In-Wheel Motor for EVs Announced
Earlier this month, Nidec, the Japanese motor supplier, unveiled a fully integrated motor system prototype that is designed to fit within wheel hubs. Viable in-wheel motors have been an unattainable goal in the vehicle industry for decades but have not progressed beyond the research and prototype phase. Advantages of in-wheel motors include simpler packaging, more interior and cargo space, lighter vehicles, and a lower center of mass. Efficiency gains and increased traction and stability are also potential benefits as power is delivered more precisely and modulates on a wheel-by-wheel basis.
This announcement is noteworthy as it is a first from an established supplier and an extension of Nidec’s E-Axle product line, due to launch this May in China. Nidec aims to mass-produce the wheel-hub motor design around 2023, according to the company. The unit generates more than 100 kW (134 horsepower) while fitting inside a 20-inch wheel.