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Home The Market Williams, Italdesign plan joint electric vehicle program

Williams, Italdesign plan joint electric vehicle program

Turnkey vehicles promise as much as 1,300 horsepower or more than 600 miles of range

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Yet another company has announced the creation of a modular electric vehicle platform on which a variety of body architectures might be mounted. This time the creators are a partnership between Williams Advanced Engineering of England and the Italian styling studio and turnkey vehicle producer Italdesign.

“Combining a state-of-the-art composite electric vehicle rolling chassis from WAE with turn-key vehicle development services from Italy’s world-famous Italdesign, the joint venture will enable both newcomers and established OEMs in the automotive sector to benefit from the expertise of two global leaders in EV engineering and vehicle design, supporting them in the creation of a range of upper premium EVs from high performance GTs, Crossover and Sedans,” the partners said in their announcement.

What differentiates the Williams/Italidesign platforms from others, the partners said, is that the “EVX integrates the battery casing with elements more commonly perceived as part of the body structure.

“Front and rear chassis structures mount to the carbon composite case and crash loads can be transferred via internal reinforcements to the integral side sills. The resulting higher profiled cross section achieves much of the torsional stiffness needed to deliver the full potential of the platform. These two design philosophies reduce reliance on the upper structure, which then gives greater design freedom for a variety of ‘top hats’.”

Williams said its battery system uses a modular setup so a vehicle can be provided with as much as 1,000 kW (1,340 horsepower) of power or as much as 1,000 kilometers (more than 600 miles of range). Williams supplied all batteries used by the FIA Formula E racing series in 2014 and has renewed that deal for the 2022-2023 season.

The partners add, “Majoring on high performance, reduced time to market, flexibility and affordability at low-to-medium volumes, the new platform is capable of supporting production runs up to 10,000 units, up to 500 of which could be manufactured by Italdesign at its facilities.”

“We are delighted to join forces with Italdesign on this exciting and timely collaboration,” Paul McNamara, WAE technical director, is quoted in the news release.“Demand for high performance electric vehicles is continuing to show considerable growth but to date, there has not been a complete EV production solution.”

Using Williams Advanced Engineering technology, Italdesign will create a variety of turnkey electric vehicles based on one platform | Italdesign illustration

“With 53 years of experience in design and engineering development, our role in the partnership will be to advance the rolling chassis developed by WAE to the complete platform and shape it according to the vehicle body style, architecture and contents defined with customers,” added Antonio Casu, chief technical officer at Italdesign.

Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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