Rocket Fuel

Elio, Hayes, and Newton…

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Luckily for the rest of us, every once in a while a person like Isaac Newton is born. In a world rife with uncertainty, geniuses like Newton come along and provide answers to the mysteries that once seemed destined to remain unexplained. Take, for example, Newton’s First Rule of Motion, which states that “…an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by a force.” This concept may be obvious to us today, but this fundamental idea remained unexplained for thousands of years. Today we will look at the force that acts to put an object at rest: the brakes of the Elio.

The brakes are an essential part of the Elio Safety Management System and are made up of two different components: hardware and software. Today’s Momentum will focus on the hardware of the Elio brakes.

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All three wheels of the vehicle have disc brakes, which are the most common brakes on the road today. We will be using manual brakes in order to limit both cost and weight. The 10-inch rotors are solid casted ductile iron which have a zinc phosphate coating. The calipers are casted ductile iron which are then machined to specification. The front caliper is a dual piston design, while the rear piston is a single position design with a parking brake feature, known as a Hydro-Mechanical caliper. The fasteners, along with all of the hardware, will be tested in a salt spray to ensure the longevity of components and proper clamp load.

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Hayes, a well-regarded name in the automotive industry, is our brake supplier. Hayes will conduct an entire battery of testing in conjunction with our ABS and ESC teams at their facility. Much of their work will consist of bench testing. The brake life of the Elio will be measured at various intervals to analyze wear and tear on the braking system. We will not only test the brakes of the vehicle after 10,000 miles: we will test the vehicle’s brakes in excess of 100,000 miles to ensure that the hardware provides the necessary longevity.

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The brake systems of the vehicle will be exposed to a wide variety of testing. From extreme conditions, such as frigid cold, sweltering heat, and mountainous altitudes and attitudes, to stop and go city traffic, our partners will validate that our brakes are optimum for all conditions and environments.

To measure the braking capability of the Elio, we will be using the standard stop test. The stop test measures the number of feet it takes the vehicle, which is moving at 60 MPH on a flat road in dry conditions, to come to a complete stop. We are targeting under 110 feet as our stopping distance, which would be among the best in the industry.

You probably don’t need Isaac Newton to tell you that having the ability to stop is important, especially when it comes to driving. Elio Motors, along with Hayes, our ABS and ESC teams, and the First Rule of Motion, will make sure that you will have no problem coming to a complete stop in your Elio.

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