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RWD Full-Electric Ford Fiesta Created by German Company

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Electric-FiestaIn recent years, more and more vehicles are of the front-wheel drive type, with the Ford Focus being no exception. German firm Schaeffler has elected to convert a Ford Fiesta into a rear-wheel drive, fully-electric car.

Utilizing wheel hub motors in its conversion, the driving dynamics of the car have been completely changed; perhaps a good way to attract more people to patronise electric vehicles.

Although the project was not officially carried out by Ford engineers, Schaeffler have some consultation with Ford for the project. The Ford Fiesta, a common sub-compact vehicle utilizing front-wheel like most other cars, was selected as Ford’s main vehicle in the electric vehicle segment, the Focus Electric, has not being doing so well.

Still, a Fiesta that is both rear-wheel drive and fully electric sounds like a practical and fun solution. The fully electric Fiesta features hub motors mounted on the wheels, similar to the Protean design. The motors are also liquid cooled with a 90 horsepower capacity, and torque of more than 500 ft-lbs.

Thus far, the adoption of electric vehicles have at best been below expectations and even marketing them as equivalent to conventional vehicles does not seem to be doing any better. Perhaps a different approach, such as this rear-wheel vehicle with its fun-based design could reap better rewards? Maybe, but the days of spinning rear wheels leaving behind a trail of smoke may yet be with us again.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Right DenMay, Schaeffler has owned Protean by surprise I believed, Protean wasnt expecting Schaeffler to announce an ewheel hub drive before them, everything that Protean made public seems to be a little rush to me. And Protean is trying to play with the numbers stating that their hub drive is weighted 31kg motor only, while Schaeffler’s is 53kg. This does sound like Schaeffler one is much heavier but the 2 numbers are incomparable, because Schaeffler’s hub drive comes with a liquid cooling system which is absent or unannounced on the Protean one, also Schaeffler’s one is weight together with the rim and the tyre, thus the weight is much heavier. Schaeffler should now focuses on reducing the weight or the hub drive so that the sprung masses will not affect the handling, acceleration and power consumption etc, perhaps the front wheel can be transformed as a generator to recharge the internal battery for the ewheel hub.

    • Anna Neo I have just seen that Schaeffler and Ford will be joining forces with Continental, RWTH Aachen and the University of Applied Sciences, Regensburg, on a project called MEHREN , meaning Multimotor Electric Vehicle with Highest Room and Energy Efficiency, to develop two new driveable vehicles by 2015. This project aims to increase the integration of in-wheel motors in a car and will look at vehicle dynamics control, braking, stability and the fun-to-drive factor.  So it looks very much like the Ford Fiesta is just the beginning and I doubt that the others will be able to compete against such a strong partnership,

      • DenMay That would be a very good news I must say, cause all the top manufacturers and institutes are joining up for one project which could possibly revolutionize the transportation after the invention of the engine more than a 100 years ago. If they can make it come true (its certain they will, just a matter of time), the world will be much greener than now.  Sure this Ford Fiesta is just a milestone of the ewheel, if there are more competitors like Protean, the development speed of the ewheel sure therefore be pushed further, after all its us who benefit from it.

  2. Mike, I think that Ev’s do have a long way to go, but with Schaeffler coming up with these electric wheel hub motors, plus using a 16″ wheel as opposed to Protean’s 18″, this is going to go a long way to convincing people that ‘ size does’nt matter !! ‘  This prototype allows a lot more interior space for both people and luggage plus with the 90 degree steering lock, it’s going to make parking in tight spaces a dream.  Also with charging points being much more readily available, all we need now is a battery that, once fully charged, will travel a  decent distance.  Maybe it will be Schaeffler together with Continental that will finally come up with this – then it will be all systems go for the EV.

  3. Small yet rear wheel drive- Sound like a fun car to have someday. Schaeffler has done a nice job on this one and added a different angle on electric vehicles.  The same company, Schaeffler has demonstrated 15% better fuel economy in Detroit and 10% better fuel economy in Indian prototype. We really need to cut back on the fossil fuel we use.
    As this article said, electric cars are not selling that well. Maybe with new technologies like this, things will change.

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