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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Volvo Recharge wheel motor TEST DRIVE

Although electric wheel motors were first seen on an electric car in the late 1800s when a young 25 year old Ferdinand Porsche built the Lohner-Porsche for the 1900 Paris World Expo, wheel motors still haven't been adapted to todays production road vehicles. With the world seemingly on the path to electrify the global car fleet that may be all about to change.

We've found a test track video of the Volvo ReCharge concept electric vehicle powered by an All wheel drive in-wheel motor system. Primarily developed by now bankrupt British company PML Flight link for battery powered electric vehicles, the Volvo ReCharge is a series hybrid concept car that did the Intentional Auto Show circuit in 2007.

Of all the PML wheel motor demonstration vehicles the Volvo shows a modest turn of speed although it is surprisingly short of torque when it comes to climbing a minor grade in the video. Considering PML claimed widely that their wheel motors had up to 160hp (117kw) EACH, an interview with a Volvo representative claimed the wheel motors on the show car were only 50 hp (36kw) but seeing their poor performance even that may be questionable.

Now that PML Flight link (who's primary business was manufacturing wheel motors for hand luggage) are out of business and Ford are negotiating the sale of Volvo this particular wheel motor may never see production. With the potential for energy efficiency, direct computer control of vehicle dynamics and safety system improvements offered by wheel motors we're confident other companies are working away on the technology in stealth mode without all the bogus claims.

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