official statement.
Hiroyasu Koma, president of GLM stated, “We believe that the flat-ride technology that we are jointly working to develop will become a core technology for EVs, given their superior quiet performance. This technology is becoming the de facto standard for premium segment vehicles, whose share has grown in line with global economic growth. I expect massive needs for general vehicles in emerging countries where road conditions are insufficient and transportation for people and luggage once the cost is reduced following a shift to mass production.”
Masayuki Kanai, senior corporate officer in charge of Toyo’s engineering control department added, “We will maximize our technological potential, achieve a new level of integrated performance for each proven component, and would like to realize modular production of indispensable and value-added suspension system components for our future vehicle.”