The well-known components manufacturer is taking a jab at the “reinventing the wheel” procedure, thanks to what it calls the dual New Wheel Concept – essentially an all-in-one concept.
This interesting idea consists of an outer section labeled as the rim well, and an inner section described as the carrier star that also incorporates an aluminum brake disc. According to Continental, this design has been optimized for electric vehicles by reducing weight, as well as getting rid of poor braking performance from traditional brake rotors that can be attacked by corrosion. Maintenance costs are also down, since the aluminum disc is designed to never be changed throughout the lifetime of the car. “In EVs, it’s crucial that the driver expends as little energy as possible on the friction brake,” said Paul Linhoff, Continental’s head of brake pre-development in the chassis & safety business division. “During a deceleration, the momentum of the vehicle is converted into electricity in the generator to increase the vehicle’s range. That’s why the driver continues to operate the brake pedal – but it certainly doesn’t mean that the wheel brakes are active too.”
The concept’s inner star section attaches to the hub, with the wheel brake linked to the wheel carrier of the axle. The brake engages the disc from the inside, also providing a wider friction radius. With the lightweight design, and with EV’s major use of regenerative braking, physical brake components are subject to less wear. Continental says the design is good for medium and compact-class vehicles, and considers it “sturdy and fulfills all the established criteria” for the application.