Advances that create value
The transition to e-mobility presents significant technological and commercial challenges for automakers. Efficiency gains and cost reductions from every link in the supply chain are needed to accelerate the introduction of electric vehicles over the next decade.
Wheels are just one of many moving parts in the energy efficiency equation. Better solutions for core requirements, partnerships that share R&D workload, and product advances that create more value are needed to support the industry’s transition.
As the world’s largest and most advanced producer of vehicle wheels, Maxion Wheels is working with vehicle manufacturers to develop flexible strategies and optimized solutions for e-vehicles. From lighter weight off-the-shelf designs, to advanced concepts that minimize drag and rolling resistance, to cost-optimized solutions with the more progressive styling buyers crave: we create more value for e-vehicles.
“Maxion’s strategy to support the electrification of vehicles uses proven engineering designs and agile processes to create more value for customers. By making wheels as light, efficient and cost-effective as possible, we help the battery system investments go further.”
“Customers are drawing more on our global R&D capabilities to understand the impact of differing market requirements and the benefits of more advanced wheel designs.”
Less weight, more go
With more than 100 years of wheel-making experience and an international network of strategically located engineering, testing and production facilities, we are better positioned to unlock the mass reduction potential in aluminum and steel wheels, while retaining the must-have styling that consumers demand.
The styling possibilities of cast aluminum continue to inspire and attract buyers. Minimizing their weight penalty using our proven engineering and optimization processes means mass reductions of up to 1kg per wheel are possible – helping to offset battery mass and their costs – with no loss of performance or functionality.
However, with electrification disrupting many established automotive trends, steel wheels are starting to play a greater role. Steel, previously limited mainly to 15”, 16” or 17” applications, is now featured in a growing number of 18” or 19” wheels for new car programs.
Process advances and new materials from Maxion mean steel wheel designs can deliver more than some may expect. Working more closely with vehicle manufacturers on highly-optimized wheel concepts, Maxion has delivered series production steel wheels that weigh less than 9.5kg.
By focusing solutions on materials and process technologies already proven in mass production, we are able to manage costs more effectively. As a result, automakers increasingly engage with our global design and engineering teams to optimize wheel designs ahead of the design-freeze, identifying the best possible balance of cost, weight, styling and performance.
- Aerodynamic attraction
Aerodynamic efficiency remains one of the simplest ways to improve e-vehicle range. Smoothing the turbulent airflows around the wheels is an essential part of the overall aero package. Aerodynamically styled wheels are also a powerful signifier of the e-vehicle’s eco-credentials. As cutting drag means closing the wide apertures that consumers love, clever designs and engineering solutions are needed.
- Line of least resistance
With new vehicle architectures now possible and consumers more open to change, there is more opportunity for engineers and designers to introduce advances that optimize weight, rolling resistance and aerodynamics – and cost. Making e-vehicle wheels taller and narrower will have a direct impact on their efficiency and range. Larger diameter steel wheels will feature in a growing number of future e-vehicles, thanks to our research and development work.
“Innovations that improve efficiency and cost are critical for the industry’s successful transition to e-mobility. Maxion customers use our expertise and proven processes to achieve significant returns from their wheel strategies with more advanced designs and smarter RFQs.”