Copyright ©2017 Green Matters. All rights reserved.
Twitter
Toyota Experiments With Airless Tires To Lighten EVs

Without a doubt, one of the biggest drawbacks when it comes to electric vehicles (EVs) is that even when fully charged, they can still have a relatively limited range. Of course, that's steadily improved in recent years; new vehicles have seen distances at over 300 miles this year thanks to lithium-ion batteries with higher capacity, for example. We could see that number jump drastically with Toyota looking into airless tires to decrease the weight of their EVs.

Automobile manufacturers are currently tinkering with cars to give them longer range. While battery technology will continue to improve and increase the range that way, adding features such as solar panels and making the car lighter overall can also give cars better efficiency with the battery that's already installed. For example, while solar-powered cars aren’t a realization yet, that technology could be used to run the features of a vehicle, which decreases battery usage.

Toyota’s looking into airless tires for their newest concept car that was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in October. Called the “Fine-Comfort Ride,” this fuel cell vehicle is also designed to improve aerodynamic performance with a diamond-shaped cabin.

Each wheel would have its own unique motor that would power the vehicle. In comparison to air-filled tires, these new wheels could be 11 pounds less, or just 70 percent, of the weight. Sumitomo Rubber Industries has been working with Toyota on the new product, and they’ve been testing their prototype on smaller vehicles, such as golf carts and minicars.

“The Fine-Comfort Ride is a concept, for now,” Takao Sato, chief engineer of Toyota’s new concept car, said at the Tokyo Motor Show. “But we are developing technologies for the future and we are active in various developments. Launch timing is not decided but 2025-2030 is the target date for making it complete.”

Wako Iwamura, who’s the head of the new product, has been working on the product for the last five years. He’s hoping that a commercial version of the airless tire comes out by the end of 2020. To increase range even further, Iwamura is also working on limiting friction that takes place when the wheels are turning.

Based on initial details, the vehicle looks to be the length between a Prius and a Mirai. There will be six seats in the vehicle, with the first two rows being able to fully rotate. This would provide easier conversations and a better way to get in and out of the vehicle. The backseat is more traditional, and it also gives the ability for middle-seat passengers to fully recline if no one is sitting in the back.

Toyota boasts that the vehicle will have no carbon dioxide emissions or any discharging “substances of concern.” Should the airless wheels be a significant hit, it would be hard to see the idea not reach other models from the manufacturer.

News'Source' Makes Fresh Drinking Water Out Of Thin Air

An Arizona startup has created Source, a hydropanel system that's able to extract water from the air. It's able to convert what's acquired into fresh, drinkable water in a wide variety of climates, making it a great alternative source in rural areas.

4 days ago
NewsThis Compact Car Runs On Hydrogen And Emits Just Water

Electric vehicles with battery power are getting most of the attention, but hydrogen fuel cells are catching up. One car manufacturer in Wales spent 15 years developing a lightweight version with comparable range and fueling speed to ICEs.

4 days ago
NewsMicrosoft Plans To Cut 75 Percent Of Carbon Emissions By 2030

Microsoft is joining the likes of other major tech corporations and have made a pledge to cut three-fourths of their carbon emissions by 2030. They'll accomplish this feat by pursuing more renewable energy sources and working further with cloud technology.

4 days ago
NewsUPS Makes Plans To Convert Delivery Trucks In NYC To Electric

UPS is helping out New York's efforts to reduce 40 percent of carbon emissions by 2030 by electrifying two-thirds of their delivery truck fleet in NYC. They'll be working with a locally-based company to develop a streamlined way to convert their trucks.

5 days ago
Stay Green
Sign up for our daily newsletter
Quantcast