Williams Advanced Engineering, based at Grove, near Wantage, is bringing the best of its know-how to the electric car in an innovative lightweight EV platform concept, named the FW-EVX, which will be displayed this week at the Low Carbon Vehicle Show, Millbrook.
With the car industry currently focussed on how it transitions from the internal combustion engine to a fully electric future, a major challenge for manufacturers is how to maximise vehicle efficiency, given current limitations.
Responding to this challenge, Williams Advanced Engineering has reimagined how electric cars are designed and constructed. This new approach is designed to make EVs lighter, safer and greener, with longer range and better performance.
The concept features several innovations in battery pack design, cooling systems and lightweight structures, which have each been cleverly integrated into a single, scalable platform.
For instance, Williams’ engineers have developed a highly-automated, near zero waste process that is being implemented to create fibre reinforced suspension components on the EV platform, providing up to 40% weight reduction over a conventional aluminium wishbone.
Another innovation being showcased is the process of forming high-strength 3D structures from 2D materials which, in this instance, has created an exoskeleton for a battery module that also contributes to the structural performance of the battery.
Developed by in-house specialists in aerodynamics, electric systems, advanced lightweight structures and vehicle integration, the concept highlights Williams Advanced Engineering’s expertise in accelerating ground-up innovations into demonstrable products available to its customers.
Paul McNamara, Williams Advanced Engineering technical director, said: “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, light-weight chassis and powertrain package, have the potential to greatly increase the competitiveness of the next generation of electric vehicles. By making EVs more attractive to consumers, we can help accelerate their adoption and the air quality benefits they bring.”
Craig Wilson, Williams Advanced Engineering 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.”