page title icon New Electric Mini Uses Electric Motors In The Wheels

The Mini made by BMW has been hijacked by PML a British company which has transformed the popular micro sized gas car into a 900 Miles Per Gallon hybrid electric vehicle. PML version of the Mini replaces the standard engine with four of our electric wheels, a lithium polymer battery, a large ultra capacitor, a very small ICE with generator (so small it almost fits alongside the spare wheel), an energy management system and a sexy in-car display module.

The car has been designed to run for four hours of combined urban/extra urban driving, powered only by a battery and bank of ultra capacitors. The QED supports an all-electric range of 200-250 miles and has a total range of about 932 miles (1,500 km). Explains Martin Boughtwood, PML’s MD: “Until now, most electric vehicles have been little more than souped-up milk floats, limited by range and speed, with compromised performance.

Electric Mini


The benefits of PML in-wheel drive technology are;

  • It is adaptable to other vehicle chassis
  • It eliminates the need for gearing and mechanical drive train
  • It allows more space inside the car
  • The vehicle has three driver-selectable modes of operation:
  • Eco mode for town/city frequent start-stop driving;
  • Normal mode for daily commuting and ICE- equivalent operation, and
  • Sport mode for super car performance.
  • Other notable features include:
  • No (mechanical) brakes means returned energy!

Electric Wheel Motor Technology

New technologies and new thinking is finally happening in the labs of the big 3 automakers.  Now that Toyota has taken the hybrid market, and shown there is a demand, everyone else is following.  In-Wheel motors could be the next step, one example was presented by Honda’s FCX fuel cell concept that debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show, which provided a high-profile example with its integration of rear in-wheel motors.  By the time the FCX Concept made its way from show floor display to drivable concept, though, its in-wheel motors were left behind in favor of more conventional electric drive, ostensibly because of the high voltage that must pass through cables powering each wheel motor and the friction challenges presented by the constant motion these cables endure.

With internal combustion-driven wheels up front and electric motors motivating rear wheels, drivetrain losses decrease and all-wheel drive plus all-wheel steering are a natural….  When used in an all-electric car, in-wheel motors also do away with all the conventional driveline apparatus and its associated weight.

While in-wheel motor technology has been in the works at Honda for some time, it’s also been under development at the Canadian company Technologies M4 for many years and also at GM.