Hub drives are hardly a new concept, but this one has progressed far beyond the automotive fringe and actually looks practicable. A collaboration between Ford Europe and German company Schaeffler, the E-Wheel Drive is installed in the rear wheel arches of Fiesta. All components required for drive, deceleration and driving safety – such as the electric motor, power electronics, controller, brake and cooling system – are installed inside the wheel rim.
The company claims an output f 40 W per drive and a continuous output f 2 x 33 kW. The liquid-cooled wheel hub drive, now in its second stage of development, delivers up to 700 N.m of torque. Says senior Schaeffler executive, Professor Peter Gutzmer: “Thanks to this highly integrated wheel hub drive, we can now re-think the city car without restrictions. It will be a key factor in new vehicle concepts and automobile platforms in the future. For electric vehicles used in urban environments, which may become obligatory in many densely populated areas, the wheel hub drive makes previously unheard-of space savings possible. ”
Catch the Fiesta-based E-Wheel Drive research car in action in this video…
(Image credit: www.j josekdesign.de)