Interview: Protean Electric on in-wheel motors

Technology Trends

In-wheel motors, also referred to as hub motors, revolutionize vehicle propulsion by directly integrating e-motors into the wheels. This configuration streamlines the transmission system and mitigates energy losses from gears, bearings, and universal joints. While IWMs seem to provide an attractive alternative to conventional powertrain architecture, they come with their own set of challenges, including the cost implications of advancing technology and the impact on a vehicle's unsprung weight.

Founded in 2008, Protean Electric is a key player in IWM technology and development. Its core technology centers around in-wheel electric drive solutions, notably the patented ProteanDrive® system. The system has in-wheel motors integrated with power electronics, digital control and a compatible friction brake, and offers advantages such as high torque density, enhanced efficiency and improved vehicle packaging. Protean’s IWMs have been used by Dongfeng Motor in its passenger cars E70 and Voyah Zhuiguang.

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