What Gives In-Wheel Motor Technology the Edge Over Conventional EVs?
Automobiles and vehicles running on fossil fuels are now being replaced by electric vehicles (EVs). Just as the mode of powering the engine is changing, positioning of the motors that drive the wheels is also changing. The new in-wheel motor technology looks quite promising, and it is poised to succeed the conventional vehicle setup.
The phenomenon of electric vehicles (EVs) has propelled the automobile sector to such heights that researchers and innovators couldn’t even imagine. EVs have arrived and are here to stay. Today, Tesla has become a household name. Electric vehicles are now the first choice, not just for individuals who are looking to buy them for personal use, but also for municipal, state, and central government authorities who are thinking of overhauling the public transportation system. The environmental concerns associated with traditional and conventional vehicles running on fossil fuels have been the major driving force behind this paradigm shift. Moreover, in the recent years, there has been continuous evolution in the EV technology. Some innovation has been done to better the batteries, while some research is focused on bettering the efficiency of the engine. One such innovation in the EV technology is the in-wheel motor technology. Lately, this in-wheel motor technology is becoming quite popular, so much so that the global in-wheel motor market is predicted to grow at a stunning CAGR of 27.10% in the 2021-2028 timeframe.
In regular conventional EVs, the engine is placed in the same way as it is placed in traditional fuel vehicles. However, in the in-wheel motor technology, the motors are placed on the wheels itself, so as to directly power the wheels. Thus, as the motors installed on the wheels power the wheels directly, there is no need of a gearbox or a driveshaft.
Why In-Wheel Motors are Getting Precedence Over Conventional EVs?
- Reduced time lag: In conventional EVs, the engine is placed in a similar way as in the traditional fuel vehicles. As a result, the motors in the engine gain the power through the fuel and transmit it to the wheels through the driveshaft. The motor in the engine thus, upon getting fueled, starts rotating which then transfer this energy to the long driveshaft causing the driveshaft to rotate. The long driveshaft finally transfers this energy to the wheels, helping them get into motion. Even though this transfer of energy happens pretty quickly, as the time passes, a time-lag is introduced in it, due to the wear and tear of the vehicle. However, in the in-wheel motor technology, since the motors are installed directly on the wheels, there is no time-lag in the process of transfer of energy.
- Reduced wear and tear of tires: In traditional vehicle setup, there is a slight toe on each of the four tires; meaning, the four tires aren’t exactly aligned in a parallel way. Rather, they are slightly pigeon-toed. As a result, this alignment causes slight, yet, unavoidable lateral movement of tires, which causes early wearing of the tires. In-wheel motor technology, on the other hand, offers minimum rolling resistance which increases efficiency of the tires.
- Safety benefits: In-wheel motor technology has been proved to be a safer option for drivers as compared to traditional vehicles. This is mainly because this technology offers better chance to avoid on-road obstacles along with an enhanced capability to run on low-friction surfaces. Also, the braking distance offered by the in-wheel motor technology is quite less than what traditional vehicles offer.
- Better driving dynamics: Since each wheel in the in-wheel motor technology-powered vehicle can be controlled independently, driving experience is much enriched in such vehicles. Be it transient lane changes or parking the vehicle in small spaces, this technology helps the driver in a much better way than the traditional systems. Also, the steering movements are more responsive due to the reduced time-lag as mentioned above.
All in all, this new in-wheel motor technology is a great step in bettering the EVs. The main concern regarding this technology is, however, regarding the direct exposure of the motor to rubble, dust, fluids, and on-road vibrations which can cause substantial damage to the motor. Thus, for the in-wheel motor technology to completely dominate the automobile industry, tackling this problem is necessary.
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