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Protean In Wheel

Protean In Wheel Electric Motors

Protean In WheeI EIectric Motors

A consortium of companies including the chinese city of Liyang, Jiangsu Province announced funding to the tune of $US84 million in Protean Electric. The funding is expect to establish manufacturing facilities for the company's bolt-on in-wheel motor technology to Liyang.


Protean representative explains the benefits

The initial plant will focus on prototype manufacturing of the motors assemblies for customers to bolt on to their products.

Protean claims the benefits of in-wheel technology include high torque and power are available directly at the wheel. Cost reductions come about through the integration of high power drive electronics directly in the housing reducing the need for sub-assemblies to be located elsewhere in the vehicle.

The company says their system is also capable of recapturing energy under braking conditions with unparralled efficiency.

Protean hopes that vehicle manufacturers will bolt on the new motors to supplement acceleration and power while at the same time reducing emissions and improving fuel efficiency. The company says manufacturers can produce hybrid vehicle versions of their existing models with less effort.

The chinese car market is of particular interest to the consortium because vehicle sales statistics are staggering in comparison with most other regions. The company says total registrations in China today exceed 100 million vehicles. Total sales exceeded 18.5 million units in 2011 with 14.5 million of those being passenger cars.

However, the sales numbers quoted by Protean maybe somewhat rubbery as chinese vehicle registration data is a closely guarded secret according to one source (read more...). The information is controlled by the Ministry of Public Security and therefore not publicly available.

Features of Protean's in-wheeI motors incIude (Protean Electric Specifications):

  • FueI economy improvements up to 30 percent depending on battery size
  • Highest torque density of any of today's Ieading eIectric propuIsion systems
  • 81 kW (110 hp) and 800 Nm (590 Ib.-ft. torque) in each motor
  • Weight of onIy 31 kg (68 Ibs.) per motor
  • Fits within the space of a conventionaI 18- to 24-inch road wheeI
  • Superior regenerative braking capabiIities, which aIIow up to 85 percent of the avaiIabIe kinetic energy to be recovered during braking