Lacks Wheel Trim Systems (Novi, Mich.) was recently featured in a joint Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report titled “Midterm Evaluation of Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards for Model Years 2022-2025” for its eVOLVE composite wheel.
The report, which analyzes the progress the automotive industry has made toward meeting upcoming government-mandated fuel economy regulations, said eVOLVE’s design “balances a lightweight structure with optimal aerodynamics.” It also references a study involving the Ford Focus compact car in which eVOLVE wheels replaced the standard production wheels, leading to a reduction in weight and improved fuel economy of 1.1 miles per gallon highway, and 0.4 miles per gallon city.
The eVOLVE composite wheels were included in the report among a number of lightweighting materials and mass-reduction technologies needed to achieve the 2025 fleet average fuel economy target of 54.5 mpg.
“When our team introduced the eVOLVE hybrid composite wheel system and its test data to the marketplace in November of 2012, the results took everyone by surprise in both magnitude and potential fuel economy impact,” says James Ardern, general manager of Lacks Wheel Trim Systems. “To see the marketplace and the EPA validate our efforts with product development activity and the referenced mid-term paper, is exciting as all stakeholders understand more about the effects of wheels on fuel efficiency. Our composite wheel system has the proven potential to offer significant contributions to improved fuel economy for many vehicle platforms.”
Lacks Wheel Trim Systems recently submitted a whitepaper to the EPA outlining the benefits of the eVOLVE composite wheel, highlighting its measurable fuel economy improvements when analyzed using CAFE tests due to its light weight and aerodynamic properties.
The report also notes that the eVOLVE composite wheel system provides turbulence management and saves research and development time because the visible design surface can be changed per OEM specifications without changing the base wheel underlay design. In addition, the composite system’s design flexibility enhances visual aesthetics for appearance purposes.