Protean Electric used this week's 2013 Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress to show off a production-ready version of its Protean Drive in-wheel motor. Packaged directly behind the vehicle's wheel, Protean's new compact, lightweight (68 pounds) production variant packs 100 horsepower - a 25 percent gain over the company's previous-generation design - and can generate up to 738 lb-ft of peak torque.

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"Protean Electric is ready to enable the global automobile industry as it moves to high-volume, low-cost hybrid and electric drive powertrains," said its chairman and CEO, Bob Purcell. "Our system can be applied to current vehicle platforms, retrofit existing vehicles or create all-new architectures for the future." He went on to note that Protean's new in-wheel design also offers exceptional regenerative braking potential and can deliver up to a 30 percent gain in fuel economy numbers in a hybrid application, depending on the size of the battery pack.

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Winner of the 2012 Technology Pioneers Award from the World Economic Forum, Protean Electric currently holds 27 patents on its in-wheel drive system and has an additional 84 international patent applications pending. Among other vehicles, the firm's current demonstration fleet includes a Ford F-150 EV pickup as well as both hybrid and full-electric Brabus-enhanced Mercedes-Benz E-Class models.


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