Saietta Group’s AFT 140 electric motor technology has demonstrated the potential of its in-wheel motor variants for lightweight electric vehicles operating in city centres around the world.
Mega-cities globally are evolving rapidly. Large internal combustion engine vehicles are progressively being banned from city centres but people and cargo still need to move around, commerce has to continue and refuse must be collected.
Saietta Group Ltd., Bicester, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, believes that a new generation of electric vehicles is required for inner cities and that electric smart mobility platforms are part of the solution. These platforms can be cost effectively mated to multiple ‘hats’ for vehicles acting as people carriers, last mile e-commerce delivery, mobile shops, refuse collection and inner city autonomous pods.
Moving the powertrain fully into the wheels creates a perfectly flat floor with minimal intrusion into the rectangular platform. This maximises the usable space above the chassis for the primary purpose of the vehicle such as transporting people or cargo, selling products in a mobile shop or collecting refuse.
Smart mobility platform manufacturers typically position the motors outboard but not in-wheel. The circular ‘pancake’ shape of Saietta’s AFT motors is an ideal fit to be placed fully in-wheel. The motors have also been engineered to deliver the power and torque required at low voltage, making them a significantly safer solution than using high voltage alternatives.
In-wheel motors also reduce parts and drivetrain complexity, offering a lightweight and cost-efficient path to vehicle electrification, eliminating heavy, intricate and expensive components that are often found in other electric drive systems.
Typically, these types of urban mobility applications travel at low speeds in stop-start inner city traffic. Saietta’s lightweight and compact AFT electric motors are a good match when placed in-wheel for this relatively undemanding congested city centre usage. The AFT 140 motors have also been designed to deliver high efficiency on urban journeys meaning vehicles go further on a single charge.
Located at the four corners of a platform, the AFT in-wheel electric motors provide excellent manoeuvrability, flexibility, modularity and four-wheel drive capability. The Saietta technology is also effective at regenerative braking, which puts energy back into the battery pack, thereby extending the range on a single charge.
Commenting on the in-wheel motor demonstration project, Wicher Kist, Chief Executive Officer at Saietta Group, said: “Saietta is all about high-tech, real-world, application-ready electric drive technology. We continue to strive to create electric drive solutions for vehicle manufacturers around the world and this in-wheel motor variant for smart mobility platforms is another example of our progress.
“We are not intending to become a platform manufacturer and only developed a chassis to demonstrate the power of our in-wheel motor innovation. We want to work with platform developers, complementing rather than competing with their innovation. Ultimately we believe that inner city electric vehicles will be fully autonomous and our in-wheel motor technology can play an important role in this market.”
“Now is the time to have a serious industry discussion about the potential of in-wheel electric motors in making congested cities centres quieter and cleaner spaces.”
About Saietta Group
Saietta Group is an established engineering company based in Oxfordshire, England. It specialises in propulsion motors for a broad range of electric vehicles (EVs) and has engineered breakthrough axial-flux motor tech. It’s branded AFT (Axial Flux Technology) and is modular in design, meaning high and low voltage e-motor solutions can be provided from scooters to buses. Saietta provides end-to-end turnkey engineering services to OEMs from market research and product definition, CAE and simulation, e-motor electrical and mechanical integration, prototype build and vehicle testing on 20 miles of local test tracks. Once motor specifications are agreed for client applications, Saietta can take them into low volume manufacture and define the high-volume production processes for clients to replicate and manufacture under license. The AFT 140 is the first motor variant in production and is optimised for mid-power motorbikes and last mile delivery vehicles. The unique AFT design provides class-leading performance with high torque density at low voltage and is particularly efficient on urban duty cycles. AFT has been rigorously designed for high automation in volume production meaning AFT cost effectively delivers class-leading performance for the L-Category target market.