In-wheel motor developer Protean Electric is partnering with FAW-Volkswagen in China to develop a new electric propulsion system. FAW-VW will create a new rear-wheel drivetrain for an EV based on the new Bora compact sedan, using two Protean in-wheel motors.
“This is a two-phase project that will capitalize on the torque and packaging freedoms that Protean Drive can bring to an automaker,” said Protean CEO Kwok-yin Chan. “Our technology will return the space to the new Bora vehicle platform that was formerly occupied by an in-board motor and powertrain.”
Protean’s new permanent magnet synchronous motor provides a 25% increase in peak torque compared with the previous generation’s design and can deliver peak output of 1,000 N·m (735 lb-ft) and 75 kW (100 hp), or 700 N·m (516 lb-ft) and 54 kW (72 hp) continuous.
Each in-wheel motor comes with its own power and control electronics packaged inside the motor, which communicates with the vehicle by utilizing a common vehicle control system. Protean engineers inverted the conventional motor design – the rotor is on the outside and the stator on the inside. According to the company, this improves performance and makes the motor more compact, providing space inside the motor for power electronics.
Protean plans to begin production of its in-wheel motor in 2014, at the company’s new manufacturing facility in Liyang, China.