Protean Electric shows production-ready in-wheel electric motor
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.
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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