Tag Archives: Prototype

In-wheel motors

I know more than one engineer who, when purchasing a car, tries to get the simplest configuration possible. The logic goes: “Less moving parts, less things to break”. The idea is to purchase for longevity instead of other goals (like, being in Michigan, traction for winter driving, etc.).

You would think that these engineers would really love an EV: Much fewer moving parts than even the simplest conventionally powered car. Most of the current stock of EVs, however, have a single electric motor connected to the wheels through some reduction gearing, and a differential. This is still a bunch of moving parts (although much fewer than a gas car with pistons, a transmission, clutch, etc.). By far the simplest (and most likely most efficient) arrangement would be to simply put pancake motors in the wheels. This past winter Ford teamed up with Schaeffler to create a Fiesta with just that.


Perhaps the next generation of Ford’s EVs will be based on these–one would hope so!

A Ford press release on eWheelDrive.