New Ring Drive In-Wheel EV Motor Claimed To Be A Breakthrough

MAY 28 2018 BY MARK KANE 40

Orbis Wheels, a startup from Mill Valley in California, tries to re-invent the wheel once more and promises a breakthrough in electric drive.

The Orbis Ring Drive Wheel is kind of an in-wheel motor, but different from hub motors and, according to company founder Marcus Hays, it saves weight, cost and complexity. Having such wheels apparently improves performance, efficiency and braking (outside disc and caliper operates 20% cooler), too.

Here is the idea:

Orbis Ring Drive Wheel (source: HondaPro Jason)

“The company’s brochure explains “the technology divides a wheel or cog into two essential parts, a stationary hub and a rim or ‘ring.’ The ring rotates about the stationary hub, driven by a lightweight, high-speed motor.”

Hays says the ring drive is more efficient while reducing vehicle weight as much as 40% and driveline complexity by 75% compared to powertrains in which the electric motors (in-hub or in the driveline) power an axle.”

Orbis Wheels presented prototypes in scooters and in a Honda Civic Type R Hybrid, which was equipped with two Orbis Ring Drive Wheels.

Each wheel is rated at 70hp (50 kW) – 140 hp total. The weight of the wheel is 16 kg (35 lbs), while a traditional hub motor would be 31 kg.

Read Also – BMW Video Highlights 5th Generation Electric Powertrains

Soon, the company will test and demonstrate the Orbis Ring Drive Wheel and will be looking for commercialization in the automotive industry or maybe military.

Honda Civic Type R with All Wheel Drive?

The World’s 1st Honda Civic Type R Hybrid with AWD. Orbis has engineered 2 electric wheel motors that add a total of 140 hp to the rear wheels of the new 10th generation Honda Civic Type R. Added benefits include, better handling, more power, better MPG, more even weight ratio, cooler brake temps, faster 0-60 times & more. I will be testing this new system out on my own 2017 Civic Type R very soon. Please Subscribe to watch the upcoming videos and info about this ground breaking new tech.

source: WardsAuto

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40 Comments on "New Ring Drive In-Wheel EV Motor Claimed To Be A Breakthrough"

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“…will test and demonstrate”. Lets hope they’re a little further along than that…..

So this wheel could convert a FWD or RWD vehicle into an AWD vehicle.
And it helps make a vehicle a Plugin as well raising the fuel efficiency from 35 MPG to around 100 MPGe.
That’s fantastic.

And its light weight footprint of just 16 kg * 2 = 32 kg is so nice. Hope Tesla looks into this.

I’m sure Tesla considered in-wheel motors, just as other EV makers have. And just like other EV makers, Tesla has rejected in-wheel motors as overly expensive, and subject to too many breakdowns due to being subjected to harsh jolting, just like the car’s wheels.

I’m sure Tesla will not be the only manufacturer to innovate going forward. I’m not sure why you think they are the only ones investing in r&d.

Those “wheels” stick out about 8″ from the tire ~ ~ talk about expensive curb rash

Adjust your lens prescription or correct your typing.
8mm would be close, but 8 inches is the radius of the hub.

This development will springboard EV adoption, just think about how simply a custom EV can be produced with this. Basically replacing all 4 wheels gives you 280hp torque vectoring AWD, pull all the ICE driveline components, replace with batteries. Awesome!

Unlike a typical sealed hub, these parts look pretty exposed and hard to protect from the environment.
I would like to see how it deals with dirt, stones, ice, etc before I’m willing to believe it is viable

or an abrupt dip into a pothole at speed.

Done that many times with regular tires and nothing happens. What makes you think this is that fragile?

An extra 16kgs of unsprung wheel weight inertia isnot going to help.

“Unsprung weight is negated by the design”. Watch the video get informed before you form an opinion and start spreading disinformation.

Unsprung weight is something that can be minimized but not negated. People spend big bucks to drop a couple pounds of weight off a performance rim, so putting a 32 lb wheel/motor out there compared to a performance alloy is most definitely going to cause some issues.

I think there will be a place for small hub motors sometime down the road, but this design isn’t there yet, not remotely close, just an experiment really. I don’t think we’ll see them in the marketplace for a long time and that issue of unsprung weight is a big part of the problem.

Yes, but only a part. The other big problem is the constant harsh jolting (not to mention exposure to dirt, dust, mud, and grit) that in-wheel motors have to endure. Wheels and tires can generally stand up to that. Electric motors, not so much.

“Watch the video get informed before you form an opinion and start spreading disinformation.”

Perhaps Trackdaze, just like me, understands more than you about the subject — understands facts, engineering principles, and practical concerns which you are trying to dismiss as “disinformation” — and knows that it’s far more likely that the video is full of overly optimistic and/or entirely false claims.

“What makes you think this is that fragile?”

Experience and long-term road tests. In-wheel motors are not at all a new concept. There is a reason you don’t see them in even a single mass produced EV, and only maybe 1-2 models of limited production EV supercars.

Because it has the main drive unit subject to all that jolting rather than being one step removed. So it will have a much harsher environment.

gonna put these on the back axle of my promaster RV !

ICE front and EV rear is Best Combo

ICE nothing all ev ….best combo!

If I’m interpreting their diagrams correctly, all the critical elements of their system; the hub rollers, roller bearings, rim-roller interface surface, ring gear, pinion gear and drive motor are all constantly being bathed in brake dust and normal road debris. There does not appear to be any ability to lubricate the ring/pinion gear interface either. I’m curious how they address these longevity factors.

They either need to address longevity or cost. If it’s cheap enough then they can sacrifice on longevity.

Yup. And even if they add a casing to seal the motors, experience has shown that grit and dust from the road tends to seep past the seals over time.

This claim is chock-full of practical concerns being utterly ignored.

Magnetic bearing?, if the components that wear are cheap enough there should be no problem, it just be the bearings, the electric motor could be affected by water and mud. but solving this is just an engineering problem. the concept seem super!!!!

This could be interesting, durability is always the question which a wheel motor configuration, and the increase in Un-sprung weight. Jaguar drive unit for I-Pace is about 75KG incl. motor and gear reduction, will be interesting to see which direction works better.

Only one motor with gear or both?

On I-Pace there is 1 front, and 1 rear… They are a pretty cool concentric design, with the axle shaft going through the center of the motor.

Unsprung mass at the most tough environment to crack.. Motor vehicle wheels.
Add two CV joints and bolt the motor to the chassis! Up the power to 100kw per side, add a low and a high gear to make driving fun.

Good idea but I agree with most others here – They seem to be trying just a bit too hard to get the unsprung weight down. I don’t think its that big a deal, after all, most cars have heavy ‘direct drive’ brakes (they could make them lighter by running the brakes at a higher speed, but no one has ever seen fit to do that complication for such a small advantage.

What an ulgy a55 car to begin with. Looks like a transforming cockroach.

The car is the last thing you need to focus on, it’s truly irrelevant to the story.

don’t care. Don’t find an ugly a55 car to perform such pathetic experiment.

The car shown (Civic type R) is no accident or random choice. It’s obvious from his narrative that the company believes tuners will purchase these as replacements for the rear wheels on all the usual suspect Japanese street racer type vehicles. These are a group of people that will spend insane amounts of money to eek out even a tiny increase in performance. In other words he knows his product is not practical or price effective for regular car owners but instead is taking a page out of Elon Musk’s book to go after the high dollar market that is less price sensitive and who will pay any amount of money to make their little hot hatch stand out.

Hope Tesla is watching

We have seen many similar claims for in-wheel motors. Yet we have not seen any in-wheel motors in any production EV except possibly one or two very limited production supercar models. Even in cases where the pre-production EV used in-wheel motors — like the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, if I recall correctly — the mass-produced production vehicle uses inboard motors.

As residents of a neighboring State say: “I’m from Missouri — Show me!”

Been saying this for years. Turbines in the grill section,solar hood and roof and doors. Lightweight materials. That cool could probably go 200 miles on a 40kw battery

This invention is BS

Why the concern with calipers and brake-pad heat dissipation? Is there no regen. ability?

It’s not related to regen. It’s related to braking and heat. Especially when racing, brake fade is due to high heat. Perimeter braking is also not a new concept. There are other applications using perimeter breaking. I’m not 100% certain why it isn’t used in more vehicles. In a lot of ways it is superior to standard hub based braking.

Not sure about regen braking?

Would like to keep up with orbis progress so I can install on an Honda Element.