Tuesday, August 3, 2021
News New Report Examines The Little Changes Accompanying Electrification

New Report Examines The Little Changes Accompanying Electrification

Electrified experience

  • There’s more to it than just a battery and motor

  • New vehicles mean new problems and new opportunities

Moving to electric vehicles means big changes for automakers, but that’s not just in powertrains and batteries. From tires to taillights, the move to electric requires new thinking and new component designs so that the cars can make best use of their electrons. A new report talks about their efforts to reinvent the wheel, the brakes, and even the mirrors.

The report from the New York Times comes shortly after an announcement from GM to pursue all-electric by 2035, and well after a Volvo goal of doing the same. Each automaker to make the commitment puts more pressure on the rest to do the same, and that affects everyone from engineers to miners, suppliers, and dealers.

“When manufacturers come to build a dedicated electric vehicle, there’s a lot of things to change,” said Ian Coke, chief technical officer in the United States for Pirelli Tire told the Times. “But first, you’ve got to make the distinction between vehicles that are being electrified — installing an electric powertrain into an existing platform — and electric vehicles.” For the latter, he said, “there’s a lot of carry-over components that aren’t ideal.”

Oversized components are an enemy, meaning there is more to accelerate and keep at speed, but the battery and motor themselves are heavier than a gas car, making work tough for automakers. The cars are also more silent, so noise from the engine no longer hides mirror wind noise, brake noise, tire noise, and countless other small sources that can add up. EV builders are using composers, including BMW’s use of Hans Zimmer, to design new soundtracks for the electric models.

Coke tells the Times that EVs require low rolling resistance compounds to reduce consumption, but then have massive torque that can then spin and wear those tires out more quickly, a delicate tightrope for engineers to walk.

Lastly, the changes to automotive services once the oil change is a thing of the past. EVs still need some service, but it’s definitely less. “You’re going to see a shift in types of services from those shops,” Jeffrey Cox, president of the Automotive Maintenance and Repair Association in Chicago told the Times. “But we’ve already seen changes: We’ve seen oil change intervals go up. So I don’t see E.V.s as the death of the aftermarket. The biggest challenge is the recruitment of technicians with specific skill sets.”


Trending Now

Rivian Sends in Trademark Apps For Six New Nameplates

New applications take brand from R3 to R6 with trucks and crossovers Points to more electric pickups and SUVs Some sharp-eyed digital searchers have...

Audi Sends RS 3 Around Nurburgring To Smash Class Lap Record

Audi's all-new RS 3 sedan was just revealed a few weeks ago, but it's already setting records. This time, Audi claims the compact five-pot...

Nikola Founder Charged With Three Counts of Fraud

Prosecutors allege prototypes were cobbled together, used wall plugs and gravity to "run" Two counts of securities fraud and one of wire fraud...

New 2022 Hyundai Santa Fe XRT Details Shared

The trim is a rugged appearance package upgrade. The XRT is based on the SEL version with the Convenience package. For SUVs buyers, an...

Siemens and Continental Partner to Advance Highway Power Lines For Semi Trucks

Overhead wires would power trucks like trains Could create electric trucking without massive battery requirements Siemens Mobility and Continental have announced a new plan...


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.