Ford Fiesta eWheelDrive

The Ford Fiesta eWheelDrive concept has been revealed, and it showcases in-wheel hub electric motors

This is the Ford Fiesta eWheelDrive. It’s been built by Ford and specialist German firm Schaeffler as “a driveable research vehicle that could lead to improvements in urban mobility and parking by making possible smaller, more agile cars.”

The eWheelDrive Fiesta has two electric motors, one in each of the rear wheels.

The Fiesta’s batteries are housed under the bonnet, but the idea in future is that by placing the batteries under the car’s floor and having the power units within the wheel hubs, the car no longer requires space under the bonnet.

A future model could therefore be the size of a current two-seater car, but still have four seats.

What’s more, the eWheelDrive steering system designs could enable vehicles to move sideways into parking spaces.

Talking about the project, Pim van der Jagt, Ford’s director of Research and Advanced Engineering in Europe, said:

“This is an exciting project to work on with Schaeffler because it potentially opens new options for the development of zero emission vehicles with very efficient packaging and exceptional manoeuvrability.”

The project was initiated by Schaeffler, with Ford joining later, as a response to statistics which project that the number of cars will increase four-fold by 2050, and the number of people living in the world’s cities will jump from 3.4 billion to 6.4 billion in the same time frame.

Ford will partner with Schaeffler, Continental, RWTH Aachen and the University of Applied Sciences, Regensburg, on project MEHREN (Multimotor Electric Vehicle with Highest Room and Energy Efficiency) to develop two new driveable vehicles by 2015.

The 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.”

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