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TM4 receiving $3.7M to develop low-cost wheel motors

TM4, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hydro-Québec, is receiving $3.7 million in funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s (SDTC) SD Tech Fund, through the ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative, to develop low-cost wheel motors for electric and hybrid vehicles.

The objective of this project is to design an in-wheel motor electric drive system with one of the highest power densities in the world, and at the lowest possible cost. This system will consist of one or more power converters and electric machines, to be assembled and bench tested, and then tested on the road in an electric vehicle.

Several experimental prototypes of engine and electronic power subcomponents will use innovative materials and/or concepts. This project will allow an entire chain of expert Canadian suppliers to take part in the development and eventual commercialization of this new powertrain topology.

TM4’s wheel motor development and design dates back to 1982, when a group of researchers started working on an innovative compact motor system that could be embedded inside a regular-size wheel. Since then, TM4 has designed three generations of wheel motors.

In 2006, TM4 developed the electric motors used in the Citroën C-Métisse. This vehicle features a diesel hybrid drivetrain that combines a diesel combustion engine in front coupled with a 15 kW (continuous), 300 N·m TM4 direct drive electric wheel motor in each rear wheel. (Earlier post.)

CO150-HVF auxiliary inverter for commercial vehicles. Separately, TM4 has introduced its CO150-HVF auxiliary inverter for auxiliary power supply in commercial vehicle applications.

Based on the same platform as the proven CO150 traction inverters, the CO150-HVF offers a CAN-based interface that allows the dynamic control of the frequency and output voltage for electric vehicle accessory applications (i.e. pumps, fans or compressors) using a 3-phase AC induction motor.

This feature opens the door to the use of variable speed accessories and reduces the average consumption of auxiliaries. In addition, several information available on the CAN allow to know the status of the inverter and its load, therefore enabling advanced control functions.

TM4 was created in 1998 to market the electric propulsion technology developed by Hydro-Québec’s research institute, IREQ. Today, it provides customers in a dozen countries with patented technologies and distinctive expertise in electric motors, generators and inverters for the transport and energy markets. Products include customized electric drivetrains for electric vehicle and hybrid vehicle manufacturers, and generators for wind turbine and gen-set manufacturers.



It would seem like a good idea for a through the road hybrid if you motorise the rear wheels.
However, I am not so sure how effective these have been - you don;t see very many of them around.
Is there some fundamental reason why TTR hybrids are not so good, or are they just not developed enough ?
I am sure all the control issues can be resolved with 32 bit microcontrollers and modern sensors.
It sounds like some car company needs to put quite a bit of work into it.


Is it possible that you haven't noticed numerous HEVs with AWD through the road.
These are:
Peugeot started the trend with Peugeot Diesel 3008 Hybrid4
BMW i8 - ICE at rear
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, selling well in Europe
? New Honda Legend
New Honda NSX
Some concepts from Audi
All AWD, without long drive-shaft.

I think some of 2014 Le Mans racing cars were through the road hybrids (Audi, Toyota, Porsche), forgot details.


Think electric cars are going to be the answer to reduce green house gases? Think again.


A transmission line hybrid can use the electric motor as starter motor as a starter motor. The electric motor can also benefit from the gearbox. Small benefits, can't think of any bigger ones, so Alex's list does not surprise me.

Would have thought the TTR hybrid was as easy to control.


Volvo Cars details more of the V60 diesel plug-in hybrid; 3 driver-selected driving modes - mahonj
The rear axle features ERAD (Electric Rear Axle Drive) in the form of an electric motor producing 70 hp (52 kW)


I think I made a mistake regarding Peugeot Diesel 3008 Hybrid4, in my previous post.
It was the first diesel hybrid (with TTR AWD), but not the first TTR hybrid.
The term through-the-road hybrid wasn't used in automotive press before the Peugeot hybrid (that I know).
But the first TTR hybrid was actually Lexus SUV Rx400h in 2005 or 2006 in the US, although it was not caller TTR hybrid, Toyota called it Lexus hybrid or similar name. In front it used almost the same hybrid system as in Camry hybrid. In the rear there was an electric motor, with clutch. Clutch would engage for acceleration and when traction is lost. Later Lexus Rx 400h was replaced with Rx450h.
Peugeot also uses clutch with rear motor, disengages it above ~110 kph.

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