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Wheel-hub-motor innovations in ‘flux’

  • Magazine Article
  • 22AUTP03_06
Published March 01, 2022 by SAE International in United States
  • English

The packaging and design of electric motors has, not surprisingly, come under scrutiny in recent years as the pace of vehicle electrification has accelerated. Wheel hub motors [], once dismissed as too costly and dynamically problematic for most automotive applications, are increasingly back in focus for EV use. Vehicle developers recognize that hub motors offer advantages - particularly in all-wheel-drive applications. And hub motors tend to favor the packaging advantages offered by axial-flux motor designs.

The compact dimensions of axial-flux motors make it far easier to package in a hub-mounted application. In addition, the more-powerful axial-flux designs are larger in diameter than comparable radial-flux motors, offering a packaging advantage in line with wheel dimensions: Small-wheeled vehicles such as scooters need smaller, less-powerful motors, while the larger wheel diameters of trucks and buses parallels the larger diameter and more powerful motors needed for these vehicles.