e-Traction in cold weather in-wheel direct drive bus test; automotive in-wheel product in prototype stage

In-wheel direct drive motor company e-Traction Europe BV (earlier post) has undertaken a new development projection in cooperation with Hybricon SE to equip two Volvo 7700 city buses with a modified e-Traction system for cold-weather testing. At this time in spring in Sweden, temperatures are still well below zero, with icy road conditions throughout the day.

The Hybricon project will use an e-Traction system equipped with TheWheel SM500/3 motors. The project will test the reliability of TheWheel, the e-Traction system and Valence Li-ion batteries in extreme cold conditions; thermal functioning of the e-Traction system at cold conditions; and fuel consumption.

TheWheel SM500 line features integrated power electronics; a water-cooled electronics and motor package; and up to 11,000 N&iddot;m (8,100 lb-ft) peak torque. TheWheel SM500 has a range of subtypes available depending on its operating circumstances.

The length of the motor vary from 345mm to 555mm depending on the torque needed. The payload also can be changed by altering the bearing materials (eg. from aluminium to steel) This also changes the unit’s weight. The basic SM500/3 has a motor length of 555mm, and is targeted for heavier applications as heavy city buses, freight trucks and industrial applications (container terminal tractors).

SM470/1 for automotive applications. e-Traction is also developing an version of TheWheel targeted for light-duty automotive applications, especially city cars. n average overall driveline efficiency allows downsizing of battery capacity in the vehicle. Especially small vehicles profit from this feature, the company notes.

The SM470/1 features:

  • In-wheel direct drive with average overall efficiency of 86%;
  • 470 mm diameter, 263 mm length, 70 kg weight;
  • Integrated power electronics;
  • Integrated fluid cooling;
  • Integrated mechanic brake solution; and
  • 600 or 900 Nm torque, dependent on model.


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