Continental introduces innovative wheel and braking concept for EVs

Automotive supply giant Continental has developing a new type of wheel and braking system to meet the specific requirements of electrified vehicles.

The New Wheel Concept is based on a new division between the wheel and the axle. The wheel consists of two parts, the aluminum carrier star, which remains permanently bolted to the wheel hub, and the rim well, which is bolted to the star. The wheel brake is fastened to the wheel carrier of the axle and engages from the inside with an aluminum brake disk, which in turn is bolted to the carrier star.

In contrast to conventional wheel brakes, the New Wheel Concept brake engages the disk from the inside, allowing it to have a particularly large diameter, which improves braking performance. Unlike cast-iron disks, the aluminum disk is not subject to wear, and will not rust. The concept also reduces the weight of the assembly, and makes wheel and brake pad changes easier.

“Electromobility needs new solutions for braking technology too,” says Matthias Matic, Head of Continental’s Hydraulic Brake Systems Business Unit. “Using conventional brakes is not very effective in this case. The New Wheel Concept meets all the demands that electric driving places on the brake.”

“In EVs, it’s crucial that the driver expends as little energy as possible on the friction brake,” says Paul Linhoff, Head of Brake Pre-Development in Continental’s Chassis & Safety Business Unit. “Drivers want to be able to rely on a consistent braking effect – and too much rust on the brake disk in particular can really make this difficult.”


Source: Continental

  • David Cameron

    How does Continental manufacture a brake disc from aluminum that “does not wear”?

    • Stephen Wootten

      I was wondering. My guess that they have a pad material that is relatively sacrificial, so does all the wearing.

  • Dennis Worley

    I favor the idea of a powerful hubmotor with springs in rim as developed for bikes!
    what do you engineers think?

    • Paul Rollmann

      Motors in the hubs, make the wheel very heavy. “Unsprung weight” which is the mass of everything beneath the spring that suspends the vehicle. Too much unsprung weight, makes car handling over bumps, etc very slow to react. It maybe light for bike, but in a car, the motor would weigh as much or more than the tire and rim.
      For heavy industrial vehicles, this is an option..

  • skipw

    I’ve driven an EV (Chevy Volt) since 2011 and I rarely use the mechanical portion of the brakes because regenerative braking is sufficient in most cases.

  • Winfield Coachman

    Buell Motorcycle had a similar brake architecture back in 2003, called “Zero Torsional Load (ZTL) perimeter floating front disc brake system”.

  • Donald Wright

    The real answer for EV braking is getting rid of the mechanical brakes altogether (except maybe one physical E-brake/parking brake). The e-drive can easily slow the vehicle and regenerate the energy at the same time.

    • Stephen Monozee EV consultants

      Braking with a full battery, emergency stopping and stopping to standstill and ABS are the present challenges to regen only braking. There are options for the full battery you need braking resistors that turn the energy to heat, or ultra capacitors. Emergency stopping provides safety issues, and at low speeds there still isn’t a suitable regen solution to stop accurately. Need to also look to one motor per wheel to implement some of these solutions.

      • Jmac

        I’ve seen the “braking with a full battery” argument raised before, but I don’t understand it – if the car is in motion, then the batteries have necessarily expended some energy to put it in motion, and (given no system is 100% efficient) the amount of energy recovered through regen must be less than the amount expended, so the battery must have capacity.

        Now I think of it, I guess the issue arises if you start with a full battery at the top of a hill, and try to control speed on descent using regen. Answered my own question.