Is an affordable EV mini-roadster almost here? PML Flightlink’s EW Series of roadworthy in-wheel motors includes the EW 30/60. Each of these motors weighs just under 40 pounds, or 18 kilograms, and each motor runs up to 14.4 kilowatts, or 19.3 horsepower.
|PML Flightlink’s EW Series 30/60,
14.4 kW in-wheel motor.
(Photo: PML Flightlink)
With “internal tapered heavy duty roller bearings that can withstand heavy radial radial loads for robust use,” and “standard flange fittings to accept different wheel rim sizes,” this appears to be the wheel we’ve been looking for.
The specifications look great (view detailed performance data and diagrams); with four of these lightweight 30/60 motors combining to deliver about 80 horsepower, you could have an efficient two seat roadster – maybe finding an off-the-shelf in-wheel motor is the harbinger of a new, affordable generation of smart, clean, green cars.
For affordable, long range driving, imagine a simple, affordable, all-wheel drive series EV, with onboard 15 horsepower clean diesel generator, an ultralight 5-10kW battery, and a Silicon Valley’esque power management system. These next generation EV roadsters could employ single-speed in-wheel motors, with light-weight batteries and low horsepower, clean diesel generators – with four motors weighing a total of only 160 pounds, aerodynamic, using advanced composites for crash surfaces – could probably deliver 100+ mpg on diesel generator power only.
Batteries offer the EV surge ability as well as a range of battery-only mileage from land-based recharging. As a single-speed (hence more affordable and lighter weight) EV, it helps to have as much circumference on the wheels as practically possible. Despite the impressive power-to-weight ratios achieved using in-wheel motors – you eliminate the weight (and cost) of the transmission and the drivetrain – in single speed the EV’s highest top speed is limited by the maximum motor RPM. But they can likely zoom.
Motors from PML, batteries from ABAT? Suppliers are sprouting like great shoots of spring, upwellings of new life as the warm sun shines, the days lengthen, lifegiving rains are in the air, and the global EV ecosystem comes alive. There is pollen blowing across the world in this spring of 2008, the ferment of innovation and enterprise. How many next generation iterations of the infinite designs of smart, clean, green cars are out there? How many EV equivalents of the Model T are about to arise?