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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Protean & FAW-VW China to Develop RWD In-Wheel Motor System

Protean Electric has announces a partnership with FAW-VOLKSWAGEN (China) to develop an all new electric propulsion system that will include Protean Electric's in-wheel motors with intent towards a demonstration vehicle program and production.

FAW-VW will create an all-new rear-wheel drivetrain for a pure Electric Vehicle (EV) based on the new Bora compact sedan, utilizing two Protean in-wheel motors. This cooperation began several months ago and so all bench testing, engineering calibration and on site application support is expected to be completed within a year. Protean Electric will also assist FAW-VW in the development of safety and vehicle controls that can be applied to additional vehicle programs.

Protean raised $84 Million in VC funding last year and moved their operation to Liyang, Jiangsu Province, China.

"Protean Electric is very pleased and honored to be working with FAW-VW. Our involvement with this prestigious automaker shows that Protean Electric is continuing to serve as a valuable resource for OEMs as they develop New Energy Vehicle programs," says Kwok-yin Chan, CEO of Protean Holdings Corp. "This is a two-phase project that will capitalize on the torque and packaging freedoms that Protean Drive™ can bring to an automaker. Our technology will return the space to the new Bora vehicle platform that was formerly occupied by an in-board motor and powertrain."

Like the recently revealed Schaeffler Ford Fiesta eWheelDrive prototype, the Protean powertrain will be rear-wheel-drive only. One of the main reasons many in-wheel motor prototypes demonstrated to-date have only been used on the rear axle is due to front steering geometry. Most FWD cars use negative scrub radius to prevent torque steer. Due to their outer dimensions, many ‘drum brake type’ wheel motors adversely affect the scrub radius so are simply unsuitable for FWD operation.

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