EIT InnoEnergy has announced a €4.2-million investment in Elaphe Propulsion Technologies, a maker of EV in-wheel-drive technology. EIT InnoEnergy’s investment will serve as a springboard to secure further growth while giving Elaphe access to EIT’s sustainable energy and mobility innovation networks.
Elaphe says its fully modular platform combines the in-wheel powertrain with software capable of optimizing each in-wheel motor in real-time, allowing integration into a wide range of vehicles, cutting down on manufacturing costs and removing the limitations of traditional centralized powertrains while increasing vehicle functionality and safety features.
Elaphe CEO Gorazd Lampic said, “The partnership with EIT InnoEnergy strengthens Elaphe’s position both in the EU and globally. The investment and support will significantly accelerate commercial activities with automotive OEMs. This in turn will help us further optimize our best-in-class technology platform in accordance with customer requirements for production vehicles.”
Elaphe claims its patented electromagnetic design enables specific torque up to 100 Nm/kg, 200 kW of power per regular car wheel, and superior packaging benefits. OEMs can either integrate their preferred off-the-shelf corner components (such as brakes, rims, bearings, suspensions, etc) or opt for a turnkey solution.
“We believe Elaphe is uniquely positioned to play a leading role in the future of the automotive and transport sectors—a future that is electric and sustainable,” said EIT InnoEnergy’s Jennifer Dungs. “Not only is the timing right and their in-wheel powertrain technology the most advanced in the market and commercially ready—the approach they have taken, developing a highly adaptable platform, will allow them to deliver instantaneous benefit to automotive OEMs and thus have a far-reaching impact on the mobility sector for decades to come.”
Several vehicle manufacturers are working with Elaphe to apply its in-wheel technology to production vehicles, including Lordstown Motors, an Ohio-based electric truck startup that recently purchased GM’s former Lordstown production complex. Lordstown’s Endurance pickup truck has already accrued pre-orders in excess of 40,000 vehicles, and is set to start deliveries in 2021.