Video: Ford Fiesta Rear In-Wheel Drive Electric Vehicle

4 years ago by Electric CarsTV 5

Last week Ford and Schaeffler took the wraps off a fairly unique concept EV at the “auto, motor und sport” congress in Stuttgard, Germany, the Ford Fiesta electric.

Ford Fiesta EV's In-Wheel Rear Motors

Ford Fiesta EV’s In-Wheel Rear Motors

This Ford EV features a unconventional set-up not seen in production electric vehicles today.  The Fiesta’s lithium battery resides in the engine compartment, while the power to propel the vehicle lies inside the rear wheel wells.

Ford says that the battery could also be easily moved under the floor, allowing both the front and rear boot to be used as cargo areas.

Ford says while the added weight of the two, water-cooled, motors (about 100lbs) was a “special challenge when it came to tuning and driving dynamics,” but that engineers at Ford and Schaeffler “met this challenge successfully,” while not stating exactly how.

Wheel Hub Drive Cutaway

Wheel Hub Drive Cutaway

Still, with expanded flexibility of the in-wheel motor set-up, we hope to see this platform in action in the future from Ford.

  • 40 kW (110hp) per drive, continuous output of 2 x 33 kW (90 hp)
  • liquid-cooled wheel hub drive
  • delivers up to 700 Nm of torque
  • electrical voltage of the high-voltage drive is 360 – 420 V
  • total weight of 53 kilograms, or about 45 kg more than a traditional wheel and bearing
  • inside a 16-inch wheel rim

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5 responses to "Video: Ford Fiesta Rear In-Wheel Drive Electric Vehicle"

  1. bloggin says:

    Interesting. But with the current Fiesta being FWD, I don’t see why an electric Fiesta battery could not be mounted under the floorboard anyway, as there is no driveshaft. Even without the in-wheel motors.

    Very much like Tesla. Which is something to think about, because in an interview, Elon had quite a bit of technical data on the specific type of aluminum Ford will use in their F-150(same as Tesla use in rockets), and spoke of how much Tesla had to learn from Ford’s manufacturing process using Aluminum, which they say was more logical than VW/Audi’s approach in their A8.

    There seems to be a relationship there, and Ford using a Tesla battery pack in a Focus/Fiesta or Fusion EV would benefit both companies. Could it be that the 40kWh (120 mile)battery pack was dropped from the Model S(same pack Toyota is buying for the RAV4EV), so it can be sold to a third party. They would not let all the engineering and development of the battery pack go to waste.

    Either way, what this may be a sign that the Focus EV will have the battery mounted below, to free up cargo space very soon. And possibly a Fiesta EV before we see in-wheel motors in production.

  2. Aaron says:

    The real question: Does this car exist outside of a computer-generated video?

    45kg per wheel is a LOT of unsprung weight, especially with a solid rear axle, as their cutaway shows. I’m not certain in-wheel motors is the way to go. There are plenty of benefits, but a lot of potential problems too.

    1. hangros says:

      I know what Aaron’s concern. However, Schaeffler and Ford have considered the points. That’s why the prototype car is going to release in 2015. Scaheffler would spend resource on further development and modification in order to have a prefect car existed. I am looking forward to its release.

  3. Open-Mind says:

    Funny … except for the in-wheel motors, this video could be an ad for Tesla’s technology that’s already shipping.

    As for wheel weight … I keep hearing it must be minimized, yet the design trend for 20 years has been larger heavier wheels each year. Would love for someone to actually quantify “too heavy” … that is, the weight at which vehicle dynamics becomes unacceptable.

  4. Sean Didi says:

    This car does exist as a prototype, you can google it for some more actual photos taken for the vehicle instead of the renderings. The ewheel hub still need a lot of refinement, engineering, optimization and redesigning before it is ready to hit the roads. The main message here is the capability of Schaeffler, and they are breaking into a new sector of auto parts and what they believe the mobility is for the future. The ewheel hub drive right here pretty defines the foundation for the upcoming generations, it is a very important phase and certainly a must before progression can be made.