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Published on January 23rd, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan


In-Wheel Electric Motor & Electric Car Company From Denmark — Ecomove

January 23rd, 2014 by  

Originally published on EV Obsession.

At the recent EVS27 symposium in Barcelona, I had the opportunity to speak with Mogens Løkke, the director of in-wheel electric motor company ECOmove. Although I have covered in-wheel electric motor company Protean a couple of times (and sister site Gas2 has also covered it), this is the first time I heard about ECOmove. Mogens had a lot of interesting information to share about his company. Check it all out in this exclusive CleanTechnica video:

As is critical, ECOmove has developed a suspension system that is “really lightweight,” which solves the concerns of “unsprung mass” that you tend to find with in-wheel motors. Looks like it has potential!

Here’s another video from ECOmove itself, featuring an EV that the company has developed, QBEAK:

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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

  • lad76

    The problem to solve with hub motors is bearing wear. The distance between the stator and rotor of electric motors must be maintain within thousands of an inch. This is difficult when the motor bearings serves as the wheel bearings and are subjected to the abuses of the road.

  • Benjamin Nead

    “in wheel,” perhaps, but it’s hard to compare this with a true direct drive hub motor system, such as that being marketed by Protean. This ECOmove one looks to be basically an off-the-shelf oversized stepper motor that is gear coupled to a conventional spindle and disc brake assembly. I’m not totally discounting its viability in certain applications (neighborhood-type ultralight vehicle, etc.,) but a true hub motor with drive-by-wire braking (ie: no conventional disc and caliper required) is a technological advance beyond what we are seeing displayed here. Please correct me if I’ve overlooked something here.

    • Dave2020

      I agree with the point you make – it hardly qualifies as “really lightweight”, but then that holds true for any in-wheel design. They all fail to respect the basic principle that “unsprung mass” is best kept to a minimum.

      Why have two motors, when one unit does the job better and cheaper?

      • Benjamin Nead

        Separate motors in the wheels can offset the disadvantage of unsprung mass with a total elimination of a mechanical differential, related driveshafts/axles and a larger single motor attached to all of the above. So, there is a potential weight saving in the vehicle overall, not to mention freeing up a tremendous amount of space for passengers and cargo.

        Imagine an EV that doesn’t have a transmission/driveshaft hump, a rear trunk that doesn’t have an elevated floor to accommodate a differential and a front cargo hold that is also virtually empty. Then, build the batteries into the floor and let electronics control drivetrain duties that used to be handled mechanically. This is what can be obtained with motors in the wheel, such as can be seen on the Toyota concept . . .


        So, the point I was trying to make it that I’m not down on motors at the wheel, but that I’m somewhat skeptical of the system shown in the article . . . which appears to be a rather conventional high speed electric motor and a small gearbox bolted onto the spindle, which also accommodates a traditional disc brake assembly. Scale that thing up to a size/power that would needed on a conventional passenger car and it would be both heavy and unreliable.

        This is FAR different than a true direct drive hub motor, such is now being made by Protean . . .


        Notice the lack of miniature gear boxes and brake rotors/calipers on the Protean. They’re not needed. The motor spins at the same RPM as the rubber on the road and electronic regenerative braking takes car of stopping things.

        Main point: a true hub motor (ie: Protean) is NOT the same thing as any old “in wheel” motor system with miniature gear boxes and conventional brakes (ie: ECOmove.)

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