Gallery: Protean Demonstrates That Its Electric Motors Can Drive an F15...


Protean Electric came to the 2011 SAE World Congress ready to prove that its in-wheel electric motors could power more than a mini city car. They brought an F150 kitted out with Protean’s motors and offered rides to prove to show attendees that electric in-wheel motors are a viable option for greening transportation. Because Protean’s motors fit into the wheels of a vehicle, they can either be used to hybridize existing gas-powered vehicles or to power an electric vehicle without the need for a gearbox, differential, or drive shafts, thereby reducing the weight of the vehicle and making it more efficient.

Protean prefers to work with OEMs to electrify new vehicles, but these little motors will also easily convert existing vehicles into hybrids. When plugged into the F150, Protean’s motors produce top speeds of 100+ miles per hour with a 100-mile range, but when used to move a smaller car, such as Protean’s Volvo ReCharge, the motors produce a 0-60 time of under 5 seconds and a top speed in excess of 130 miles per hour.

+ Protean Electric

Via AutoBlog Green


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  1. zerkouchy November 14, 2011 at 6:04 pm


  2. petebike April 20, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    This Idea has been a “holy grail” of the electric vehicle scene for 111 years now. In 1900 Ferdinand Porsche (yes THAT Ferdinand Porsche) built a series of inline hybrid drive cars that used in wheel electric motors. He even went on to win some racing awards with these intrepid new designs. With an uncountable amount of human brain trust being spent on the electric wheel motor idea, over the course of 111 years or more, there is still not a viable in wheel electric motor for the passenger car. The in wheel electric motor works very well for vehicles that move very slowly. It turns out that, aside from all the other design problems inherent with the electric wheel motor; form factor, humidity, longevity, etc… there seams to be one design hurtle that leaves all the best minds stumped. unsprung weight this wiki link explains the challenge posed by increasing unsprung weight much better than I can. This company Protean Elect Motors has been phasing in and out for years now, they keep attempting, failing, filing for bankruptcy, and changing their name.
    My guess is that this latest example of “pancake hub motors” will not be the answer to the hapless search for the viable hub motor, nor will it be the last that we hear form the chaps at protean. although what name they will re-introduce this concept with in the future remains to be seen. I should note on a more personal level, that nobody in the world wants this technology to work more than me, but I have also spent my life dreaming of a flying bicycle.

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