Thank You, JTEKT!

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At Michigan Solar Car, we pride ourselves on our partnerships in industry. As an organization with goals to achieve environmental efficiency, greater connectivity, as well as technical prowess, it is a huge part of our goals to involve ourselves with partners within the automotive industry in the Greater Detroit Area.

Part of achieving and maintaining our levels of technical innovation involves rigorous design, redesign, and further examination from all members of our team on every component.

This year, we partnered with JTEKT, a huge supporter of our efforts in order to work on one of the most ubiquitous parts of a car, the wheels.

Wheels are crucial to the functionality of a vehicle in the way anyone would think of. Wheels produce the friction and rotational motion that are required to move the vehicle forward, backward, and in any direction. They can be put together in many ways, but the smallest of components related to the specific design of the wheels are what can make or break our level of performance.

This year, we took a huge leap forward and a huge risk with the novel design of our vehicle Novum. Novum had an innovative aerodynamic structure and space-grade Gallium arsenide solar cells incorporated into its array. However, without highly-functioning wheel components, which are one of the physical bases of movement to our vehicles, all of that would be for naught.

This is where JTEKT came in.

JTEKT was one of our biggest supporters, in finance, equipment, and spirit. JTEKT’s enthusiasm with our project could not be beat as the services they offered us made us truly feel the strength of our relationship

We were provided with bearings for our wheels, modeled down to the most minute specifications.

Technical performance comes from many parts, with one of the most important being the very wheels which move the car itself forward. Bearings are sets of spherical components held together by metal rings known as races.

JTEKT provided us with durable and meticulously engineered hybrid ceramic ball bearings with silicon nitride. High-performing bearings are essential to wheel performance as the size and texture are what allow the wheels themselves to spin with as little friction as possible.

Without high-quality bearings, our car is unable to move quickly or efficiently.

While physically small, the bearings that JTEKT provided were huge in the overall impact, quality, and performance of our vehicle.

Thank you, JTEKT, for being an integral part of the efforts which move us forward and the spirit which keeps us going.