Lightweight chassis changes battery pack design for electric vehicles

September 11, 2017 // By Nick Flaherty
The FW-EVX concept design for lighter, safer and greener electric vehicles
A new concept design for an integrated lightweight chassis by Williams Advanced Engineering in the UK could significantly change the way battery packs are designed for electric vehicles.

The FW-EVX concept design includes several innovations in battery pack design, cooling systems and lightweight structures, which have been integrated into a single, scalable platform. Forming high-strength 3D structures from 2D materials has created an exoskeleton for a battery module that also contributes to the structural performance of the battery which will change the way EV battery packs are designed.

“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,” said Craig Wilson, managing director of Williams Advanced Engineering.

The platform has been developed in-house in collaboration with motor maker YASA, drivetrain maker Xtrac and motor controller maker Sevcon. YASA’s e-motors provided the engineers with additional flexibility to increase vehicle range, load carrying capacity or performance when compared to alternative motors. The very short axial length of the motors solve the problem of restricted space in hybrid and range-extended vehicle designs. Its proprietary Yokeless And Segmented Armature (YASA) motor topology is suited to high-volume automated assembly through advanced magnetic and structural materials, and the motors are built at a high-volume factory in Oxford, UK.

“Vehicle efficiency has always been core to Williams – whether it be in Formula One or with Williams Advanced Engineering’s customer projects,” said Paul McNamara, technical director of Williams Advanced Engineering. “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.”

www.Williamsf1.com