Elaphe EV has no motors, gearboxes or transmission onboard

There’s a new breed of EV in testing at an undisclosed location in Europe. Elaphe Propulsion, an EU-based manufacturer of in-wheel electric propulsion systems, has built a prototype vehicle, based on an Audi R8 space-frame chassis, that uses no dedicated space on the car for the powertrain.

Elaphe’s configuration squeezes the motors into the existing space inside the wheels, and uses no gearboxes or transmission. The motors are tiny – just 2 cm thick and 6 cm wide – and look like a pair of rings.

According to Elaphe, in-wheel motor technology eliminates the need to integrate motors with an existing powertrain, and also reduces the efficiency losses and latency that come with longer, more complex powertrains.

In 2017, Elaphe unveiled an SUV prototype with in-wheel motors that weighed over 2.4 tons, and accelerated from 0-60 in less than 4.8 seconds.

This time, Elaphe’s engineers wanted to break the 3-second threshold using only direct-drive in-wheel motors. The new vehicle is still in development, but the latest video of the testing shows the prototype burning rubber during its first acceleration test. The preliminary prototype, using only the available torque with no control tuning, brings the car from 0 to 60 in just over 3.5 seconds.



Elaphe’s four in-wheel motors put down a combined 6,000 Nm of torque and 440 kW of peak power. All the power electronics, controls and motors used in the R8 prototype were developed and built in-house.

The team at Elaphe has been working on EV motors for over a decade, and has now shifted its focus from bespoke powertrain solutions to ramping up manufacturing operations to support mass production. The company has established manufacturing operations in China with a capacity of 20,000 units per year, and is currently seeking the funding to increase capacity over the next two years.



Source: Elaphe Propulsion Technologies

  • SJC

    has no motors
    A wheel motor IS a motor.

    • Brant

      No motors “onboard” but yep, kinda click bait

    • TheOtherPaul

      No motors ONBOARD. Onboard refers to sprung weight. Inwheel is unsprung.

    • Dennis Rowan

      my thoughts also

    • freedomev

      Not only does it have motors, it is too heavy killing the handling and making a very rough ride from too much unsprung weight.
      That and 3-4x the cost is why they have never been produced.

      • Gorazd Korošec

        This car is not heavy, an SUV with 2.4 tons is another car they produced a year ago, not this one. There’s no reason this car should be heavy, in-wheel motors are 2 cm thick and 6 cm wide – this is not a lot of weight. The car also doesn’t have gearboxes or transmission, no ICE engine and no exhaust system, so it should be some 800 pounds lighter than ICE model. The difference is replaced with batteries and charging system, of course.

  • Dennis Worley

    We should watch this lot!

  • anderlan

    I want these for conversions! Make any (2wd) truck a plugin hybrid!

  • https://www.facebook.com/app_scoped_user_id/100000489983330/ Gerd Ceder

    This is a really cool idea that has been around for a long time, but nice to see it being tested. One issue is that this ends to cause a large amount of unsprung mass, which can make for a bumpy ride.

    • Fergal Harrington-Beatty

      Protean found adaptive suspension pretty much covers that

  • Francis Aubrey Scott

    I take these in wheel electric motors are liquid cooled ?

    • TheOtherPaul

      Not likely. Centrifugal force would move the liquid to the rim and there is no place for radiation that is any better than the rim by itself provides. It just adds weight.

  • Stuart McColl

    This is the future … especially for trucks … where if you eliminate the axle and drive crap … you create opportunity for simultaneously lower bed with higher clearance.