The EVX electric vehicle platform developed by Williams Advanced Engineering uses the composite battery case as a structural member. (Photo by Williams Advanced Engineering)

Williams evolves composites-intensive EV platform

WILLIAMS Advanced Engineering in the UK introduced its FW-EVX electric vehicle (EV) platform in 2017, designed to give vehicle manufacturers a modular system with which to develop new vehicles.

According to Composites World, WAE reports that it is applying this innovative modular platform for use in a series of EVs — sedans, sports cars, convertibles and crossovers, alike — with the top hats engineered for the vehicles by Italdesign (Moncalieri, Italy), one of the leading transportation design and body engineering companies in the world.

This WAE approach is, like many EV platforms being developed, skateboard-like in that the rolling chassis is integrated into a flat structure. However, what is different about the Williams solution is that the battery is housed in a molded composite case that is part of the vehicle load structure: front and rear chassis elements are attached to it. Crash loads are transferred through internal reinforcements that are within the side sills.

To build this structure WAE is using both recycled composite material and aluminum; the company claims that the structure “sets new standards for static and torsional stiffness.”

The EVX battery has been developed by WAE; it is rated at 104-120 kilowatt-hours, though the company says that because a modular design approach is being taken, it could go to 160 kilowatt-hours, thereby providing a range of up to as much as 621 miles.