Slovenian startup Elaphe has made a splash by developing in-wheel plug and play electric motors. The company spent over 15 years working on its in-wheel electric motors, and the outcome is a plug-and-play, off-the-shelf solution for electric car powertrains called Elaphe M700. The propulsion system can be installed in each wheel, and each electric motor which weighs about 51 pounds comes with its very own independent cooling system, a standard disc or drum brake with anti-lock regenerative braking, and a power electronics unit.
This in-wheel electric motor is not only highly efficient but also provide advanced torque vectoring. The electronic controllers help to keep the electric car under control all the time and minimize tire slippage. The vehicle propulsion control unit can interface either with self-driving technology or a human driver, and this makes the technology highly suitable for use in self-driving cars. There is a power distribution and management module which helps the motor to determine how much power to supply to each wheel.
When it comes to power output, each in-wheel electric motor can produce a maximum output of 101 horsepower or 67 hp on a continual basis. When two motors are used on the rear axle, the vehicle will be able to use 202 hp to launch and 134 hp for continual driving. When there are four such motors, 404 hp will be available in short bursts, and 268 hp on a regular basis.
Elaphe is not the first player in this category. Bosch had developed its very own e-axle which integrates the motor, transmission, and power control electronics into one unit. It does not include the software or the battery which need to be sourced separately.
Elaphe is hoping to hand over some or all of its components to vehicle designers to create a wide range of transportation solutions. Electric vehicles will get a lot more leeway from the design perspective if there is no need to house the powertrain under the hood.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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