Local Motors has placed a major order with British e-drive specialist Protean Electric as part of their existing cooperation. The new three-year contract calls for the supply of thousands of Protean’s in-wheel motors for use in Local Motors’ Olli 2.0 e-shuttles that run autonomously.
LM Industries, the parent company of Local Motors, has received $15 million in financing. The money will be used to advance product development, production and deployment of the 3D-printed Olli autonomous electric shuttle bus.
US Local Motors caught a lot of attention with a 3D-printed autonomous shuttle Olli as early as 2017. Fast-forward to 2020, and we sat down with Local Motors CEO John B. Rogers and his UK partners from Protean.
Wheel-hub motor specialist, Protean Electric, has presented a new module that combines powertrain, steering and suspension technologies in a single component. Called Protean360+, the module allows unrestricted 360-degree steering capability.
The Saab successor company NEVS (National Electric Vehicle Sweden) is taking over the British wheel hub motor specialist Protean Electric. NEVS intends to use the ProteanDrive electric drive technology in future electric cars.
For the planned autonomous electric shuttle Orbit, Fisker will be using wheel hub motors from Protean Electric. The vehicle was developed in cooperation with the Chinese Hakim Unique Group, and was presented last December.
Jump start for hybrid aircraft: U.S. start-up Zunum Aero that is backed by Boeing, wants to develop regional hybrid-electric aircrafts for the early 2020s. Its planes shall come with 10 to 50 seats, a range of 700 miles (1,110 km) and thus serve regional routes, namely San Francisco – Los Angeles or Boston – Washington, D.C. For 2030, Zunum Aero calculates its hybrid airplanes will manage 1,000 miles (1,600 km) thanks to improved battery tech. theverge.com, fastcompany.com, venturebeat.com
Solar modules for trucks: Fraunhofer’s Institute for Solar Energy Systems and partners from the logistics and automotive sector want to integrate photovoltaic modules on the roof of vehicles in order to generate energy. The system Fraunhofer calls a “solar-active vehicle shell” is destined for commercial vehicles in particular as the solar power may be used for cooling goods if not propulsion. ise.fraunhofer.de
Next-gen heaters for EV and HEV: German heating system specialist Eberspaecher goes serial with its third generation of high-voltage PTC heaters created especially for EV and HEV. According to the company, their updated system reaches a higher heat output despite a lighter weight. eberspaecher.com
16-inch in-wheel motor: Protean Electric and Zhejiang VIE Science & Technology (VIE) seek to jointly develop a 16-inch version of the ProteanDrive in-wheel motor (so far available in 18”). The new version is addressed to PHEV and EV and shall provide continuous power of 26 kW. greencarcongress.com
In-wheel drive for CV: Protean Electric and Consolidated Metco (ConMet) want to tackle the commercial vehicle market together by developing an electric in-wheel motor system. Their new drive can be utilised for medium and heavy duty hybrid trucks and will be shown at the MidAmerica Trucking fair. greencarcongress.com, truckinginfo.com, proteanelectric.com
Extra-small SiC inverter: Mitsubishi Electric has developed a compact SiC inverter for HEVs that is believed to be the world’s smallest in its class. At just five litres volume it packs a power of 86 kVA/L. Expect commercialisation around 2021. greencarcongress.com, mitsubishielectric.com
EV interoperability unified: EU proect COTEVOS designed the optimal laboratory infrastructure for the interoperability assessment of devices, tools and services for electric vehicles and smart grid systems. The project concluded with the publication of a whitebook for business models. europa.eu, cotevos.eu (project website), cotevos.eu (Whitebook, pdf)
Moto GP electric: Moto GP plans to introduce a racing series for electric motorcycles by 2019. Rather than a world cup, the series will see five races that support the actual Moto GP. motor.as.com (in Spanish)
Port electrification: San Diego will spend 8.2m dollars on its port electrification project. Efficient Drivetrains is on boards to deliver technology for electric trucks and forklifts. Also BYD and Transportation Power are part of the project. The initiative received 5.9m dollars in funding from the California Energy Commission (CEC) and 2.3m dollars from the harbour’s seven partner tenants. greencarcongress.com
Hydraulic Hybrid picks up: The DOE and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have launched its second hybrid bus with Lightning Hybrids’s hydraulic hybrid system. It joins another Ford E-450 bus for shuttle services on the lab’s campus in Golden, Colorado. greencarcongress.com
70m dollar funding for in-wheel motors have reached Protean Electric. The firm convinced three investors to help build a facility in Tianjin to bring its PD18 in-wheel electric motor to market in China. The drive fits an 18″ wheel rim and can power any vehicle from C-segment to LCV. greencarcongress.com, prnewswire.com
Battery start-up funding: Cadenza has raised 5m dollars to commercialise its low-cost and high-performance technology platform that includes cell design and housing. The firm’s so-called jelly rolls are said to have significant packaging advantages that translate to higher Wh/L. greencarcongress.com
Autonomous EVs hit the road: General Motors and Lyft apparently already started testing self-driving prototypes of the Chevy Bolt in San Francisco. Meanwhile, Uber announced that it will soon put (partially) electric autonomous cars on the road in Pittsburgh. The ride service is betting on the Ford Fusion Hybrid as a base model. autoblog.com (GM), electrek.co (Uber)
Wheel hub motors from China: Protean Electric announced that it will kick off production of electric wheel hub motors in Tianjin in the second half of 2016. The so-called Protean Drive is said to “radically change drivetrain configurations” of EVs and hybrids “and revolutionise electric drive systems across the automotive industry.” prnewswire.com