Protean Electric is a company that performs a lot of research and development in the in-wheel electric drive market. In-wheel electric motors are exactly what they sound like, small electric propulsion units that fit within the wheels of an automobile. Protean Electric has unveiled its production in-wheel motor at the 2013 Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress.
The Protean technology is designed to be an integral part of the hybrid powertrain system and paired with a traditional internal combustion engine. However, the manufacturer says that the technology is also capable of providing enough power to be the only source of traction drive in a fully electric vehicle. The motors are designed to reside in the space behind the wheel and produce torque and power exactly where the driver and automobile need it.
Protean says that its new production motor provides a 25% increase in peak torque compared with previous generations of its technology. The new electric drive motors can generate 735 pound-foot of torque and 100 hp each. That is a huge amount of torque for each electric motor with such a small physical footprint designed to fit inside your typical wheel.
The motors also weighing only 68 pounds each and Protean says that the electric motors are able to improve fuel economy up to 30% in hybrid configurations depending on the battery size. The design of the electric motors allows of 85% of the available kinetic energy to be recovered during braking to recharge the battery. I would love to see an all wheel drive electric vehicle using these electric motors producing over 2800 pound-foot of torque.
[via Protean Electric]