DETROIT, April 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Protean Electric, the global leader in in-wheel electric drive, today announced it has formed relationships with several leading companies in the global auto industry to accelerate its in-wheel electric drive systems to market in high-volume production.
Protean Electric Chairman and CEO Bob Purcell made the announcement at a press conference today at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress, the auto industry's premiere conference for vehicle OEMs and suppliers. The suppliers and partners are: FEV, AB Mikroelektronik GmbH, Alcon, ATS Automation Tooling Systems, MAHLE Powertrain and Trelleborg Sealing Solutions.
FEV, based in Aachen, Germany and Auburn Hills, Mich., brings automotive engineering development and services expertise
AB Mikroelektronik GmbH (TT Electronics Group) focuses on developing and manufacturing top-quality customer-specific electronic modules for high temperature and power in automotive, medical and industrial applications
Alcon specializes in brake design with automotive and racing-level durability and has award winning roots in Indycar, GrandAm and Nascar racing
ATS (Automation Tooling Systems Inc.) is a global manufacturing process and equipment manufacturer with unique expertise in bringing automotive innovations to volume production
MAHLE Powertrain is an engineering service provider to the global automotive industry and is part of the MAHLE Group. Its parent company, MAHLE GmbH, is one of the 30 largest companies in the automotive supply chain worldwide.
Trelleborg Sealing Solutions brings core competencies and a global reach in seal design and sealing solutions
"We are very pleased to announce strategic partnerships with some of the best automotive expertise in the world," Purcell said. "We are leading the industry in in-wheel electric drive systems, and we have partnered with unsurpassed global automotive expertise to make sure our solutions are reliable, durable, and can be brought to market cost effectively."
Protean's in-wheel solution
Unlike conventional electric motors or combustion powertrains with electric motors added, Protean's in-wheel motor design is unique. "We started with a clean sheet and designed motors specifically for in-wheel applications," Purcell said.
Protean Drive™ can increase fuel economy by over 30 percent depending on the battery size and driving cycle. It is also powerful enough to be the only source for traction on a variety of vehicles.
Protean's in-wheel motors have the highest torque density of any of today's leading electric propulsion systems. Each Protean Drive™ in-wheel motor can deliver 81 kW (110 hp) and 800 Nm (590 lb-ft), yet weighs only 31 kg (68 lbs.) and is sized to fit within the space of a conventional 18-inch road wheel. Protean Drive™ also has superior regenerative braking capabilities, which allow up to 85 percent of the available kinetic energy to be recovered during braking.
Protean has been awarded 17 patents for its unique technology and design, and more than 60 additional patent applications have been filed internationally and with specific countries in North America, Europe and Asia.
Protean's in-wheel motors are designed for a broad range of vehicle applications. They can be used in two- and four-wheel drive models and can be added to the front, rear or all four wheels of a vehicle. They also can be added to a FWD or RWD car or truck with an internal combustion engine drivetrain to create a hybrid configuration.
In addition, Protean has demonstrated its in-wheel motors in multiple vehicles, including a Ford F150, Volvo C30, Vauxhall Vivaro cargo van, Guangzhou Automobile Company Trumpchi, and BRABUS full electric and hybrid vehicles based on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
Protean is displaying its technology and the BRABUS Project Hybrid vehicle in Booth #801.
Protean Electric (www.proteanelectric.com) is a leading clean technology company that designs, develops and manufactures the Protean Drive™, a fully integrated, in-wheel motor, direct-drive solution. Protean Electric is strategically positioned to play a major role in the hybrid and electric vehicle market by offering a combination of packaging advantages, new vehicle design opportunities, performance benefits and cost savings. Protean is based in the United States, with its technical center in the UK and presence in Germany and Hong Kong. Protean is funded by Oak Investment Partners, a multistage venture capital firm and a lead investor in the next generation of enduring growth companies.