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06 07 2017 01

Ever noticed how once you hear of something new, suddenly you hear about it everywhere you go? Just a few days ago, we did a story about the Michelin Vision 3D printed wheel. One person commented that it would be ideal if it had an electric motor embedded into it. Yesterday, we got an email from Luka Ambrozic, an engineer who is also a spokesperson for Elaphe Motors, a Slovenian company that is doing pioneering work with in-wheel motors.

Elaphe Distributed Propulsion System

The are several important features about what Elaphe calls is distributed propulsion system. First, the in-wheel motors are compatible with standard disc brakes and require no modifications to the axle hubs or bearings. That’s a huge advantage. Second, they offer true all-wheel drive capability. Thanks to sophisticated electronics, each wheel can get precisely the amount of power and torque it needs and no more.

With all due respect to Elon Musk and his battalions of outstanding engineers, a Tesla with dual motors has four-wheel drive, not all-wheel drive. That’s a small but important distinction. Four separate electric motors allow for torque vectoring, a snazzy new buzz phrase that means each wheel can operate independently from the other three.

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