What's wrong with electric cars? Right now, the biggest one we can think of is the all-important battery range. Sure it's fun saving Mother Earth but if you can only do 40km before recharging for 18 hours, what's the point? Thankfully, an Aussie firm has cracked onto an ingenious invention that may just perfect the electric vehicle's efficiency problem.
The company is called Evans Electric, and its invention is so beautifully simple that once you hear it, you'll kick yourself for not thinking of it first.
Right now, electric cars are predicated on stuffing a whole heap of batteries into the floorpan to power an electric motor which connects to the four wheels of a car much like a petrol engine would: via a transmission and gears. Boffins at Evans Electric finally thought: why bother with the engine connectors at all?
They got to work, and came up with the in-wheel engine: a electric motor connected to each wheel, powering it more efficiently than a traditional electric motor ever could.
To prove it, Evans Electric took a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution III and bolted four of its direct-drive motors to the four wheels. The end result is a car that can produce 800-horsepower and a phenomenal 1250nm of torque. The best part about all that power is that it's available as soon as you put your foot down thanks to nature of electric cars: you don't need to spool up the engine to get to your maximum power, it's all there waiting for you.
The wheel motors are more efficient than a traditional engine due to the fact that energy is deployed intelligently into each wheel as required, without losing power in the transfer process from the old single motor to the wheels.
Evans Electric has patented its incredible invention, as well as a method that allows the physical components inside the wheel to become tweakable via software. The electric drive system allows ABS, stability control, traction control, brake steer, cruise control, emergency brake assist and collision avoidance to be adjusted by software, allowing for not only the most ingenious electric car on the planet, but also the most unique. [CleanTechnica]