|Michelin’s Active Wheel integrates brake disk, electric motor and suspension motor. Click to enlarge.|
Michelin’s Active Wheel, an in-wheel system comprising a brake, 30 kW (40 hp) electric traction motor and electric suspension motor system, will be used in the Heuliez-produced WILL electric vehicle (battery or fuel cell), due to be available to fleet owners in 2010. The WILL grew out of a concept developed by Heuliez and Michelin and features networked services innovated by Orange.
Michelin has shown earlier versions of the Active Wheel in concepts before, such as the Michelin/PSI Concept HY-LIGHT Fuel Cell Vehicle shown at the 2004 Challenge Bibendum in Shanghai. (Earlier post.) The two-wheel motor WILL is its first application in a series production-intent vehicle. The partners showed the WILL at the Paris Motor show in October. Venturi Automobiles also showed an application of the Active Wheel in the premier of its four-wheel motor Volage.
The electrical suspension system in the Active Wheel features an extremely rapid response time—3/1000th of a second. All pitching and rolling motions are automatically corrected.
|The WILL. Click to enlarge.|
The Michelin-Heuliez-Orange WILL. The WILL, a front-wheel drive electric vehicle, seats five and features two trunks (front and rear). The model presented at the Paris Motor Show was a five-seat family car with lithium-ion batteries. Four versions will be available starting in 2010: battery or fuel-cell powered, for commercial or family use. Users will be able to choose from among three energy modules that offer driving ranges of 150, 300 or 400 kilometers (93, 186 or 249 miles). Depending on their needs, drivers will have the option of changing from one module to another on the same vehicle whenever necessary. In this way, the partners say, WILL’s driving range can evolve to suit each user’s needs, at any time.
The first WILL is scheduled to hit the road this year, followed by other models for testing different solutions, notably in terms of energy supply and interior design. By 2010, Heuliez’s assembly lines in Cerizay, France, will be ready to begin producing the car, with a first-year output target of several thousand vehicles. Michelin will supply all the Active Wheel assemblies. This project has received financial backing from Oséo.
Venturi Volage. The Volage is a four-wheel drive two-seater roadster featuring four Active Wheel systems. As shown at Paris, the Volage uses a 45 kWh lithium polymer battery pack weighing 350 kg. The Volage accelerates from 0 to 100 kph in less than five seconds, has a range of approximately 320 km (199 miles) and a top speed of 150 kph (93 mph).
(A hat-tip to GreenPlease!)