Tuesday, March 15, 2011

No. 260: Electric vehicle with considerably reduced number of parts (March 15, 2011)

To stand ready for the foreseeable decrease of demand for bearings, NTN Corp. will shortly unveil its concept car that incorporates such advanced technology as equipment to roll tires using a motor inside the wheel. NTN’s advanced technology makes an EV lighter and reduces the number of parts considerably. The concept car can go up to 150 km/h with durability of 300,000 km. The new system is made up of two kinds of equipment. One is the drive unit that rolls tires directly using a motor inside the wheels, and the other is an electronic device that controls the angle of tires responding to steering. It can eliminate not only large parts as engine, axles, and gears, but also a shaft that connects the steering wheel and tires. That is, you can get the basic performance of running, turning, and stopping by combining the system with a battery. NTN estimates that the drive unit will be 20% lighter than the one build in the existing electric vehicle. At the same time, energy loss can be reduced because power is transmitted directly to tires. The problem with the system is the necessity to improve the durability to the impact coming from the road surface. With the NTN’s new system, even medium-sized companies and venture companies can build electric vehicles easily.

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