Protean is a global leader in advanced in-wheel motors for the automotive industry. Our business model is built around developing in-wheel motor technology for global automotive OEMs and other large vehicle fleets. Protean’s strategic plan includes in-house manufacturing of a limited number of motors — these units will support prototype vehicle development and small test fleets. In volume, Protean will license the mechanical construction to an OEM or an OEM-designated Tier 1 supplier and sell the power electronics modules directly to that OEM or Tier 1.
Protean Electric is targeting both passenger vehicles and light commercials with a revolutionary electric motor design dedicated to in-wheel applications. Protean motors are capable of being the sole source of traction for an electric or series hybrid vehicle, but can also work alongside conventional internal combustion powertrains to enable parallel and hybrid architectures.
The chart shows the torque requirements for a range of different vehicles and a selection of drive cycles. From this chart it can clearly be seen that (depending on the vehicle usage) two Protean Drive® in-wheel motors would be suitable for a lightweight class battery electric vehicle such as a small to medium sedan. Four Protean Drive® motors would be suitable for battery electric vehicles such as small to medium sedans, SUVs and performance vehicles.
For hybrid electric vehicles, the Protean Drive® motors would typically be combined with a traditional internal combustion engine in a front-, rear-, or all-wheel drive drivetrain. With additional considerations made for engine and vehicle accessories, the propulsion system could be chosen for the situation; e.g. the vehicles could be driven in electric-only mode at low speeds (such as in-town driving) whereas in high-load conditions (such as climbing a steep gradient or carrying a heavy cargo) both the electric and internal-combustion propulsion systems could be used.