The adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) continues to rise, experts expect there to be 150 million electric cars, plug-in hybrids, and fuel-cell vehicles on the road s worldwide by 2030; a 30% increase compared to today.
Manufacturers and suppliers alike are joining the e-boom, with Continental collaborating with innovative manufacturers of EVs in a variety of fields across Europe, USA, and China.
Tailor-Made for EVs
With the significant differences in EV motors to combustion engines clear, Continental explains that this also affects the components that are located close to the drive and engine. “The requirements for engine bearings, for example, are completely different in electric cars,” said Scott Bykowski, head of research and development for bearing elements at Continental.
Despite being quieter when it comes to overall background noise, EVs have high-frequency excitations. Having higher torques, and lower temperature conditions, people can feel and hear this phenomenon which isn’t always pleasant. The lack of classic engine noises can also mask rolling and wind noises. “These factors have an impact on the development of the compounds of rubber components, but also on the engine mount in general,” added Bykowski.
With this in mind, Continental has developed elastomer compounds for EVs which absorbs the vibrations in the high-frequency range, which is also lightweight. Being lightweight reduces the consumption of energy and increases the EVs range.
Continental is also looking into the adaptation of other elements such as battery mounts for buses or air press bearings in trucks for EV requirements.
“We now have a lot of experience not only with traditional OEMs, but also with smaller companies and start-ups. We are very flexible and dynamic in our teams and departments. This enables us to offer our customers fast solutions and processes. Here, too, our many years of diverse experience from the entire Continental Group help us. With our expertise, we were able to keep up with the fast processes without any problems and quickly offer solutions. Our development expertise in design using simulation methods such as CAD and FEA is particularly helpful,” says Bykowski.