Mahle and Protean reveal in-wheel electric motor demonstrator

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Mahle Powertrain and Protean Electric have revealed PHEV demonstrator collaboration aimed at showcasing the benefits of in-wheel electric motors.

A standard 1.4-liter car was turned into a parallel hybrid vehicle through the use of in-wheel electric motors in the rear wheels of the car.

The vehicle features Protean’s compact direct drive in-wheel motors with integrated inverters on the rear axle and retains the standard 1.4-liter gasoline engine and manual transmission driving the front axle.

The companies describe the parallel drive setup as a ‘through the road’ arrangement, which allows the vehicle to operate in rear-wheel drive EV mode, conventional front-wheel drive IC engine mode or full hybrid all-wheel drive. The companies say that the in-wheel motors also offer in-built torque vectoring.

The setup also brings considerable fuel consumption benefits. The NEDC fuel economy was reduced from 6.4 to 1.7 l/100km (36.8mpg to 138mpg) and the CO₂ emissions from 149g/km to less than 40g/km. The vehicle achieves an impressive 0-100 km/h time of less than 7.0 seconds (half that of the baseline vehicle) and top speed has also increased by more than 10%.

September 15, 2015

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine + Powertrain of the Year Awards.

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