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ZAP Acquires Interest in Company for Electric Wheel Motors

ZAP has acquired an ownership interest in a motor company to develop and manufacture and market a new line of wheel motors for application in a range of vehicles from an electric bike or scooter to an electric car.

Under the agreement, ZAP is collaborating and investing in the development of the line of wheel motors. ZAP and its partner have also agreed to work together on the optimum process for manufacturing all motors and controllers. ZAP has been granted exclusive rights to the wheel motors under the agreement for international distribution.

ZAP says that it and its partner expect to increase the power, performance and efficiency of wheel motors through the use of a proprietary, brushless, multi-pole wheel-motor technology. ZAP is developing a 7kW wheel motor for larger vehicle applications.

ZAP was one of the first electric vehicle companies to market wheel motor-powered vehicles with its ZAPPY3 electric scooter, which uses a 350W motor. Last year, ZAP introduced the Zapino scooter with its 3kW wheel motor, which ZAP says is one of the most powerful systems available on the market today.



I love motors in the wheels of EVs. It's so space efficient, & logical for energy recovery braking, even if there is more unspung weight. Seems like the only way to go for small Zap has to get up to highway speeds with more range & they will be....buyable.

How's Zap's reliability? My electric bicycle keeps stopping.


? Any expert to answer this:

How would a wheel motor (they all are permanent magnet) behave when at some higher rpm suddenly all power supply to it is cut off (some chip dies or whatever reason)?

Would it act as a mild brake on just one wheel?
At a higher car speed (especially on slippery) it would pull the car to one side, and would be very bad if it happens with a front wheel (with such a motor).


ZAP seems to be earning itself quite a reputation ... none of it good.



Seven? :rotfl

Yeah, 37hp (7kW x 4) is PERFECT for larger vehicles. Sorry, not buying any Zap stock today. Thanks anyway.


Someday Zap is going to have a breakthrough of some kind and become a big deal. As of today it seems like they make cars for people that hate that they have to drive and want to minimize the harm it causes. That's a good mindset, I guess, but it doesn't lead to a very attractive or powerful automobile.

I just hope they actually go all out and build the ZAP-X. It'd be a big departure for them, and potentially a big success. But it's going to need more than 37 hp. More like 237 hp. 137 at the low end.


MG:  It depends how the chip failed.  If the chips failed open-circuit, the motor would freewheel.  If the chips failed short-circuit and shorted one or more motor windings, it would act as a powerful brake.

This failure mode can be avoided with designs which require two switches to fail to short a winding, e.g. independent H-bridges per phase.


Perhaps litesong thought of the "toggling" of permag motors. The resistance to one fraction of a turn is balanced by the "push" the magnets give the rotor in the next fraction of a turn. It averages out to no magnetic resistance.

Electric drive motors do not have to have a high continuous power rating to provide high power for short term use: acceleration and dynamic braking. A 7 kW (9 HP) motor might provide twice or even three times as much power for acceleration or dynamic braking.
Internal Combustion engines are rated peak output. A motor vehicle's IC engine will produce an average power output of only a fraction of the peak rated output. That 250 HP engine in your car may produce only 20 or 25 HP when you're cruising down the road. But all the drive machinery must be designed to withstand peak torque. Heavy.
In a battery-electric vehicle the batteries are the "engine." The current control, conductors and motor(s) are the "transmission." High efficiency-low electrical resistance motors transmit most of the energy as motion and dissipate very little as heat. The only parts that must be designed to withstand peak motor torque are the motor torque transmitting parts.



the electric bicycle forum

George Lewis

I think Zap, with $10,000,000 in funding (that's right), They're ON TRACK to make their ALIAS sports car... while having more orders than they can fill for their Xebra "car" - Which I have to say is a pathetic looking vehicle! For a variety of articles on the state of ev's, and other interesting technologies - and more... visit

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