Protean Electric Unveils Production In-Wheel Electric Drive System

April 15, 2013 by Jeff Shepard

Protean Electric, Inc. announces the debut of its production in-wheel motor at the 2013 Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress (SAEWC). During the SAEWC, Protean Electric Chairman and CEO Bob Purcell will unveil the production Protean motor and discuss the significant role in-wheel electric drive will play in the global automotive industry over the next several years.

Protean's in-wheel electric drive system is an award-winning technology that is an integral part of a hybrid powertrain system when paired with a traditional internal combustion engine. It is also powerful enough to be the only source of traction drive in electric vehicles. The motors reside in the space behind the wheel, producing torque and power exactly where and when drivers need it. Protean's new production motor provides a 25 percent increase in peak torque compared with the previous generation's design and can deliver 1,000 Nm (735 lb.-ft.) and 75 kW (100 hp).

"Protean Electric is ready to enable the global automobile industry as it moves to high volume, low cost hybrid and electric drive powertrains," said Bob Purcell, chairman and CEO of Protean Electric. "Our system can be applied to current vehicle platforms, retrofit existing vehicles or create all new architectures for the future."

Features of Protean's in-wheel motors include: Highest torque density of any of today's leading electric drive systems; 75 kW (100 hp) peak power and 1,000 Nm (735 lb.-ft.) peak torque in each motor; Mass of only 31 kg (68 lbs.) per motor; Fuel economy improvements up to 30 percent in hybrid configurations, as compared to the existing vehicle, depending on battery size; and superior regenerative braking capabilities, which allow up to 85 percent of the available kinetic energy to be recovered during braking .

Protean has been awarded 27 patents for its unique technology and design, with 84 additional international patent applications pending. Protean has won the prestigious 2012 Technology Pioneers Award from the World Economic Forum and received recognition from Car and Driver magazine as one of the ten most promising technologies for 2013. In addition, Protean has developed multiple demonstration vehicles, including a Vauxhall Vivaro cargo van, Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group (GAC) Trumpchi sedan, a Ford F150 pick-up truck, and BRABUS full electric and hybrid vehicles, based on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.