At least, that’s what the company is saying. I covered Protean back in October 2012, so I’m happy to see that the company is moving forward. It looked like an exciting technology to me at the time, and Gas2’s Chris DeMorro (a normally pretty skeptical guy who reserves his enthusiasm for clear wins) also seems quite excited in this Gas2 repost below. I just hope the plans are legit and the technology is as awesome as it sounds. Here’s the Gas2 repost:
The holy grail of electric vehicle technology is in-wheel electric motors, which put power directly to the street and eliminate a host of other parts. In-wheel electric motor maker Protean claims that by next year, production of their revolutionary product will begin.
Weighing just 68 pounds, but capable of delivering 100 horsepower and 735 ft-lbs of torque per wheel, the Protean in-wheel electric motor would eliminate things like driveshafts, differentials, and transmissions. That reduces the cost and complexity of electric drivetrain setups, and drops a whole lot of weight as well. Mercedes tuner Brabus used two Protean motors in their beastly diesel-electric hybrid to great effect.
That’s only a few of the advantages of in-wheel motors though. Each motor can be controlled independently, allowing for more control in dicey situations. Protean also claims their electric motors can reclaim up to 85% of the kinetic energy via regenerative braking. The Protean system can also be retrofitted to existing vehicles fairly easily.
Sounds amazing, right? With production scheduled for next year though, I am left wondering… what automakers are signed up for this awesome tech? Or will Protean sell these as stand-alone units directly to customers? So many possibilities… what will come of it all?