The Slovenian company Elaphe has created electric motors in the wheels that have already been tested in the worst conditions that winter can offer.
One of the main reasons we do not see production of electric cars with in-wheel motors has been that the wheels suffer a lot of wear and tear, rolling on deteriorated pavement, crashing into curbs, and suffering from potholes. The electric motors in the wheels have not been able to withstand those conditions.
Elaphe’s video shows its engines being tested on an ice-covered track in Heihe, China, designed to test the durability (and noise) of car components under high vibration conditions.
The motors are packaged as a complete wheel hub, with disc or drum brakes, the motor, bearings, and everything else an automaker would need to bolt them to the end of the suspension.
Wheel motors could help automakers reap one of the main benefits of electric cars: They can offer a lot of space inside with a relatively small footprint. They don’t need a large compartment for the engine, just a space underneath for the batteries. With the motors in the wheels, they don’t even need a separate space inside the car body.
Without axles or gearboxes, the motors in the wheels would also be more efficient and improve the range of electric cars.
Another advantage is that it would simplify the traction and stability control systems, as engineers could directly control the torque or resistance at each wheel, rather than controlling power and braking separately, and sometimes increasing the power to one engine. centralized, while applying the brake on a wheel, for example, to move the car in the snow.
The major suppliers to the automotive industry have also developed technologies that pursue this idea, such as the Bosch electronic axis, which combines the engine, transmission and power control unit on a single axis, which can be placed in a car already designed, like the independent rear axle of an all-wheel drive SUV.
It is not clear if Elaphe’s wheel motors will soon be seen in an electric car, but from what we see in the video, the company could be on the right track to solve one of the main challenges of electric motors.
More information: in-wheel.com