Without a doubt one of the transportation technologies that have seen the most growth lately has been that of electric vehicle propulsion. And, for certain, this technology will continue to advance in the future, ultimately taking over internal combustion as the dominant technology for transportation and automotive applications. Because of this rapid advancement in technology, many manufacturers are switching their focuses towards platforms that support electric vehicles. One such company, Schaeffler Group, is doing just that. Schaeffler began as an automotive component manufacturer half a century ago, and one of their original technologies was the roller bearing, a component found in virtually every automobile and beyond. Their focus for electric vehicles is within the powertrain and motor technologies. Schaeffler has been focusing on motor and drivetrains to come up with new advancements for electric vehicles that provide robust power and efficiency, all while being cost effective and readily available. Elmotec, one of Schaeffler’s recent acquisitions, is a company that specializes in motor winding and technologies that improve motor winding performance. This is just an example of the type of businesses that Schaeffler has been involved in acquiring, however all of the new technologies will help produce a nicely appointed motor for use in an electric vehicle. In other developments, Schaeffler has been exploring the use of a motor that literally sits within the drive wheel of a vehicle. While this is not a new concept, using it in an electric transport vehicle may be, and the benefits of such design would be numerous. This type of technology, termed and “IWM” or in-wheel motor, allows the drivetrain to be away from the load floor of the vehicle, allowing the floor to be easily accessible and open. Thus, this vehicle design could be useful for personal transport, or where occupant ease of access is important. In-wheel motors typically only work in low-speed applications; however this may change in the future with the development of motor performance.
-taken from www.sae.org