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Back in 2016 I wrote a piece about in-wheel hub motors and listed options of this technology that would cover medium duty commercial auto's. The start up company was doing great work here in the US yet no one seemed to really notice or pay any attention to the possible performance options with an AWD auto that would have 800 hp / 4,000 lb-ft of torque where they had proven the technology in a Ford F-150 pickup converted. Fast forward two years and I highlighted another startup that was building an in-wheel hub motor size on par with traditional drum brake units that had great possibility also for efficient fast EV torque monsters. Since that time both companies have merged with Chinese backed companies to survive and have seen success in China building EVs with their motor tech. Elaphe has gathered increased interest with building BMW prototypes off their in-wheel motor tech. 2020 showing their latest testing efforts in a BMW CUV. In this time ProTean has also continued their development showing off their Tank mode in a SAAB after NEVS (National Electric Vehicle Sweden) bought them in 2019 and they they built this prototype of what can be done. Protean Electric elaphe Why am I bringing this up again since we have had 5 years since Protean hit the market and 3 for elaphe? Lordstown Motors, Bollinger and Nikola have all recently announced trucks or expansion of a truck to an SUV and stated they will be using in-wheel hub motors. Lordstown has been very vocal about being the first mass produced pickup truck in the US and many wonder just how close they are to production as we have Rivian starting production at the end of this year. Lordstown Motors story To quote a familiar statement, We Live in Interesting Times! It will be interesting to see who gets to market first with in-wheel hub motors as well as who gets to market first with a truck full size pickup truck.
Elaphe - Newest In-Wheel EV motors with Torque Vectoring Elaphe Website This Slovenian company has clearly stepped up to compete against Protean, the only other in-wheel EV motor company to date. Both have manufacturing in China and are aggressively going after OEM, but where they go divergent paths is that Elaphe is also feeling that their product can and should be used in older auto's where people want to replace the ICE powertrain with something new and better. Elaphe makes 7 different motors for a wide variety of applications, from cars to trucks / suvs, commercial trucks and marine applications. These motors go from 29 kW or 39 HP with 400 Nm or 295 ft-lbs of torque to 110 kW or 147 HP with 1500 Nm or 1,106 ft-lbs of Torque per motor. Using their designated SUV motor would give you in AWD mode 588 HP with 4,424 lb-ft of torque. Diesel torque with supercar performance in an amazing package. They even offer a in-wheel solution for motorcycles that is 20kW or 27 HP with 225 Nm or 166 ft-lbs of torque, giving a motorcycle 54 HP with 332 lb-ft of torque. Here is the founders own words on why they are building a superior motor system.