e-Traction Europe's' Electric Corner Module (ECM) solutions, operating at more than 85 percent efficiency and delivering up to 15,000 Nm of direct drive traction, have been implemented in numerous prototype buses, most recently the 'Whisper series' in the city of Apeldoorn, the Netherlands.
e-Traction Europe's ECM technology results in a combination of some very impressive advantages: a 50% decrease in CO2 emissions, a 50% decrease in energy use and a very significant noise reduction. e-Traction Europe is much further in putting its breakthrough technology on the road than generally realised because as a small company e-Traction used its limited resources rather on improving the technology than on publicity or exhibitions.
Today e-Traction's ECM solution is put to the most rigorous test possible for a new invention in the automotive industry: the large international transport company Veolia has integrated Whisper buses in its fleet of Volvo buses to serve passengers in the city of Apeldoorn on a daily basis. With very promising results.
e-Traction Europe introduced its first ECM solution, TheWheel SM500/2FE in 2004. In 2007, the company added four more ECM direct-drive systems to its product line. These included TheWheel SM500/3FEXL, designed for industrial and monorail applications; TheWheel SM500/3FE, which is 50 per cent more powerful than the SM500/2 system for a wider range of applications; TheWheel SM450/1AL, a direct drive system designed with specific focus on integration in passenger vehicles; and SM350/2AL, a non-wheel hub direct drive product line integrated into the Whisper–3G series of buses as generator set.
TheWheel solution, which was created by integrating the ECM concept, is highly innovative and flexible. Its modular architecture designed for easy integration with conventional or hybrid vehicles, making its adaption flexibility an additional interesting selling point.
Another significant advantage of e-Traction's solutions is that its TheWheel drives the buses without any gearing, since the tire is mounted directly to the exterior of the direct drive motor.
"The embedded and external hardware and software in TheWheel system eliminates the need for a mechanical differential to equalise the forces experienced by each wheel under heavy steering input, due to 2 ECM integrated into the rear axles," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst, Niranjan Thiyagarajan. "This reduces the number of mechanical components required as the traction control and anti lock braking systems are integrated into the electronic management system (EMS)."
Frost & Sullivan forecasts a 5 to 10 per cent reduction in weight of an automobile (depending on the number of in-wheel motors) if manufacturers can do away with components such as cardan shafts, differentials, and transmissions. e-Traction believes that by 2020, ECM will be the best propulsion system solution in terms of total cost of ownership, with an expected penetration rate of 2 to 3 percent of the total vehicle production and a higher adoption rate among original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
e-Traction has entered into its first partnership with an automotive manufacturer to design its ECM systems specifically for the passenger car market. Automotive manufacturers takeaway from this symbiotic relationship is ECM's ability to help them meet emission targets and regulations and combine a fully electrically powered car with a long range distance capability.
"With high reduction in emission levels and automotive components as well as proactive marketing and continuous technology and product innovation, e-Traction has enhanced its position in this emerging market with a product development lead time of over three to five years when compared to its competitors," observes Thiyagarajan. "This, coupled with its involvement in retrofitting commercial vehicles in the Netherlands and South Korea, gives it a definite head start in the automotive business strategy market."
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About e-Traction Europe B.V.
e-Traction Europe B.V. based in Apeldoorn (e-traction.nl), specializes in developing and engineering prototypes of vehicles ranging from buses or cars to all kind of specialized equipment with complex electrical components. e-Traction Europe developed the Electric Corner module initially to remedy performance shortfalls in the electric motors and their gearboxes used in an Automatically Guided Vehicle (AGV) project that the company was working on for the Amsterdam Airport. This state-of-the-art motor solution was thereafter patented and later branded as TheWheel. Based on the patents a new challenge was taken on: the design of an ultra-efficient city bus featuring TheWheel as traction component. After several prototypes the 'e-Traction Bus' with code name X97 has evolved into a viable technology and independent tests (by TNO Automotive) have shown fuel consumption to be just under 15 mpg and with less than half the CO2 emissions of other existing commercial buses.. City busses, equipped with TheWheel, are now in actual service in the city of Apeldoorn and will be soon in Rotterdam. e-Traction Europe is currently designing more types of TheWheel to further improve the fuel consumption of buses, SUV's, monorails and passenger cars.
e-Traction Europe B.V. Contact:
7324 AL Apeldoorn
P: +31 (0) 55 521 1111
F: +31 (0) 55 55222366
E: AJ.Heinen[.]e-Traction .nl
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