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Schaeffler displays latest development version of e-wheel drive

At the recent auto, motor und sport-Kongress 2013 in Stuttgart, Schaeffler presented the latest development version of its E-Wheel Drive electric wheel hub drive. The in-wheel drive is applied in a Ford Fiesta-based development vehicle created in cooperation with Ford.

The compact vehicle is driven using two Schaeffler E-Wheel Drives that are installed in the rear wheel arches. All components—the electric motor, power electronics, controller, brake, and cooling system—are installed inside the wheel rim.

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The in-wheel drives offer peak output of 40 kW, 33 kW continuous. The liquid-cooled wheel hub drive, which is in its beta stage of development, also delivers up to 700 N·m (516 lb-ft) of torque. In comparison to the first-generation wheel hub drive, which was first exhibited in Schaeffler’s Opel Corsa-based Schaeffler Hybrid concept car in 2010, the E-Wheel Drive beta features an output increase of one-third, as well as 75% more torque. The electrical voltage of the high-voltage drive is 360 – 420 V.

The highly-integrated wheel hub drive has a total weight of 53 kg (117 lbs), so the weight increase compared to a conventional wheel with a wheel bearing and brake is 45 kg (99 lbs). It has a 16-liter design envelope, which is housed inside a 16-inch wheel rim.

Overall, we were able to reduce the vehicle weight once again because, in addition to the liquid cooling, the power electronics and controller can now be integrated into the wheel, which means that the complex wiring in the vehicle can be omitted.

—Dr. Raphael Fischer, Director of the Wheel Hub Drives Product Group

Schaeffler’s E-Wheel Drive is now also part of a research project that is listed by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

Comments

Herm

Very interesting.. imagine what these would do in the front wheels of an F150

kelly

"The liquid-cooled wheel hub drive, which is in its beta stage of development, also delivers up to 700 N·m (516 lb-ft) of torque."

"90 degree steering lock"

and longevity are hard to picture.

SJC

"The highly-integrated wheel hub drive has a total weight of 53 kg (117 lbs), so the weight increase compared to a conventional wheel with a wheel bearing and brake is 45 kg (99 lbs)"

Extra unsprung weight could be compensated for with different springs and shocks in the rear.

There was an F150 with four PML Flightlink hub motors shown a few years ago, don't know what became of that.

ToppaTom

The heavy wheel will follow the road bumps much the same as a normal wheel if the heavy wheel comes with very firm springs and shocks.

You will now follow the road bumps much the same as the wheels because the heavy wheel comes with very firm springs and shocks.

Jimmy Talbot

A piece of work from Schaeffler! This may be good RWD car in EV era. I am just trying to imagine how it would be like when an All Wheel version will be available for consumers. I know, there are tons of work left to make it happen, but this is a milestone to that.

Schaeffler has shown its power in innovation, again. We have a another strong contender for future green cars.

June Handon

Schaeffler has made some advancements right here, the ewheel hub drive is the key for hybrid driving I believe. Their ewheel hub drive is taking less space than competitor Protean's, it can be fit onto a 16" wheel. One key feature of the ewheel hub drive that I love most is that the rotational angle can reach 90 degree, which means the vehicle can go sideways, this is very helpful when parking in tight spaces. Right now Schaeffler need to make the hub drive lighter to increase the handling, performance and acceleration speed.

tonyspark

From this article, I can see Schaeffler is good at engineering. Liquid cooling, the power electronics and controller can now be integrated into the wheel. Schaeffler has fully utilized the capacity of the wheel. I heard that the E-drive would be released to the market soon. I guess it would be popular with this feature.

June Handon

Where did you hear the ewheel is releasing soon? If the source credible? So far as my understanding the ewheel is still a prototype, so does this Fiesta as well. Schaeffler and Ford have just announced joining with RWTH Aachen, the Regensburg University of Applied Sciences and Continental for further development of the project last month, and they said there will be 2 more EVs by 2015, possible market-ready date is between 2016 to 2020. I doube they are selling individual parts any soon.

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