It's Electric! 90% Efficiency


"After serious testing and a lot of learning, together, we have achieved in-wheel motor efficiencies of 97%, losing just a fraction of energy through heat". And if you are an in-wheel motor producer, we would like to interview you!

What is In-Wheel Motors? The basic principle behind a vehicle equipped with in-wheel electric motors is simple. The internal combustion engine normally found under the hood is simply not necessary. It's replaced with at least two motors located in the hub of the wheels. These wheels contain not only the braking components, but also all of the functionality that was formerly performed by the engine, transmission, clutch, suspension, and other related parts. In recent years, we’ve seen some vehicle developers moving towards powertrain configurations where the motor is mounted inside the wheel: an in-wheel motor system. And sure, these so-called hub motors or in-wheel motors come with certain benefits, but they also create some challenges. How does In-Wheel Motors (IWM) Work? The electric motor is installed inside the wheel and provides power to it directly, without the need for any transmission. The idea of installing the motor inside the wheel rim in an EV is the right choice, in this way it can be ensured that the full output power of the motor is available at the wheel without any mechanical transmission losses. The number of in-wheel motors a vehicle actually uses can be adjusted to meet the vehicle requirements. For instance, in most cases, two motors will supply sufficient power; If the EV is equipped with two motors in the front wheel axle, and thus the vehicle is a front-wheel drive or in the rear wheel axle and the vehicle is a rear-drive. However, if you're talking about an all-wheel-drive (AWD) vehicle either an off-road truck or a performance car obviously that would be required to be equipped with an electric motor at each wheel. Advantages of In-Wheel Motors(IWM): 1) In-wheel motors are easy to install and replace, Also they add flexibility as they can be used to power rear or front-wheel drive vehicles, as well as all-wheel-drive versions, without much change in the drive train. 2) They are compact in size. As the entire motor is inside the wheel, it saves space inside the vehicle for other components or cargo. 3) In-wheel motors provide high efficiency, due to the lack of mechanical losses from transmission, differential, and drive shafts, and make the car run quieter. 4) With electronic-motor control, it is possible to fine-tune each in-wheel motor’s torque, RPM, and even direction of spin. This means features such as ABS, traction control, and even cruise control could be handled more efficiently. Disadvantages of In-Wheel Motors(IWM): 1) The major challenge facing in-wheel motors is the issue of unsprung weight. Unsprung weight is the mass of all components including the frame, motor, passengers, and body not supported by a car’s suspension. Unsprung weight includes wheels, tires, and brakes, and it travels up and down over any bumps, potholes, and debris as it tries to follow the contours of the road. 2) In-wheel motors are more expensive than a single motor mount on the rear axle. 3) They are not as torquey as a single fixed motor. 4) Torque of left and right side motor needs to be precisely matched or else the vehicle will show a tendency to turn towards the motor with lower torque.


Time Stamp --- 00:00 - Introduction 00:39 - How does it work? 02:39 - Design of In-Wheel Motors(IWM) 04:09 - In-Wheel Motor(IWM) Power 04:24 - Do IWM provide enough torque? 05:30 - How IWM is different than other cars? 06:14 - What is Torque Vectoring? 07:54 - Efficiency of In-Wheel Motors? 09:56 - Is this the future of EVs? 11:50 - Rivian R1T truck 13:10 - Advantages of IWM 13:53 - Disadvantages of IWM



According to the Elaphe folks, "the more impressive numbers come in the actual driving cycles of the vehicle – we managed to tune the motor’s high-efficiency areas to be super-efficient in real life, overall driving scenarios.


The motors, designed specifically for the Lightyear, now offer 91% WLTP cycle energy efficiency. While the motors are efficiency champions by themselves, it is the whole vehicle that completes the story.


The vehicle’s performance matters as a whole, as energy use is dependent on the entire system; and the losses of all the components.

Targeting to build cars that can drive up to 20,000 km per year on the power of the sun, and use so little energy, that they can offer the best km/minute charging speed, the Lightyear team is solving the issue of insufficient charging architecture and range for long-distance driving.

Lightyear’s focus is, therefore, not only on enabling users to be sustainable in their travels but also on minimizing the downsides of owning an electric car.

With such an inspiring – and bold – vision, finding the right partners is an important part of the business.

As the Lightyear management added; »It’s important to us that our partners not only stand apart as the best in their field but that they share our vision for a brighter future. That’s why we work with Elaphe.«

Since our early founder research in the 1980s, we are proud to have grown to become one of the world’s leaders in in-wheel powertrains, with more than two decades of experience in designing, testing and producing these enabling technologies.

We pride ourselves in developing solutions that serve as an enabler of user-focused vehicles, such as the Lightyear 0, disrupting the market with possibilities both for the users, vehicle designers and sustainable transport."

Thanks Elaphe and Lightyear!



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