In-wheel motor deal opens up battery capacity for driverless cars

January 22, 2019 //By Nick Flaherty
In-wheel motor deal opens up battery capacity for driverless cars
Two European power technology companies have teamed up to boost the use of in-wheel motors in driverless cars.

Hanseatische Fahrzeug Manufaktur (HFM) in Holm, Germany, is working with Elaphe Propulsion Technologies in Slovenia to use in-wheel motors for Motionboard. This is a highly adaptable autonomous electric vehicle platform and HFM says it is the only one with a permit to operate on public roads.

The flexibility of HFM's Motionboard platform requires the motors to cover a wide range of potential uses with significant differences in vehicle mass. In addition to delivering the necessary torque, the motors also have to be highly efficient to make maximum use of the installed battery capacity. The Elaphe in-wheel powertrain platform includes motors, power electronics and intelligent multiple-motor propulsion control and avoids the need for a powertrain, reducing weight and allowing many different battery pack configurations.

"Elaphe's in-wheel motors operate at over 90 percent efficiency and allow us to achieve extended operating ranges," said Marcus v. Wilamowitz, Head of Electrical Integration and Functional Safety at HFM.

"Our in-wheel technology is put through extensive automotive validation under a wide range of demanding operating conditions and loads" said Urska Skrt, Head of Business Development at Elaphe, and adds: "Elaphe's patented electromagnetic topology allows our motor design to be highly scalable, light-weight and the most compact on the market. Combined with intelligent motor control, it is the most simple and modular electric vehicle propulsion that enables ultimate packaging and user-centered design."

"As a company focusing on compliance with all the requirements for type approval and homologation within the framework of existing and future legal provisions, reliability and safety are of course at the top of our list of priorities," says Friedrich Soost, Head of Mechanical Development at HFM and responsible for the mechanical integration of the Elaphe in-wheel motors into the Motionboard platform. "Elaphe's state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies, extensive testing and quality control ensure that the in-wheel motors perform to our high standards in both regards."

"In addition to avoiding all the complications and unnecessary losses in gears and transmission, the


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