Tecnalia Foundation: In-Wheel Electric Motors Exceeding Expectations −

In-Wheel Electric Drive

Published on April 29th, 2016 | by James Ayre


Tecnalia Foundation: In-Wheel Electric Motors Exceeding Expectations

In-wheel electric motors developed by the Tecnalia Foundation have been performing much better than estimates before testing suggested they would — with power being 50% to 60% higher than expected — according to recent reports.


As the online translation service that I used for this hasn’t provided a great translation, and I’m not a native speaker, I think that it’s probably best to just go ahead and post some direct excerpts here (original can be found here):

EUNICE is a European initiative which counts among the companies related to the Spanish Tecnalia. They have developed a prototype that has been tested this past winter during times of extreme to climatological level.

According to Alberto Peña, the Tecnalia Foundation, thanks to the integration of the engine in the wheels has improved the performance of the same. The power has been between 50% and 60% higher than estimated at first. More power in less space, one of the main features of in-wheel motor.

The first prototype used for testing has been a FIAT Punto has seen its gasoline propulsion system with 120 horsepower, it has been replaced by an electric one. Two engines of 26 kW each, for a total of 52 kW (71 horsepower). According to initial tests, the difference in performance between the model gasoline and electric version has been minimal. Acceleration to 100 km/hour was 9.3 seconds for the gasoline, and 9.31 for power. Meanwhile acceleration to 1,000 metrosha been 31.8 seconds for gasoline, and 32.2 for the electric version. And that despite having 41% less power in the case of electric motors.

In-wheel electric motors would of course allow for significantly improved interior and/or storage space in most vehicles — providing a fair bit of incentive to companies to pursue such a technology (if it can be done economically). Another possible advantage is decreased cooling needs.


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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • Do they mention weight? With hub motors, the biggest issue is unsprung weight.

  • litesong

    I love in-wheel motors. Don’t need the ultimate in handling. Those that think they do, are the ones who get in accidents anyhow. Don’t need 200-300HP. Those that think they do, are the ones who get in accidents anyhow. The wonderful air cooling is spectacular! The problem is for those drivers, who accelerate hard & hit 85mph going up hill in 100+ degF weather. Don’t need it, don’t want it. Give me the simplicity of in-wheel motors! Three problems I see: 1) unsprung durability of motors that are exposed to the pounding of roads. I plan to own vehicles 10+ years. I’ve seen shock absorbing wheels, but they’ll have their own problems. 2) Motor degradation, exposed to the elements. 3)Theft of the wheels will proliferate.

  • Karsten Berg

    I’m friend of direct drives and simplicity, too. If problems exist by vibration, why not start with heavy duty trucks and vans, where high speed is not a must?

  • Charles Alvin Scott

    There is really little to be gained by having motors in wheel, from having motors inboard with a short drive shaft. For one gain there is a loss, but unsprung weight will shorten the life especially on less than motorway surfaces.

    There are motors which are more powerful, yet compact power for power and have air cooling or liquid or forced air cooling, so overheating will not be a problem. The second most important benefit, the motors can be out of the way of direct water, ice and snow with the odd kilo of salt thrown in.

    I have decided on inboard motors for my planned Proof of Concept EV, at present this will be an adapted 4 wheel drive vehicle which will be converted to electric.

    The power source will be HyPulJet.2.0 and super capacitors. HyPulJet.2.0
    is the much improved version of this engine-generator. This is a result of two improvements during 2015 the first reduces or stops NOx but will also make a substantial reduction in fuel consumption ( 300 cc to 400 cc equivalent) taking fuel usage to a level which can be met from on board Hydrogen and Oxygen fuel production system.

    Improvement two, is a redesign of the engine to make best use of the super pulse jets brought about improvement one. This also provides a separate drive to a dedicated generator specifically to power the on board fuel production system

    Being used in conjunction with super capacitors will cut out the heavy battery packs, not to mention the cost and degradation which again incurs costs.

    HyPulJet.2.0 is a low cost alternative to Fuel Cells, equally Zero emissions, however with no range issues and no refueling problems, cars powered by HyPulJet.2.0 could be marketed anywhere.

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