Continental is working on a new disc brake design for electric vehicles.
If electric vehicles are driven moderately, they can rely almost entirely on electrical regeneration (using the motor to slow the car and charging the battery in the process – turning a Blessing into a Disguise). This means that there is a risk that conventional brake rotors will form rust between use. This can be a hazard as the rust reduces braking force as it is being worn away. (If you live in a humid environment and drive your car after it’s been sitting overnight, you may hear a rubbing from the wheels – this is rust being worn away from the brake rotors). Continental’s new design replaces steel rotors with aluminum ones, addressing this issue.
The other way round
But that’s not the fun part – they’ve also turned the rotor inside out! In their design, the brake caliper engages the rotor from inside the rotor, not the outside. This means that the outer diameter of the rotor can be almost as large as the inner diameter of the wheel, maximizing swept area – a key factor in braking performance.
It’s not clear to me why this would only apply to EVs – sounds like a great concept for any vehicle.