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