Protean plans to begin producing prototype in-wheel electric motors in Liyang early next year and to ramp up to volume production in 2014.
Protean Electric, a developer of in-wheel electric drive systems, announced this week that it has received $84 million in new funding from three venture capital firms and the city of Liyang, China. The company will use the new capital to establish its first manufacturing facility in China. Protean plans to begin producing prototype motors in Liyang early next year and to ramp up to volume production in 2014.
"Liyang is becoming a well-known location for companies at the forefront of cutting-edge technology, especially in new energy, and we are very pleased to welcome Protean Electric to our city to manufacture their in-wheel electric drive system," said Liyang Mayor Su Jianghua.
"There's tremendous interest around the world in adopting Protean's in-wheel electric drive systems, which enable breakthrough cost and performance advantages, including high power and torque directly to the wheel as well as integrated power electronics and unparalleled regenerative braking efficiency," said Bandel Carano of Oak Investment Partners. "China, in particular, presents a compelling near-term opportunity as it seeks to reduce its reliance on petroleum imports. In mature markets, such as North America and Europe, I believe Protean's electric drive system will be embraced as one solution to help these countries address fuel economy and emissions challenges."
"With this round of investment in place, Protean Electric is now positioned to move aggressively to production and into the market," said Protean CEO Bob Purcell. "We can create hybrid and electric drive vehicle options on the vehicles that people like to drive. We can provide more power, better fuel economy, easier integration, and lower cost. The Protean Electric drive system is probably as close as the industry will ever get to a bolt-on solution."