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Old 12-01-2008, 12:54 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Michelin Teaming with Chinese Company on In-Wheel Powertrain

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The euphoniously named Chinese company Guon Mengguli Corporation (MGL) has partnered with tire behemoth Michelin in developing a new, in-wheel electric powertrain. Know as Active Wheel, the first commercial applications of the product are being developed for production in China sometime next year, with a launch in Western markets possible by 2010.

The Active Wheel system uses a pair of small electric motors housed inside of the wheel, with one of the motors spinning the tire and providing power, while the second acts to power an active suspension system. Long the stuff of concept cars, the in-wheel motors are designed to work with battery or fuel-cell powered electric vehicles, and alleviate the need for a gearbox, clutch, drive shaft, and more.

Michelin and MGL have already shown the technology in a test vehicle based on the Chinese Lifan 520—the Active Wheel electric car. The batteries in that vehicle are said to have a lifespan of between 62,000 and 81,000 miles, with a range of roughly 70, miles, and a top speed approaching 90 miles per hour.

+ Motor Authority: Michelin partners with China’s MGL to produce Active Wheel powertrains
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Old 12-01-2008, 02:15 PM   #2
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So the batteries last like 5 years?
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Old 12-01-2008, 02:26 PM   #3
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Sweet! This will pave the way for the skateboard.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKI8hEPDjh8
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Lantec View Post
So the batteries last like 5 years?
Good job man, you totally honed-in on the most revolutionary part of this whole deal...

Here's a much better article on the tech and Michelin's plans for it from Green Car Congress

Quote:
Michelin to Commercialize Electric Active Wheel Technology
1 December 2008

Michelin’s Active Wheel, an in-wheel system comprising a brake, 30 kW (40 hp) electric traction motor and electric suspension motor system, will be used in the Heuliez-produced WILL electric vehicle (battery or fuel cell), due to be available to fleet owners in 2010. The WILL grew out of a concept developed by Heuliez and Michelin and features networked services innovated by Orange.

Michelin has shown earlier versions of the Active Wheel in concepts before, such as the Michelin/PSI Concept HY-LIGHT Fuel Cell Vehicle shown at the 2004 Challenge Bibendum in Shanghai. The two-wheel motor WILL is its first application in a series production-intent vehicle. The partners showed the WILL at the Paris Motor show in October. Venturi Automobiles also showed an application of the Active Wheel in the premier of its four-wheel motor Volage.

The electrical suspension system in the Active Wheel features an extremely rapid response time—3/1000th of a second. All pitching and rolling motions are automatically corrected.

The Michelin-Heuliez-Orange WILL. The WILL, a front-wheel drive electric vehicle, seats five and features two trunks (front and rear). The model presented at the Paris Motor Show was a five-seat family car with lithium-ion batteries. Four versions will be available starting in 2010: battery or fuel-cell powered, for commercial or family use. Users will be able to choose from among three energy modules that offer driving ranges of 150, 300 or 400 kilometers (93, 186 or 249 miles). Depending on their needs, drivers will have the option of changing from one module to another on the same vehicle whenever necessary. In this way, the partners say, WILL’s driving range can evolve to suit each user’s needs, at any time.

The first WILL is scheduled to hit the road this year, followed by other models for testing different solutions, notably in terms of energy supply and interior design. By 2010, Heuliez’s assembly lines in Cerizay, France, will be ready to begin producing the car, with a first-year output target of several thousand vehicles. Michelin will supply all the Active Wheel assemblies. This project has received financial backing from Oséo.

Venturi Volage. The Volage is a four-wheel drive two-seater roadster featuring four Active Wheel systems. As shown at Paris, the Volage uses a 45 kWh lithium polymer battery pack weighing 350 kg. The Volage accelerates from 0 to 100 kph in less than five seconds, has a range of approximately 320 km (199 miles) and a top speed of 150 kph (93 mph).

(A hat-tip to GreenPlease!)
Sounds like Michelin and Heuliez are forging ahead with these. And the "all pitching and rolling motions are automatically corrected" sounds a lot like active suspension. Can you say "flat cornering?" Actually, integrate a steering angle sensor and can you say "leans into corners?"



The WILL. Looks a lot like a VW Polo...

Last edited by Chromer; 12-01-2008 at 07:40 PM. Reason: Hold on, gotta re-host pictures...
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:48 PM   #5
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Has the automotive world forgotten the term "unsprung weight", or has someone invented a massless electric motor and I missed it?

Can I assume this is not meant for the wheels which steer? Otherwise it looks like the pivot point is going to be inboard of the wheel.

Last edited by brandon; 12-01-2008 at 07:53 PM. Reason: New thought...
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:50 PM   #6
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that looks cool but incredibly complicated...
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandon View Post
Has the automotive world forgotten the term "unsprung weight", or has someone invented a massless electric motor and I missed it?
If it works, it works. Not like they are trying to build a supercar out of the thing or anything. For Kei-car and small economy purposes, no reason why this wouldn't be the greatest thing since sliced bread.
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:08 PM   #8
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can you swap them out for more power?
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandon View Post
Has the automotive world forgotten the term "unsprung weight", or has someone invented a massless electric motor and I missed it?
That may be why they decided to go further and do the active suspension. Unsprung weight isn't as much of an issue when it's being forced up and down by the chassis, rather than the other way around. Since the chassis and the wheel work with opposing forces, if properly calibrated a good active suspension should be able to make most of the ill traits associated with unsprung weight dissapear.

Besides.. don't forget that the entire suspension is housed within the wheel. I'd be interested to see how a pair of these compares to the weight of a live axle and half a driveshaft.
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Old 12-02-2008, 01:14 AM   #10
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Didn't Mitsubishi do something similar and made an electric power Evo with motors inside the wheels?
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Old 12-02-2008, 04:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bemani View Post
Didn't Mitsubishi do something similar and made an electric power Evo with motors inside the wheels?
I thought it was a mini cooper.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006...ybrid_mini.php
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Old 12-15-2008, 10:29 PM   #12
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Found a video of these in action.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1uTR...layer_embedded

And yes, it leans into turns. DO WANT!
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:03 PM   #13
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We are witnessing the future of the automobile.

Sure it might not make it into real mass production for a few years, and sure it's gonna need to solve technical issues, but electric motors inside the wheels is indeed the future of the automobile.

Very cool stuff, and we all better hope that car makers outside of China are also looking at this technology.
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:37 PM   #14
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This will be as fun as an electric kart, hopefully.
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:13 PM   #15
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You won't be able to show off your BBK with that set-up.
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Old 12-16-2008, 04:43 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Lee View Post
You won't be able to show off your BBK with that set-up.
...although anyone who has this setup arguably HAS a BBK.

-s
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