Electric vehicles force car makers to reinvent the wheel, and brakes, and mirrors. Taking the example of its Swedish counterparts in Volvo and the rational ideas of car manufacturers around the world, General Motors toured the international automotive industry last week by announcing that all its cars would be powered by 2035.
The announcement is likely to put further pressure on many car owners, both in the United States and in other countries, to intensify their efforts, and in the petroleum industry to find alternatives to oil and petroleum products.
Robots also have access to parts manufacturers, designers and garages who must be familiar with the future of the future, as far as the wheels go.
The popular script on electric cars keeps them very expensive, slightly polluting and runs so quiet that they have to have speakers to show how they work. But compared to cars and trucks running on gasoline or diesel, electric cars also require special or highly modified equipment, with unusual mechanical and physical attention (or neglect, as we shall see below).
While switching to electricity is a learning process for drivers, it is much more than a point, it is the same in all parts of the automotive sector.
Ian Coke who is the technology chief at Pirelli Tire said that when manufacturers come to build a dedicated electric car, a lot of things are going to change. He said that but first, one have to make a distinction between electric vehicles – installing an electric powertrain on an existing platform – and electric vehicles.
A well-known example is Tesla, which designs its cars to operate as pure electrics. Other companies already following Tesla wheel tracks include China-based Lucid, Volkswagen, NIO and Volvo, who say in 2017 that at least half of global production will be electrically fast by 2025 and release its first electric car, the Recharge XC40 compact utility, last year. GM, of course, is on board, along with Ford Motor Co, which has made a huge investment in electric truck manufacturer Rivian and its Mustang Mach-E is one of the most anticipated non-Tesla electric vehicles yet.
Audi, which sells a wide range of electric-powered SUVs such as the E-tron, is developing other designs such as the electric motors, said American Audi spokesman Mark Dahncke. He said the challenges were huge: “You have to know that everything in the car that you take for granted – wheels, brakes, tires – you have to do well to make it work properly.”
There are other stories as well. “You have a bound purpose: On the other hand you have to handle and withstand the weight of a car that uses a battery with strong brakes, strong axes, solid suspension,” Dahncke said. “At the same time, you need to add everything with aerodynamics.”
These “tightening” processes involve collaboration between suppliers and manufacturers, Coke said. They should consider brakes, wheels, side mirrors, air noise, chassis sound, wheel noise. Issues are not limited to one manufacturer; for him, Pirelli, his Milan home, worked closely with Rivian, based in Michigan, to install tires in their products.
Tires are, of course, a single concern for Coke. And among the things he prioritizes in improving electric cars is reducing tire resistance, a key factor in increasing battery life. Long battery life means less distance worry and a larger potential market for electric vehicles.