December 6, 2021

Is this the electric drive of the future?

The Japanese Nidec Group has now presented a prototype electric motor for use as an integrated wheel drive. The company plans to start mass production by 2023.

The topic of wheel hub motors is anything but new: 120 years ago, electric wheel hub motors were used in the “Lohner-Porsche”. The Japanese Nidec Group now wants to invest vigorously in this technology and has announced that it will start mass-producing such wheel hub motors by 2023.

The newly developed wheel hub motor from Nidec is based on the E-Axle concept, also developed by the company, which combines an electric machine integrated in the axle drive with the power electronics and is to celebrate its premiere in a Chinese electric car shortly.

The key data of the wheel hub motor are given by Nidec with 100 kW power and a weight of 32 kg. The size of the electric machine requires a rim size of at least 20 inches. The weight mentioned is also one of the reasons why wheel hub motors have so far not been able to prevail: they increase the so-called unsprung masses very much. This not only requires reinforced mechanics for the axle suspension, but also has a huge impact on suspension comfort, especially at high speeds. Wheel hub motors are therefore primarily used as a solution for slower city vehicles.