Electric cars to bring back the drum brakes »MotorOctane

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Drum brakes have become a thing of the past as they are only seen on MPVs, small cars and some older generation vehicles in 2021. So how can electric cars bring back drum brakes? In this article, we discuss how EVs could revive the almost extinct braking system – drum brakes.

The regenerative braking concept is a game-changer in favor of drum brakes. When you take your foot off the accelerator in an electric car, the motors turn into dynamos. Instead of converting all the energy used to gain speed into heat and brake dust, regenerative braking feeds some of the energy back into the battery to help the battery go farther.

It’s a smart way to go further with a charge, it allows the EV owner to drive most of their trips around town in a less tedious way. One thing is certain, the brakes of an electric vehicle must be designed differently.

EV brakes can be smaller and lighter because less heat will flow through them. The brakes must be corrosion resistant so that they are not damaged even if they are not used for a long time. In addition, these brakes should be compatible with other vehicles in the near future.

Drum brakes as a solution

Major automakers like Volkswagen have already added rear drum brakes on their upcoming electric cars, the ID.3 hatch and the ID.4 electric SUV. The use of drum brakes will become more popular as more and more car manufacturers start using them in their cars. Continental also offered drum brakes as a solution for electric vehicles.

“The drum brake responds to many problems that are encountered on the market today,” said Jean-Michel Verdier, head of research and development of hydraulic braking systems at Continental. It can be fully closed to prevent corrosion and they are lighter than disc brakes.

Drum brakes are not the best when it comes to performance compared to disc brakes. But a combination of front disc brakes and rear drum brakes backed by an electric motor will have more than enough stopping power for the average sedan.

European regulations

Mr. Verdier also said that automakers “size the brakes correctly” on their electric cars, and drum brakes are often the answer. As for the upcoming EU regulations that will govern everything from exhaust fumes to dust particles from tires and brakes, these will be applicable from 2025.

Closed drum brakes emit less dust into the atmosphere and this solves the major problem that automakers face today. Continental is said to be working on improving the performance of drum brakes, as the current perception is that they are inferior to disc brakes. Mr. Verdier also said: “We are not only working on communication and changing public perception, but we are also working on improving performance.”

Continental’s long-term strategy

Continental’s long-term strategy is to provide “dry brakes” that no longer require hydraulic fluid and become fully “by-wire”. They also plan to make its brake system modular so that it becomes compatible with other cars and automakers can choose the components that are best suited to their products.

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