Fisker’s Orbit, an all-electric autonomous shuttle announced in late 2017, is to be equipped with in-wheel motors supplied by Protean Electric.

Fisker selected in-wheel motors because it doesn't intrude on the interior so the Orbit will be a low-entry, flat floor vehicle.

The Protean Pd18 in-wheel motors are rated for 80 kW and 1,250 m (on wheels) at peak. Two of those will enable 160 kW of power, which seems enough for the job as the shuttle bus is far from a racing car.

However, for customers interested in higher power, the option of four motors (320 kW) and all-wheel drive is to be available.

Protean Electric ProteanDrive Pd18

Protean Electric ProteanDrive Pd18

Tests of the first prototypes are expected later this year, while deployments on a set route are scheduled for next year.

ProteanDrive Pd18 Features:

  • Packaged into an 18” wheel rim
  • Torque demand control over CAN bus
  • High torque direct drive (no gearing) for optimal efficiency
  • Permanent magnet synchronous machine with outer rotor
  • Integrated power and control electronics with distributed architecture
  • Integrated friction brake
  • Integrated wheel bearing
  • Development in accordance with the ISO26262 Functional Safety Standard
  • Design lifetime of 300,000km and 15 years with verification through bench and vehicle durability testing
  • Designed to exceed, and tested in line with, major automotive manufacturers’ EMC standards
Protean Electric ProteanDrive Pd18 spec is available here.

Source: Autocar, Green Car Congress