In-wheel drive motors have yet to become firmly established in the automotive market, but a €4.2m (US$4.97m) investment by European investor EIT InnoEnergy into in-wheel motor specialists Elaphe Propulsion Technologies could accelerate their adoption.
According to Elaphe, its development of a fully modular platform, combining its in-wheel powertrain with software capable of optimizing each in-wheel motor in real time, makes its technology particularly attractive to OEMs. Specifically, the system can be integrated into a wide range of existing vehicles, cutting down on manufacturing costs and removing the limitations of traditional centralized powertrains while increasing vehicle functionality and safety features.
“The partnership with EIT InnoEnergy strengthens Elaphe’s position both in the EU and globally. The provided investment and support will significantly accelerate commercial activities with automotive OEMs. This in turn will help us further optimize our best-in-class technology platform in accordance with customer requirements for production vehicles,” said Gorazd Lampic, CEO of Elaphe. “Therefore, being part of EIT InnoEnergy’s ecosystem gives us a competitive edge both from a technological as well as a business perspective and opens up exciting growth opportunities.”
The company notes that it has over 20 different in-wheel motors developed, integrated and tested in more than 50 fully electric and hybrid vehicles. Its electromagnetic design enables specific torque up to 100Nm/kg, 200kW of power per regular car wheel, and superior packaging benefits. Elaphe is unique in that it offers OEMs the flexibility to integrate their preferred off-the-shelf corner components (brakes, rims, bearings, suspensions etc.) while also offering a turnkey solution.
“We believe Elaphe is uniquely positioned to play a leading role in the future of the automotive and transport sectors – a future that is electric and sustainable. Not only is the timing right, and their in-wheel powertrain technology the most advanced in the market and commercially ready – the approach they have taken, developing a highly adaptable platform, will allow them to deliver instantaneous benefit to automotive OEMs and thus have a far-reaching impact on the mobility sector for decades to come,” remarked EIT InnoEnergy’s Jennifer Dungs, thematic field leader, energy for transport and mobility.