Somewhere deep within the maze of buildings that comprise one site of the Fraunhofer Institute sits an orange, Henrik Fisker-designed Artega GT. Shown to the public last month at Hannover Messe and nick-named Frecc0 – short for "Fraunhofer E-Concept Car Type 0" – the aluminum and carbon fiber sportscar has been deprived of its 300 horsepower V6 and DSG gearbox to become a rolling lab for electric propulsion.
In addition to battery-swapping and charging systems, the white coat-crew at the Fraunhofer System Research for Electromobility are developing in-wheel motors. While Ferdinand Porsche may have used them over 100 years ago, the firm's implementation is part of an overall vision to have all the electrical bits (the motors, controllers, etc.) stuffed inside the wheels, while eliminating some of the problems traditionally associated this approach.
This allows vehicles to be more freely designed and lessens the mechanical losses from transmissions and differentials. Confident in their design, the scientists say they have a come up with a disc that is not only more powerful than today's in-wheel motors but also light enough that any unsprung weight issues could easily be handled by tweaking the chassis. Hit the jump for video (in German) showing off Frecc0 with their boffintastic wheel attached. Thanks to Steven for the tip!
[Source: Fraunhofer Institute via Science Daily]