I'm still coming up to speed on the history of the electric car (I'm watching Who Killed the Electric Car as I type). One of the more interesting approaches to EV design utilizes in-wheel motors. By putting the motor in the wheel, you get rid of heavy items such as transmissions, axles etc. This leaves more room for people, crumple zones, batteries / fuel cells, etc.
Here is a run down of the in-wheel motors that I've encountered so far. The commonality between each of these units is that none of them are available to the general public. Are there any in-wheel motors available to buy off the shelf today?
Michelin Active Wheel
The in-wheel electric motor is nothing new, but it's nice to see some additional manufacturers jumping on board. It looks like Michelin (yes, the tire company) is testing their own version. This unit includes both the motor as well as active suspension components.
By putting the motor and suspension components in the wheel, this reduces the amount of unsprung weight in a car.
Source: Zoomi Life
Hi-Pa Drive from PML flightlink.
This company / unit appears to be in startup mode. Their flagship prototype is an EV F-150 pickup that has an in-wheel motor in each corner.
This uses a "brake by wire approach". At first blush, electric braking scares me (risk of failure, etc), but I guess I should look more into it before I dismiss it.
Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum
1 year ago