The technology company Continental has again expanded its solution portfolio for electric vehicles, developing the new wheel concept to meet the specific requirements of these vehicles. The wheel rim consists of two aluminium (Al) parts, the inner Al carrier star with the Al brake disk and the outer Al rim well with the tire. In contrast to conventional wheel brakes, the new wheel concept brake engages the Al disk from the inside. This allows it to have a particularly large diameter, which benefits the braking performance.
To increase the vehicles range, deceleration in the EV generates as much electricity as possible through recuperation, so the wheel brake is used less frequently. The corrosion-free Al brake disk also prevents the formation of rust (as is normal on cast-iron disks) which can impair the braking effect.
“Electromobility needs new solutions for braking technology too,” says Matthias Matic, Head of Continental’s Hydraulic Brake Systems Business Unit. “Using conventional brakes is not very effective in this case. The new wheel concept meets all the demands that electric driving places on the brake. We used our braking know-how to develop a solution that provides a consistently reliable braking effect in the electric vehicle.”
Thanks to the lightweight material, the new wheel concept reduces the weight of the wheel and brake, enabling lightweight construction in EV’s. Advantages of the concept are much easier wheel and brake pad changes and that the disk is not subject to wear.
The new wheel concept is based on a new division between the wheel and the axle. Here the wheel consists of two parts, the aluminium carrier star, which remains permanently bolted to the wheel hub, and the rim well, which is bolted to the star. The wheel brake is fastened to the wheel carrier of the axle and engages from the inside with an annular aluminium brake disk, which in turn is bolted to the carrier star. The internal brake permits a wide brake disk friction radius, since the space available in the wheel is optimally utilised. During its development, the new wheel concept’s braking performance was initially designed for medium and compact class vehicles. In accordance with today’s requirements for this application, the brake is sturdy and fulfils all the established criteria although it is used much less frequently in an EV.
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