In-wheel electric drive startup Protean Electric (earlier post) has formed relationships with several leading companies in the global auto industry to accelerate its in-wheel electric drive systems to market in high-volume production. Protean Electric Chairman and CEO Bob Purcell made the announcement at a press conference at the SAE 2012 World Congress in Detroit.
The suppliers and partners are:
FEV, based in Aachen, Germany and Auburn Hills, Mich., brings automotive engineering development and services expertise.
AB Mikroelektronik GmbH (TT Electronics Group), which focuses on developing and manufacturing top-quality customer-specific electronic modules for high temperature and power in automotive, medical and industrial applications.
Alcon, specializing in brake design with automotive and racing-level durability.
ATS (Automation Tooling Systems Inc.), a global manufacturing process and equipment manufacturer with unique expertise in bringing automotive innovations to volume production.
MAHLE Powertrain, an engineering service provider to the global automotive industry.
Trelleborg Sealing Solutions, bringing core competencies and a global reach in seal design and sealing solutions.
Protean’s in-wheel direct-drive motors have the highest torque density of any of today’s leading electric propulsion systems. Each Protean Drive in-wheel motor can deliver 81 kW (110 hp) and 800 nm (590 lb-ft), yet weighs only 31 kg (68 lbs.) and is sized to fit within the space of a conventional 18-inch road wheel. Protean Drive also has strong regenerative braking capabilities, which allow up to 85 percent of the available kinetic energy to be recovered during braking.
The Protean in-wheel motor reverses conventional design, Purcell noted, with the rotor turning outside of the stator. Protean has been awarded 17 patents for its unique technology and design, and more than 60 additional patent applications have been filed internationally and with specific countries in North America, Europe and Asia.
Protean’s in-wheel motors are designed for a broad range of vehicle applications. They can be used in two- and four-wheel drive models and can be added to the front, rear or all four wheels of a vehicle. They also can be added to a FWD or RWD car or truck with an internal combustion engine drivetrain to create a hybrid configuration.
In addition, Protean has demonstrated its in-wheel motors in multiple vehicles, including a Ford F150, Volvo C30, Vauxhall Vivaro cargo van, Guangzhou Automobile Company Trumpchi, and BRABUS full electric and hybrid vehicles based on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.