Elaphe tests its in-wheel motors in a BMW X6

Elaphe Propulsion Technologies has built a demonstrator vehicle that it claims is the highest-performing in-wheel-powered car ever.

The modified BMW X6 uses 4 Elaphe L1500 gearless electric motors mounted inside the wheels. It delivers over 440 kW (590 hp) of power, and over 6,000 Nm (4,425 lb·ft) of direct-drive torque. The 5,300-pound vehicle can reach 62 mph in under 4.9 seconds.

Elaphe will use the demonstrator for on-vehicle validation and testing. The company is investing heavily in R&D and scaling up production – it recently won a grant of over 1 million euros from the EU to help bring its L1500 in-wheel motor into mass production.


Source: Elaphe Propulsion Technologies



  • Scott Bergquist

    For what purpose is all this massive torque required? Auto racing? Is the typical auto envisioned by BMW, more “toy” and status symbol, than transportation? What happened to the Isetta philosophy…getting one person from A to B, for a minimal capital cost and minimal operating cost???

    • Dennis Worley

      Agreed, Us Kiwis proved we have high teck skills by winning the Americas cup,maybe we have to make our own microcars/cyclecars and stop waiting for the big company’s!

    • Marc-Aurel Evers

      That’s torque at the wheel. Remember there’s no gearbox, differential, flywheel and clutch / torque converter to amplify torque for e.g. a hill start. With that in mind it’s not that much of a difference any more, maybe 2-5x?

    • Vincent Wolf

      The purpose is cutting across cross traffic quickly and efficiently and safely. Slow cars are dangerous in the wrong hands as are fast cars too (it’s why their are more accidents in Tesla model S than European luxury cars). Nothing more scary than trying to slip the clutch on a manual shift to make a left turn when the traffic is heavy and there is NO left turn signal. That applies to left turns into Malls, etc., etc. Poor low end torque is how a lot of people get into trouble thinking they can make it fast enough only to find their ICE motor bogs down. This is the WHY to your question.

      • dogphlap dogphlap

        You say there are more accidents in Tesla Model S than European luxury cars. That could be true but I have not seen anything to back that up. Do you have a link ? It has historically been the case that performance cars are more likely to be involved in an accident despite having better brakes, handling and acceleration, all things that should make them safer but the urge to overdrive them seems to be difficult to resist for many of their drivers. The Model S is an expensive car that most young (statistically young male drivers are a higher risk) cannot afford to drive, the typical Model S driver would be a 45+ years of age male, an age when the testosterone levels have fallen a bit and the need to prove something has also fallen a bit. I’m not saying you are wrong, just that I’d like a source for your assertion (and I acknowledge that you are comparing against European luxury cars, a group that also benefits from a statistically safer older male demographic).

    • Sean C. Fountain

      Typical mid-range 4WD/AWD sedan wheel torque is ~1000-1500Nm. Typical medium duty vehicle torque can be 3,000-5,000Nm. The motors in the mentioned vehicle are 1500Nm each (6,000Nm across 4 motors), thus I’m sure the L1500 model name. This is not even on the high end of wheel torque when you look at a 2 wheel drive version with the same weight and acceleration needing ~3,000Nm per driven wheel to accomplish the same thing. With a limited slip differential individual wheel torque in a solid performance 2WD vehicle can exceed 4500Nm. Again, these are gearless torques. In a RWD vehicle you typically have an initial reduction, the selected gear, possibly a final reduction, then another large reduction in the gearbox. Thus your ‘low torque’ engine at the front of all that is putting out massive wheel torque.

    • http://www.facebook.com/myevlife Cheap Guys And Their EV’s

      Scott Bergqist, to answer your Isetta question; check out the “Solo” at http://www.smallev.com. They’re in production now, and shipped their first one last week (I mentioned this to stop the future Elio commentary)

  • dogphlap dogphlap

    I’ve always been a bit sceptical about in-wheel or hub motors in cars. I hope these folks prove me wrong, this certainly looks promising and is the first time I’ve seen an apparently viable setup in a passenger car (they have already been successful in busses and bicycles). There is a need for power cables and some control wiring to cope with suspension and steering movement and probably cooling fluid lines while all the time keeping road dirt and water out but if they have solved that this may be the future (after all disc brakes manage to cope with some of that now). Unsprung weight; probably the least of the problems, tyres and wheels are heavy anyway.

    • Олег Лян

      These engineers works with science over 10 years. We also expect to collaborate for commercial heavy duty vehicle implementation.

  • Paul Zigouras

    Since most single EV motors pass through a 9;1 gear reduction box (such as the Borg-Warner eGear Drive), then this car will probably need every bit of that 4,425 lb·ft torque to keep up with most high performance electric cars. Almost every EV that I know of uses anywhere between 7;1 and 9;1 reduction to multiply torque… so building this car with 9 times the power is more of a requirement than anything else.

    • Sean C. Fountain

      Let’s not confuse power and torque. Power is equal and doesn’t change with speed for a given vehicle performance point across different configurations. Torque will change depending on the configuration. This setup should be compared to any other 440kW electrified vehicle as it should have identical performance if the motors are performing in equivalent speed ranges. If they aren’t, then this vehicle may not produce 440kW until it is hitting 200mph, or it may not be able to exceed 100mph, or something like that.

  • Alaa

    Nice, but where will they get the batteries from? Also how did they solve the unsprung weight problem?

  • Thierry Dejaegere

    This looks a lot like the motor I designed around 2005. (see http://www.thinnov.be (english) => innovations => In wheelhub mounted electric motor)