The University of Tokyo is working on in-wheel motors that get their energy through wireless induction charging, which hints at one amazing EV future.
In Wheel Motor
In Japan, it seems the fourth time's a charm. Meet SIM-HAL, the latest prototype from SIM-Drive and its partners. Like its three predecessors – the SIM-LEI, SIM-WIL, and SIM-CEL – this all-electric vehicle is a rolling exercise in efficiency and performance that depends upon a motor in each wheel to accelerate and recapture braking energy, while keeping mechanical drivetrain losses to the utmost minimum. It's also a little easier on the eyes than its forebears, sacrificing some utili
Egg cookery is slow cookery, or so says my Mom. Apparently it shares this trait with in-wheel electric motor cookery. We first told you about a certain in-wheel motor under development back in 2010 which, at the time, had been already been in the frying pan for three years. Fast forward to now and voilà! It's done. At least, close enough to be put on display for the first time in public.
The Catavolt team has been developing its unique electric motorcycle drivetrain whilst duking it out on racetracks Down Under in the eFX/TTXGP championship for the past couple years. Now, they are bringing the battle to the Australian streets, announcing that the first Catavolt S6 street bike has found a home.
It looks like the company that first got us excited about modern in-wheel motors is finally going forward with commercialization. To paraphrase (poorly) a certain Mr. Sam Cooke, "It's been a long, a long time coming, but I know a Protean Electric Drive™ gonna come. Oh yes, it will."
Protean is back at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress at Cobo Hall this year with a new car showcasing the company's in-wheel motors: a modified Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The car was first seen in Frankfurt last year, and is making its North American debut this week in Detroit.
With plans to bring an electric vehicle to market by 2014, Sim-Drive is closing in on a final design for its aerodynamic, in-wheel-motored passenger car. Looking a little less Star Wars-inspired than the previous SIM-LEI prototype, the new SIM-WIL has now been revealed and is said to have a range of 218 miles on the JC-08 cycle. For comparison, the EPA 73-mile-rated Nissan Leaf gets about 124 miles on that Japanese cycle.
Looking for all the world like an elongated Mitsubishi i MiEV that a Stormtrooper would drive, the SIM-LEI recently made an appearance at the 2011 Electric Vehicle Industrial Exhibition in Tokyo. It's been a while since we first caught wind of the SIM-LEI and we've been curious to get a better look at this super-efficient prototype ever since. And now we have.
Suzuki has been testing its e-Let's electric scooter around its hometown of Hamamatsu for the past year and is now ready to send it out into the real world. Or, at least, the Japanese portion of the real world. While it doesn't have the kind of range that would prompt you to pen a letter home – 30kms (18.6 miles) at 30 km/h (18.6 miles per hour) – it does feature some pretty nice packaging and looks like a practical machine for commuting and errand running.
Australia's Team Catavolt have lofted their slouch hats into the eFX / TTXGP electric motorcycle road racing ring in an intriguing announcement. Not only is the move a radical change from their usual land-speed-records-on-salt-flats activity, the EnerTrac Corp. motor for this new racing machine is somewhat radically located in the hub of the back wheel.
Have you ever thought that putting motors inside the wheels of a vehicle may a more elegant way of providing propulsion? It would certainly eliminate a number of energy-robbing parts; transmission, driveshafts, differentials and make the drivetrain more modular and provide additional space for other energy storage/creation devices. Like so many things, in-wheel motors have already been done, but technology and our ability to integrate them into wheels has changed a lot since the first in-wheel m
French coachbuilder Heuliez, along with Michelin and Orange™, have brought with them to the 2008 Paris Motor Show a most unremarkable-looking car. (My apologies to fans of the Opel Agila) And that's the point. The WILL (pictured above) is meant to seem "familiar and friendly" even though its makers believe it is the embodiment of the future of automotive design. The technology that makes this claim plausible is the Michelin Active Wheel system which we previously saw on the Venturi Volage.
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