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BRABUS, Boston-Power and Protean Electric team to deliver high-performance EV and hybrid cars based on Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The BRABUS 4WD Full Electric. Click to enlarge.

Boston-Power, Inc. (earlier post) and Protean Electric (earlier post) are working together to provide the lithium-ion battery systems and electric in-wheel motor solutions for two new advanced BRABUS vehicles based on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. (Protean CEO Bob Purcell is also on Boston-Power’s Board of Directors.) BRABUS, the largest independent automobile tuner in the world and manufacturer of exclusive high-performance automobiles, unveiled the new high-performance vehicles at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

The first BRABUS sedan based on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the 4WD Full Electric. It features an all-new EV system developed to demonstrate a peak combined 320 kW and 2,350 lb-ft (3,200 N·m) torque from pure electric power using four direct-drive Protean Electric motors, one in each wheel. A 56-kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides an operating range of up to 350 kilometers (217 miles). There are plans for a small-series production run of this automobile.

The second BRABUS hybrid sedan, the Technology Project Hybrid, is based on the E 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY and has been developed to small-series-production maturity. The hybrid system powers the rear wheels in combination with the internal combustion engine, with the Protean Electric in-wheel motors each adding 110 hp (80 kW) and 590 lb-ft (800 N·m) of peak torque. This gives the sedan a combined electric motor and internal combustion engine acceleration of 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 7.4 seconds and a combined electric motor and internal combustion engine acceleration of 37-75 mph (60-120 km/h) of 5.6 seconds.

Beyond performance, the high efficiency and regenerative braking capability of the Protean Drive system in the hybrid car help improve fuel economy about 30% vs. a comparable vehicle not equipped with the Protean Electric in-wheel motors, Protean says.

The BRABUS 4WD Full Electric car will represent the debut of Boston-Power’s 1.2kWh liquid-cooled module, Swing Medley. Targeted for EV/PHEV OEMs who base their designs on liquid-cooled battery solutions to fuel high-performance, higher power commercial vehicles or premium performance vehicles, Swing Medley shares the same capabilities as Boston-Power’s portfolio of air-cooled battery systems. These include:

  • 50% more usable energy density by volume and over 45% more by weight compared to the industry;
  • 10 year reliable calendar life at high recharge acceptance;
  • Operating temperature range down to -40 °C (discharge);
  • system safety at the cell, block, module and system level; and
  • Cost-effective thermal management through integrated liquid or air cooling channels.

Protean’s in-wheel motors have very high torque and power density compared to many of today’s leading electric propulsion systems due to their novel direct drive design. They are powerful enough to be the only source of traction drive for a variety of battery electric vehicles, and can also be added to a FWD or RWD car or truck with an internal combustion engine drivetrain, creating a hybrid configuration. The in-wheel motors can provide fully independent regenerative braking and torque control for superior vehicle handling and safety.



An excellent demonstration of what direct drive e-motors can do (without multi-speed transmission). Near or in-wheel e-motors (on all four wheels) is the ideal configuration for AWD EVs. When coupled with quick charge/discharge batteries, it can supply very quick accelerations and recover more braking energy.

In the not too distant future, many AWD EVs will offer similar configuration.

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