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Monday, August 27, 2012

Wheel Motor Start-up enters $10M GE Ecomagination Challenge

Wheel Motor developer Evans Electric has entered GE's Ecomagination Challenge. The Australian based R&D firm is working on direct drive, disc type, in-wheel motors for electric vehicles.

Designed to be a bolt-on retrofit replacement for automotive disc brake systems, the in-wheel AC induction motors provide All-Wheel-Drive propulsion and braking for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles.

In the race to develop the most energy efficient electric vehicle, direct drive wheel motors, as used in all leading Solar racecars, are seen as the End-Game for EV powertrain architecture.

Direct drive wheel motors eliminate mechanical transmission losses of up to 20-30% in both acceleration and braking and allow up to 70% of a vehicle's kinetic energy to be recoverable.

Maximum brake regeneration equals lower over-all vehicle energy consumption. A next generation wheel motor powered EV with up to 50% lower energy consumption than a current generation EV can achieve double the range with the same size battery pack or similar range with a battery pack less than half the size/weight/cost.

Direct drive wheel motors enable non-contact electromagnetic braking, replacing hydraulic friction brake systems which are 90-95% redundant in current generation Hybrid vehicles. With a single system used for vehicle propulsion and braking, functions such as ABS, stability control, emergency brake assist, autonomous braking and adaptive cruise control can be incorporated as software applications that are more powerful, more accurate and cheaper to manufacture.

GE's Australia & New Zealand Low Carbon ecomagination Challenge is an innovation experiment where businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators and students share their best ideas on how to reduce carbon emissions. There is $500,000 to be won and potential investment opportunities of up to up to $10 million from GE and its partners.

General Electric have teamed up with some of the best-known venture capital firms in Australia and New Zealand, including Cleantech Ventures, CVC Limited, Greenhouse Cleantech, MH Carnegie & Co and Southern Cross Venture Partners to help back the most promising ideas. Entries are open until 30th November 2012.

Source: GE Ecomagination

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