In-Wheel Electric Motor for 2014 from Protean
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The private electrics builder company Protean, announced that they have a ready-to-enter-production electric motor, designed to be fitted inside the wheel of a car. They recently showcased the final product form at the 2013 Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress and said that it will go into production next year at a new plant in Liyang, China.
Each unit weighs 68 pounds (30.8 kg) and can develop up to 75 kW (100 hp) and 735 lb-ft (996 Nm) of torque. Also, the new electric motors are capable of high regenerative braking, with up to 85% energy recover. The company sees their product fitting both EV vehicles and hybrid ones, being paired with normal transmission axles.
There were many attempts in the past to create such motor,s but no projects got to the production phase. The idea comes with big advantages: while the motors are occupying the in-wheel space, the engine bay will be free to accommodate battery packs and other electronics.
Also, heavy parts like a gearbox and a drivetrain will no longer be needed and with power being controlled for each wheel, the car will perform much better. And speaking of handling, by moving the motors at wheel level, the overall vehicle’s center of gravity will go down, further decreasing the roll in corners. Maintenance costs will be also reduced, due to the system’s small amount of moving parts.
It's great news to see how electric cars are advancing from year to year, but somehow it comes with bitter taste, knowing that gas-guzzling growling beasts have their days numbered, leaving the territory for “intelligent” and “rational” silent (or at least buzzing) autobots.
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