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Old 01-03-2013, 10:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Protean electric hub motors in 2014

Article about funding and making them in China.
Protean Electric snags $84 million to produce in-wheel motors in China


Video in link above is worth watching.

Company website:
Protean Electric

I first saw an image in a car forum and looked it up, which first brought me to this short article below.

2013 10Best 10 Most Promising Technologies – Feature – Car and Driver

Quote:
WHEELING AND DEALING
Ferdinand Porscheís idea of building a hybridís electric motors into the wheel hubs leaves more space for passengers and batteries, but carmakers have hesitated to adopt this arrangement, fearing that major increases in unsprung weight will harm rough-road ride and handling. Challenging that assumption, Protean Electric contracted with Lotus Engineering to conduct extensive tests *comparing a standard sedan with one propelled by wheel-hub motors. Lotusís surprising conclusions: Average drivers wonít notice the performance degradation attributable to extra unsprung weight, and normal development tuning should overcome most steering, ride, and handling ill effects. Protean expects to start wheel-hub-motor production in 2014.

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Old 01-03-2013, 01:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I wouldn't build a new vehicle with hub motors, but to retrofit an older car with them sounds like a good idea. I am also under the assumption they will be lacking in power. I am no expert though maybe they will prove me wrong.
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Rear-mounted hub-motors are the electric drive layout I'm less unfavorable for a daily-driver. If 4WD was required, I'd rather bolt a single motor to a differential, since unsuspended mass in the directional axle leads to a heavier steering.
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Here's another in-wheel hub motor:

Green Car Congress: Ford and Schaeffler demonstrate Fiesta-based e-WheelDrive car; follow-up research project in the works

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Old 04-26-2013, 01:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't like hub motors because they tend to be limited in size and the lack of gearing. 516 ft-lbs might sound like a lot of torque. But at the wheels, it's a fraction of the torque available from the ICE Fiesta.

Quote:
Lotus’s surprising conclusions: Average drivers won’t notice the performance degradation attributable to extra unsprung weight, and normal development tuning should overcome most steering, ride, and handling ill effects.
I find that hard to believe. People can tell a difference from losing a total of 10-20lbs for lighter wheels on a Miata. Do they really expect us to believe we won't feel 50-100lbs more?
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Old 04-26-2013, 04:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allch Chcar View Post
I don't like hub motors because they tend to be limited in size and the lack of gearing. 516 ft-lbs might sound like a lot of torque. But at the wheels, it's a fraction of the torque available from the ICE Fiesta.

I find that hard to believe. People can tell a difference from losing a total of 10-20lbs for lighter wheels on a Miata. Do they really expect us to believe we won't feel 50-100lbs more?
Its unfortunate the hub wheel unicorn can't fly, I could live with the unsprung weight on the rear of both the honda insight & cobalt I own and on the subuaru 360 front wheels if it meant I could recycle a cheap Ford Escape pack into a regen/limited distance ev system. Heck the subaru would drive 8 miles on that pack, maybe more.

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Old 04-26-2013, 11:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Wheels only spin up to about 900RPM - so why would they need gearing? They have tons of torque already. The SIM-Drive hub motors are very efficient. Direct drive motors (with drive shafts straight to the wheels) have nearly the same efficiency, but can have *less* unsprung weight than typical, if you put the brakes inboard. The FVT eVaro did this.
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Old 04-27-2013, 04:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allch Chcar View Post
I don't like hub motors because they tend to be limited in size and the lack of gearing.
I actually like the compact size of hub-motors due to the space savings, which can ease the arrangement of the battery banks or eventually leave more room for the trunk.
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Old 10-14-2013, 02:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I found the thread via Search and mentioned it in another thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by myself
4.5" thick, 16" in diameter and ~100 horsepower
A commercial product on the market in 2014
Requires an 18" wheel and is geared for 1000-1500rpm
reference controller code for evaluation testing
communicates via CAN bus
It appears that the low-speed/high-torque design with integral multiple micro-inverters is very efficient at regeneration which suggests you lose the unsprung weight of the mechanical brakes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by myself, again
Their videos suggest the motor has an open center so a driveshaft can pass through. Can a differential for inboard mounting be far behind?
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Old 11-06-2018, 08:41 AM   #10 (permalink)
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UPDATE: Five years later.......................

Go to just after the 1:00 mark, Protean will now be made in Canada by a legitimate automotive supplier.

I have no idea who their intended customers are.



I first discovered this news here:
Autoline - Automotive news, reviews, and auto industry analysis

More below:

01.Nov.18 PRESS RELEASE
Linamar Corporation and Protean Electric agree North American Manufacturing Partnership
https://www.proteanelectric.com/lina...g-partnership/
Quote:

01.Nov.18
Linamar Corporation and Protean Electric agree North American Manufacturing Partnership

Guelph, Canada and London, UK. Protean Electric, the automotive technology company and world leader of in-wheel electric drive systems, and Linamar Corporation, the diversified global manufacturing company, are pleased to announce that Linamar has become the manufacturing partner for ProteanDrive in key growth segments globally.

The agreement covers the full range of ProteanDrive models, with Linamar providing manufacturing capacity to support market opportunities in all passenger car and commercial vehicle segments for North American OEMs Worldwide. Protean will provide the technology and product validation expertise for the full product lifecycle, enabling Linamar to manufacture and sell ProteanDrive using its existing supply chains, manufacturing facilities and customer relationships.

“We are excited about this new partnership with Protean for in-wheel drive systems. Protean has developed excellent technology we think will revolutionize the drive of electric vehicles in the future,” said Linamar CEO Linda Hasenfratz.

“I am delighted that Linamar have agreed to partner with us. Their expertise and reputation for manufacturing highly engineered components at scale makes them the perfect partner. This agreement allows Linamar and Protean Electric to focus on their independent strengths to give customers far better access to our technology at competitive pricing,” said KY Chan, CEO and Chairman of Protean Electric................................

The Company’s Skyjack and MacDon companies are noted for their innovative, high quality mobile industrial and harvesting equipment, notably class-leading aerial work platforms, telehandlers, draper headers and self-propelled windrowers.

Linamar has more than 28,700 employees in 60 manufacturing locations, 8 R&D centers and 25 sales offices in 17 countries in North and South America, Europe and Asia which generated sales of $6.5 billion in 2017. ..............
The things I've learned about sprung mass and torque in the last five years and studying one product out of Australia for RIB's with self trailering wheels (Sealegs) has me questioning my original enthusiasm for this engineering approach.

The Sealegs story is pretty simple, prototypes were simple waterproof electric hub motors for launching small boats. They hit a wall of some kind, I assume the torque and lack of gearing issue, then went with a pump motor to hydrostatically drive the wheels.

This approach had been proposed and used in several flying car projects featured in Popular Science and Popular Mechanics going back decades.

Even more:

Linamar Corporation and Protean Electric agree North American Manufacturing Partnership
https://www.businesswire.com/news/ho...North-American
Quote:
Protean Electric is an automotive technology firm. As the world leader of in-wheel motor technology, they provide a stand-alone electric drive solution with software that enables digital vehicle control and enhances customization.

Using a scalable and patented sub-motor architecture, our current Pd18 model fits inside an 18” wheel rim, providing the power and torque required to propel hybrid and electric vehicles from C-segment all the way to light commercial categories.
If I were to guess, the self driving electric city cars from Apple (icar?) and or Google along with some light/mid weight city freight trucks might be customers.

Any other guesses?

I'm just recalling some of the self-driving autonomous boxes with no front, no back that are all cabin volume. Electric taxis if you will.

It is hard to imagine one size fitting cars, commercial trucks and little ATV's.

Sounds like two sizes to start with, what would you be able to do with four Pd18's or Pd16's?

https://www.proteanelectric.com/protean-drive/#benefits
Quote:
Vehicle Weight

Pd18
Vehicles <4,500 kg / 10,000 lb

Pd16
Vehicles <3,200 kg / 7,050 lb
How about 6-wheel drive?

And eight wheel drive?

EDIT:

From that last link above, many of my earlier guesses are either verified or shot down. Just scroll down to the bottom to see Local Motors "Olli" self driving box/shuttle.

Customer List:

VW
Local Motors
Storm Sondors
Ford (F-150)
Mercedes Benz

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Last edited by kach22i; 11-06-2018 at 09:21 AM..
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