An extreme performance new electric vehicle (EV) platform from Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) could cut development timescales for high-end cars by an entire year.

Designed to provide a ‘tried and tested’ platform for hypercar manufacturers to build upon, the EVR platform was revealed to a small group of journalists at the firm’s headquarters in Grove, Oxfordshire, ahead of the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle (LCV) show this week.

Including a central carbon fibre structure, battery pack, steering, and adjustable sub-frames and number of motors, the platform could cut typical three-year development projects down to two years or less, WAE claimed.

While the entire platform has only undergone virtual testing so far, individual components such as the battery pack and the powertrain unit have gone through intense testing separately, providing a strong basis of knowledge and experience for automotive start-ups and OEMs to build from.

“EVR is taking everything we know about performance cars, the electrification of performance cars, and providing a common platform,” said technical director Paul McNamara.

“What we’re saying to customers is ‘We’ve done all the basic testing of components, we have a platform ready to launch, we’ve saved you something like 12 months if you’re starting from scratch.’”

Unlike the firm’s previous FW-EVX concept, which stored batteries in the base of a skateboard-style platform, the EVR mounts the high-performance battery system in the middle of the vehicle, behind the driver and passenger seats.

“What this new platform really gave us the opportunity to do was to design the top and the rear structure around the structural contributions of the battery,” said technical lead and senior integration engineer Chris McCaw. The placement is designed to optimise the centre of gravity, as well as increasing rigidity of the rear of the vehicle.

The battery itself stores 85kWh and has peak power of 1,650kW, featuring fast charging in less than 20 minutes and a range of more than 450km (279 miles).

Projected performance specifications for cars built on the platform are at the extreme end of the scale – 0-100km/h in less than two seconds and top speed of 400km/h (248mph) with a vehicle mass less than 1,800kg.

The platform can support a range of configurations, WAE said, from track-only vehicles with maximised power-to-weight ratios, to roadgoing models with convertible or fixed roofs. Depending on the configuration, an EVR car might have 2,200-plus horsepower.

There will be bespoke options for adding sensors, but the platform already includes sensors that contribute to vehicle dynamics – two accelerometers are built-in, for example, for state estimation of slide going through a corner. WAE-developed technology including optimised Battery Management Systems (BMS) and advanced torque vectoring could be included in future cars, which will be built at low-volume.

“For start-ups, EVR provides a complete turnkey solution, with WAE delivering the entire vehicle, with exterior design support supplied by the customer or a WAE partner. For OEMs, EVR accelerates route to market, with the entire engineering and assembly of the rolling chassis completed by WAE,” the company said.

McNamara said: “EVR combines WAE’s exceptional expertise in motorsport-bred lightweight, composite structures and high-performance battery powertrains with our knowledge in developing and delivering electric vehicle programmes. It rapidly accelerates high-performance electrification, offering a turnkey solution for both start-ups and OEMs with an affordable business case, reduced time to market and a highly flexible architecture.”

Billed as a car that is ‘designed in Austria, made in Italy, electrified in the United Kingdom’, the Deus Vayanne gives an early glimpse of what an EVR-powered electric hypercar could look like. The vehicle will go into production in 2025.

A fuel cell variant of the EVR platform is also being developed, with the aim of providing equivalent performance powered by ‘green’ hydrogen.

Extracted from IMechE website - read more here

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