|The Lancer Evolution MIEV
Mitsubishi Motors has announced that it has developed and will enter another new electric test vehicle—the Lancer Evolution 4-wheel-drive MIEV (Mitsubishi In-wheel motor Electric Vehicle)—in the Shikoku EV Rally 2005 to be held August 27-28 on the island of Shikoku, Japan.
Based on the company’s Lancer Evolution IX high-performance 4WD sports sedan (minus the conventional 4WD powertrain), the Lancer Evolution MIEV uses a lithium-ion battery system to power four newly-developed in-wheel motors.
The Lancer Evolution MIEV is the latest MIEV test vehicle, following the Colt EV announced in May 2005 (earlier post).
|Mitsubishi’s latest in-wheel motor.
The new in-wheel motor uses a hollow doughnut construction that locates the rotor outside the stator as opposed to a common electric motor where the rotor turns inside the stator. (A design that sounds similar to Wavecrest’s Adaptive Motor System—earlier post.)
Mitsubishi points to several benefits from this design for the motor:
Greater ease of raising power output and torque.
Higher torque allows the speed reducer unit to be eliminated, meaning less weight and improved power transmission efficiency.
Better space efficiency with the brake assembly fitting inside the motor which itself fits neatly within the wheel house.
The outer-rotor arrangement also surmounts the difficulties presented to date by the steering system, making it suitable for fitting to and driving the front wheels—and facilitating 4WD in-wheel motor vehicles.
|The layout of the Lancer.
Each motor, manufactured by Toyo Denki Seizo K.K., produces a maximum output of 50 kW with 518 Nm of torque.
A 355V lithium-ion battery system comprising 24 modules fits under the floor between the front and rear wheels to provide power.
The Lancer Evolution MIEV has a top speed of 180 km/h (112 mph) and a cruising range of 250 km (155 miles).
Mitsubishi intends to evaluate the outer-rotor motor under a range of driving conditions, and to that end has acquired vehicle type certification for the Lancer Evolution MIEV to allow testing not only in the proving ground but also under normal driving conditions on public roads.
The tests will verify the reliability and durability of the outer-rotor in-wheel motor when subject to road surface inputs, to water inundation, and to exposure to sand and dirt. The test program will also allow the Company to carry out research and development aimed at raising performance and at reducing weight and size.
Mitsubishi sees its MIEV system as key for its future high-performance electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles that deliver not only superior environmental performance but also output performance and maneuverability equal to or better than gasoline-fueled vehicles.
The Shikoku EV Rally 2005 is organized by the Shikoku EV Challenge Committee and the Shikoku EV Rally 2005 Executive Committee.