Protean Electric is an award-winning technology company that has developed an in-wheel electric drive system for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric light-duty vehicles. The Protean Drive® system can improve vehicle fuel economy, add torque, increase power and enable improved vehicle handling to both new and existing vehicles.
Protean Drive® is designed for a broad array of vehicles including sedans, SUVs, pickup trucks and commercial vans – any vehicle with an 18- to 24-inch wheel. The system also can be added to existing cars and trucks, utilizing their current internal combustion engine drivetrain. This allows automakers to create hybrid vehicles in less time and with far fewer changes to the vehicle design and components.
Protean Electric has designed and developed a unique in-wheel electric drive system for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric light-duty vehicles. A typical passenger car would have two such motors, while a heavy-duty or high-performance vehicle could have a motor in each of its wheels.
Protean’s system can increase fuel economy by over 30 percent depending on the battery size and driving cycle. It is also powerful enough to be the only source for traction on a variety of vehicles. Its ease of integration can simplify the adoption of hybrid and electrified powertrains across a broad range of vehicles.
Protean’s in-wheel motors have the highest torque and power density of any of today’s leading electric propulsion systems. Each Protean Drive® in-wheel motor can deliver 81 kW (110 hp) and 800 Nm (590 lb-ft), yet weighs only 31 kg (68 lbs.) and is sized to fit within the space of a conventional 18- to 24-inch road wheel.
Protean Drive® also has superior regenerative braking capabilities, which allow up to 85 percent of the available kinetic energy to be recovered during braking. This can increase driving range up to 30 percent and contribute to the reduction of battery size and cost.
Other benefits include:
Can deliver hybrid and electric vehicle technology faster and with fewer new parts, less complexity, and at a lower total cost than other leading electric drive systems
Can be developed as a retrofit application for existing fleets as well as for new vehicles
Does not require external gearing, drive shafts or differentials
Each motor has a built-in inverter, control electronics and software
Does not require a separate motor power electronics module to be fitted to the vehicle
Can be added to FWD, RWD or AWD platforms regardless of the fuel type
Avoids costs of unique hybrid drive tooling changes to chassis, bodies and transmissions
Can help create a hybrid vehicle with fewer changes to the base engine systems and components and is less disruptive in the assembly plant
Can be a common system for HEV, PHEV and EV vehicles on the same platform