With the threat of anthropogenic climate change and humanity’s dependence on non-renewable petroleum, the need for a transition to zero-emission transport is widely acknowledged. Battery electric vehicles represent the most promising solution for urban transport, being the most efficient technology which can be powered from renewable energy sources. As of 2011, most major automobile manufacturers have either released or announced development of electric vehicles, and it is clear that they are going to play a big role in our future transport needs. To date, all such vehicles employ a conventional drivetrain with a single motor, driving the wheels through a transmission and differential. In contrast, many small electric vehicles such as bicycles and scooters have employed in-wheel motor systems (also known as hub motors) – where the electric motor is contained within the wheel hub itself. In-wheel motor systems offer many advantages over conventional drivetrains including fewer moving parts, lower transmission losses, and space savings. However the performance requirements of road-going automobiles has so far precluded the use of in-wheel motor systems.
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2011|