Did you ever feel the need to have an exciting driving experience even when driving an electric car like a Tesla Model X? In the next few years, electric vehicle drivers will be able to embrace the emergence of car wheels made of carbon fiber, which can bring the efficiency of electric cars to a higher level.
In This Article:
- Carbon Fiber Wheels Reduce Unsprung Mass
- Carbon Fiber Wheels Allow Longer Range
- Carbon Fiber Wheels Provide Sharper Handling
- Carbon Fiber Wheels Transmit Less Noise
- Carbon Fiber Wheels Are Coming Down in Price
Carbon Fiber Wheels Will Appear on Electric Cars and Disrupt the Market
Carbon fiber wheels have the potential to pose a significant threat to traditional aluminum wheels and improve car efficiency to the point where they become the preferred choice for electric vehicles. Let’s find out how they will become prevalent and disrupt the market in the future.
Carbon Fiber Wheels Reduce Unsprung Mass
Every car enthusiast wants their car to be equipped with large wheels so that the vehicle looks strong and sporty. However, aluminum wheels become unbearably hefty and may affect the car’s overall performance. Let’s take the Chevrolet Silverado EV as an example. The electric truck boasts a 24-inch wheelset that looks amazing yet adds massive weight to the suspension system, resulting in reduced mobility. However, carbon fiber can reduce weight by up to 40 percent on wheels of that size.
Many people may remain suspicious of the durability of carbon fiber wheels as they think lightweight composite material is too fragile to use in the real world, especially if it absorbs massive pressure at high speed or a sharp corner. Nevertheless, car users can start swapping their wheels confidently without the fear of cracking wheels even in the slightest. It is because every single set of carbon fiber wheels must undergo a strict process of durability testing to determine its performance against real-world fatigue and impacts.
Carbon Fiber Wheels Allow Longer Range
When it comes to electric vehicles, being able to extend the driving range is crucial. As mentioned above, carbon fiber wheels are around 40 percent lighter than aluminum wheels, allowing the car to squeeze extra range from the battery. Simply put, carbon fiber wheels can prolong the rolling range by cutting down on mass from the suspension system. The less weight the vehicle carries, the less energy it consumes, leading to an extended range.
Thanks to carbon fiber wheels’ weight and energy savings, it is possible for any electric vehicle to gain a boost in the range of around 5 percent. On a typical electric car with 300 miles of range, that 5 percent increase is equivalent to 15 miles of range. And, do not underestimate the importance of that extra few miles. That could be the difference between making it home or not or reaching a nearby charging station when you need it the most.
Carbon Fiber Wheels Provide Sharper Handling
While there is no doubt that aiming to extend the driving range is a top priority for electric vehicles, the driving experience will be less exciting if the car feels sluggish with poor handling. Reduced weight on carbon fiber wheels means consuming less energy to get the vehicle to move and speeding up and slowing down more responsively. This sharper handling allows quicker response time and a better driving experience.
As a result, for those enjoying the high maneuverability of a car, this will definitely be a massive advantage. With sharper handling in the long and winding roads, an electric vehicle should be capable of steering into a corner at high speed while maintaining its stability. A well-handled car should also be able to respond perfectly even with the slightest pressing on the accelerator. Without even a fraction of a second delay, the direct response will allow electric car drivers to safely overtake other cars on the road.
Carbon Fiber Wheels Transmit Less Noise
Since electric vehicles have no combustion engine under the hood as in regular cars, road noise is the primary source of noise in the cabin. And, every driver knows how excess noise will draw attention and how dangerous it is driving under distractions. Carbon fiber can dissipate the energy produced after impacts, resulting in lower impact transmissibility and significant road noise reduction. Measuring has shown an impressive 5-decibel decrease of noise, meaning the driver will have a quieter atmosphere inside the cabin.
But, what does it mean if you can reduce road noise inside the car? Whether you are driving to work or the beach on your short holiday, all you need is peace inside the vehicle. Road noise is one annoying thing that will not give you a peaceful drive. While the car soundproofing system might work, the absence of an engine under the bonnet will likely make the road noise intolerable. Reducing road noise is not only necessary for comforting the mind but also for protection since it ensures that you are 100 percent focused on driving.
Carbon Fiber Wheels Are Coming Down in Price
The only disadvantage of carbon fiber wheels, at least for the time being, is the price. Carbon Revolution, the leading company that has successfully innovated and introduced carbon fiber wheels to the automotive world, says that a set of their wheels may cost over 10,000 USD. However, the company is attempting to disrupt the market by reducing manufacturing costs and enabling mass production through greater use of automation, known as the “mega line.”
The installation of a mega line, a fully-automated production line, can produce as many as 150,000 wheels every year. It can even be available for expansion in size to reduce the cost further. That said, the price for carbon fiber wheels has gone down significantly over the last decade before the mega line and will likely drop further in the future. Carbon Revolution predicts that by 2035, carbon fiber wheels will have taken over a significant percentage of the market from aluminum wheels.
With all the elements needed to make carbon fiber a preferred choice in the years to come, it is fair enough to say that it is only a matter of time before everyone wants to bolt these lightweight wheels on their vehicles. And, keep in mind that the era of carbon fiber wheels is just about to begin.
If you have questions about electric vehicles or any of the details discussed here, connect with us and learn more.
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