Elaphe Propulsion Technologies recently announced that it will soon begin low-volume series manufacturing of the L1500, the world’s highest performance direct drive, gearless in-wheel powertrain system.
The company designs its in-wheel motors to be integrated with ease in all types of vehicles, including small cars, sport utility vehicles and light commercial vehicles, without having to compromise on or re-engineer the existing wheel hub and mechanicals. Achieve the highest torque densities of electric motors on the market, the Elaphe L1500 in-wheel motor is able to generate 1500 Nm of torque without using any gears. A single motor fits inside a 19-inch or larger wheel rim and has the capacity to achieve a power output of more than 110 kW (147 HP). The L1500 motor has been designed to be compatible with rear wheel drive, front wheel drive as well as four- or more – wheel drive vehicles.
The company is scheduled to begin low-volume series production in the fourth quarter of 2019. Elaphe has optimized the L1500 D-version in-wheel motor for low-volume series production. The company has tested its earlier versions on different vehicles including passenger cars and off-road-vehicles.
“Our technology enables manufacturers to design and produce electric or hybrid vehicles rapidly and cost-effectively without compromise to their existing vehicle architectures or complex packaging,” said Elaphe CEO, Gorazd Lampič. “The technology also integrates seamlessly with autonomous driving applications, providing feedback data, unprecedented responsiveness and enhanced vehicle controllability.”
Demonstrating proven applications for direct drive, in-wheel propulsion motors, Elaphe had earlier showcased prototype mules based on the Smart ForTwo, BMW X6 SUV and Audi R8 platforms, among others. When L1500 in-wheel powertrain was tested on track in a modified electric prototype vehicle, the car was able to achieve 3.5 sec 0-100 km/h acceleration time. According to Elaphe, this was the fastest recorded time ever for an in-wheel motor application. In collaboration with other mainstream automotive manufacturers, smaller scale and startup electric vehicle companies, Elaphe is currently working on developing similar prototypes. Additionally, the company also seeks partners who are willing to look into a new packaging philosophy that frees up occupant and cargo space without displacing existing packaging and brake architecture.
Elaphe enumerates several advantages of in-wheel motor technology:
- The technology helps in providing power that can meet and exceed internal combustion engine alternatives without invading chassis, passenger or cargo space.
- In-wheel motors reduce vehicle part count, complexity and cost.
- The technology allows for complete design freedom and the potential for increased regenerative braking.
- In-wheel powertrain can additionally help in decreasing the overall required battery capacity and cost.
With these advantages, OEMs have the option to design more unique and functional electric and hybrid vehicles required by consumers and are cost-effective to produce.