Emergence of Liquid Cooling Technology to Enhance Automotive In-wheel Motor Capabilities

As an essential component of the transmission system for most electric automobiles, automotive in-wheel motors are witnessing strong demand arising from the growing awareness about environmental pollution, and global warming, along with the rising development of vehicles running on alternative fuel sources including electricity.

While electric automobiles have still not become mainstream, the coming years is projected to dominate the automobiles market, consequently creating a strong demand for automotive in-wheel motors as well. These components are thought to be important for reducing cost and complexity of electric vehicle production through the reduction in the number of parts, and ease in fixing power electronics system to the vehicle.

Driving Comfort and Emission Control Regulations Shape Product Development

The automotive industry has increased emphasis on the aspects of comfort, vehicle handling, and fuel efficiency in recent times. In addition, the development of automated technologies, and the trend of automobile development towards driverless transport is anticipated to push the development of automotive in-wheel motors towards integration with rapidly evolving driver assist systems.

As a result of these developments, manufacturers in the automotive in-wheel motors market are working on developing product portfolios that can be customized to meet the rapidly changing designs and configurations in the field of autonomous drivers. Complete electronic vehicle platforms have been developed as per the requirements of the new automotive in-wheel motor designs.

Moreover, automobile manufacturers are constantly on the search for ways to reduce the number of automobile components to reduce overall weight, without compromising on performance or regulatory compliance. Towards this end, the use of automotive in-wheel motors is expected to play a major role in the future as an eco-friendly alternative to conventional propulsion systems, which enhanced capabilities to optimize the use of hydrogen power cells.

Stakeholders Collaborate to Manufacture Novel Products

Recent years have witnessed a number of automotive in-wheel motor manufacturers working towards achieving strategic tie-ups with businesses in the market. This can be largely attributed to the recent introduction of in-wheel motors to the automobile market, and the pressing need for the development of new prototypes to meet the growing needs of increasingly advanced electric vehicles.

For instance, Protean Electric, a global leader in the production of automotive in-wheel motors announced its collaboration with the Linamar Corporation to develop manufacturing capabilities, and product development in the North American field of electric vehicles, for all kinds of passenger and commercial vehicle segments.

On a similar note, India-based Tata Motors is collaborating with Energy Efficient Services, on the development, production, and sales of various types of hybrid and electric vehicle systems including automotive in-wheel motor systems and suitable platforms for passenger vehicles.

Also, Kia Motors has tied up with the state of Andhra Pradesh in India to work together on the ‘Partnership for Future Eco Mobility’, which includes the growth in the development of electric vehicles along with localized support infrastructure for these vehicles, including the development of electric in-wheel motors.

Automotive In-Wheel Motor Design Innovations Drive Next-gen Mobility

Unlike conventional transmission mechanisms, in-wheel motors have eliminated the need for components such as drive shafts for the power train mechanism, which has enhanced the mobility of vehicles in addition to adding space for passengers or luggage loads. Moreover, manufacturers have also integrated independent steering systems with automotive in-wheel motors to achieve pivot turns and sideways movement of the car.

For example, Elaphe Propulsion Technologies announced modular in-wheel propulsion platforms for autonomous vehicles, which make use of low-weight, automotive in-wheel motors powered by electromagnets, significantly boosting traction, and vectoring of torque for improved handling of the vehicle. In addition, newer variants of automotive in-wheel motors are integrated with independent cooling systems, most of which are liquid cooling systems, which have been adopted for higher efficiency in performance.

Manufacturers are also developing customized software designed for integration with their products, optimizing performance through constant torque changes, based on the condition of the vehicle, and driver behavior.

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