Japan-based NTN, a leading global supplier of hub bearings and driveshafts, will supply in-wheel motor technology to EV startup Changchun Fawsn Auto Tech (FSAT), established in October 2017 by FAW Group. FSAT will exhibit a prototype vehicle at the upcoming Beijing Motor Show.
NTN’s latest in-wheel motor
NTN began work on in-wheel motors in 2003, deploying and testing successive iterations on different types of compact, lightweight EVs. In 2016, NTN provided five prototypes of converted EVs with its latest in-wheel motor drive system to both Mie Prefecture and Kuwana City in Japan.
NTN’s newest in-wheel system features a combination of parallel axial reduction gear and outer ring rotating hub for lighter and more compact design compared to the conventional product.
The thickness of the 30 kW in-wheel motor part was reduced by using a motor shaft with an offset layout to the vehicle shaft and by keeping its width within the wheel, allowing it to be mounted without changing the vehicle’s suspension or steering structure. This can be expected to enable reduction in cost and time of development.
A 2010 version of NTN’s in-wheel motor.
According to a report in the Nikkei, in 2019, FSAT plans to manufacture vehicles equipped with in-wheel motors with a range of 450 km (280 miles). The company is targeting annual production of 300,000 vehicles in 2023. The car will be the first mass-produced electric vehicle equipped with an in-wheel motor, according to NTN.
With an increasing focus on the electric vehicle market, NTN has also developed a two motor e-axle that consists of motor drive units with an inverter.
NTN two-motor e-axle.