Elio talks wiring tech, choosing NEWTECH 3 as supplier

Sections: Chassis

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Elio Wire Harness press photo

A prototype wire harness like this one is being designed by Elio Motors and supplier NEWTECH 3. (Photo courtesy Elio Motors)

Wiring is vital for the technology-loaded cars of today. Despite relatively old-school engine tech, Elio Motors realizes it will need a solid central nervous system in the form of a reliable, adaptable wire harness. That’s why the company said it turned to NEWTECH 3 — a supplier of wire harnesses and circuit board assemblies for GM, Chrysler, Mitsubishi, and a host of other automotive companies.

The latest Tech Talk e-mail from Elio said with the rise in electronic technology found in most vehicles, the wire harness has taken on a more prominent role in vehicle design and overall customer satisfaction.

NEWTECH 3’s website said the supplier company specializes in design input and manufacturing of wire harnesses for a broad range of industrial, commercial, and OEM applications on a variety of scales from short-run prototype situations to full-on, high-volume production.

In terms of NEWTECH 3’s importance to the three-wheeled Elio, the upstart car company’s press release said it’s vital to the operation of a number of things:

  • all of the communication between the engine sensors and the ECM;
  • the wheel sensors and the ABS module;
  • crash sensors and the airbag squibs;
  • the communications between the ECM and the MFC;
  • and the power to drive items such as the windows, wipers, fuel pump, fans, HVAC, lights and dashboard

According to Elio’s e-mail, NEWTECH 3 will manage and produce every single wire harness for the proposed three-wheeled fuel-saver. Furthermore, as an Elio supplier partner, the e-mail said NEWTECH 3 is playing an “active role” in making day-to-day design and engineering decisions that keep overall costs down by focusing on system cost rather than component cost. Lead electrical engineers from Elio Motors and NEWTECH 3 are in constant contact with all suppliers of electrical accessories on the Elio, the e-mail said. This reportedly helps specify the proper connector and terminal systems to mate to the accessory and provides a better understanding of power and communication requirements that each accessory requires.

Elio said as electrical components are added to the vehicle, a “map” is made of the necessary connection points on the wire harness. According to the e-mail, most of the components are “designed in” at this early stage. The next step will be to install prototype harnesses on a testing chassis known as a “buck,” where Elio said it will test different ways of routing the wire harness for the best installation once the car goes into full production. The first harness built will power the engine, while subsequent harnesses reportedly will power body and lighting elements.

It would be interesting to know whether Elio and NEWTECH 3 can make this goal, found at the end of the e-mail, happen:

NEWTECH 3 will play a critical role in helping guide our electronics strategy, as the Elio Motors electronic capabilities evolve to enhance the driver experience without adding to the overall cost of the vehicle.

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  • John Dunn

    This company is a joke! High Tech? Not! They don’t even have a windshield washer system and driving on the road in this little death trap is scary enough. Driving with a dirty windshield will increase the odds much more of getting into an accident. Also, if the one and only door is jammed after an accident and you cannot roll down the widows due to the battery being out of service from the collision, how does one get out of that back seat? Keep in mind, there is a good chance that the whole front of the car can be smashed in all the way back to the front seat, so that an exit out of the car that way is blocked by the front seat.

  • Ari LEa

    What are you talking about? Obviously no clue at all. The initial prototype didn’t have one, but later they do, and of course the production one will, duh! The Elio will very likely be safer than what you are driving now. -keep- in mind you have a blocked mind and never looked for any data to the contrary.