Protean Electric rolls towards making in-wheel electric motors a reality

Discussion in 'General' started by JohnM, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. JohnM

    JohnM Well-Known Member

    In 2012, Protean Electric—a Michigan-based company with $84 million in Chinese funding—announced it was reinventing the wheel, so to speak. The idea was to create in-wheel electric motors that would eliminate many traditional components—like axles—while freeing up the interior space normally occupied by the powertrain, allowing engineers more freedom in vehicular design.

    Protean has inked a deal with FAW-Volkswagen, announcing plans to integrate its innovative in-wheel system into the brand's upcoming electric sedan.
  2. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    They have the potential to being the most efficient drivetrain possible. Because they only have frictional losses from the bearings - no gears even, which have at least 2% losses, typically. The in-wheel motors used by the 'Stella' solar car are ~98.4% efficient; though they are very low torque.
  3. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    It seems unsprung mass might be a significant issue with these. What's a wheel motor with half enough torque to launch a vehicle without gear reduction going to weigh, as a percentage of total load on that wheel?
  4. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    Yes, unsprung weight is the biggest challenge for in-wheel motors. That is why a direct drive via a driveshaft is a very strong alternative and they would only lose a very small amount of efficiency. Hence the YASA and FVT eVaro type of drivetrains look like the best way to go. Also a simple reduction gear and differential like the Getrag units sold on Metric Mind, are an excellent way to go.

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