Lead project partner, Edward Allnutt, Managing Director at Carbon ThreeSixty, which specialises in the design and manufacture of advanced composite structures, said: “The world’s first all-composite wheel for electric and niche vehicles has moved a major step forward, and we can confidently say it has the ability to deliver huge cost savings over anything on the market. It can also be manufactured in volume and gives OEMs huge flexibility in what they can specify. This is truly a quantum leap in wheel design and manufacture.”
“Far-UK is pleased to see this project progressing. We are convinced that the skills of the consortium will help the project progress to a fully carbon fibre wheel that customers want to use for the weight saving and that makes good economic sense to use as well.” Dr Kevin Lindsey, Director Far-UK Ltd
“The ACRIM II project is a great opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of using robots for secondary operations, including trimming and drilling, of composite components,” said Philippa Glover, Managing Director at CNC Robotics. “Robots can offer a more cost-effective alternative to conventional machine tools in these applications and so can contribute to lower overall manufacturing costs for these types of part.”
“Bitrez welcomes the opportunity to maintain our involvement as the preferred sub-contract resin supplier for the ACRIM II project, building on the successful collaboration as a full project partner in ACRIM I, where our custom formulated Epoxy system provided both the high performance and cost targets required by the project” said Dominic Hopwood, Resin Sales Manager – Composites at Bitrez Limited.
“Gordon Murray Design are pleased to be associated with the ACRIM II project. The main focus of our iStream® technology is vehicle lightweighting, particularly important for electric vehicles such as MOTIV® and other autonomous driven platforms. The opportunity to evaluate commercially viable, lightweight carbon wheels will be invaluable for future projects” said Andy Smith, R&D Director at Gordon Murray Design.
The world’s first commercially viable, low cost, lightweight, all-composite wheel for electric and niche vehicles such as driverless cars, last mile delivery vehicles, road sweepers and next generation of agricultural vehicles could now soon be a reality.
Previously seen to be purely performance driven for racing and high-performance applications, lightweight carbon wheels are now being investigated by electric and niche vehicles and OEMs to further reduce fuel consumption, emissions, extend vehicle range and increase payload.