This In-Wheel Electric Motor Could be A Thunderbolt Moment For EV Tech
The thunderbolt in question is Oxfordshire based Saietta Group. The company’s mission is to develop electric motor drivetrain technology. In this particular example, Saietta is trailing in-wheel electric motors mated to a skateboard platform. The current electric vehicle blueprint is to mount the electric motors on the front and/or rear axles. However, this can eat into interior passenger space.
Moving the electric motors to the wheel hub frees up interior space and also allows for AWD. Additionally, the electric motors provide braking force, meaning there is no traditional brake system, such as discs or pads. Saietta, which is Italian for thunderbolt, uses axial-flux technology for its electric motor technology.
Axial-flux electric motors are kind of like flattened electric motors. They are often referred to as ‘pancake’ motors. The tech has been around for decades and is mostly used for low-power applications. They are very rarely used for demanding applications and have not been adopted by any maker of electric cars.
Radial-flux motors are used in current-gen EVs. Axial-flux motors are difficult to manufacture which is one of the main reasons why no car company uses them. Saietta Group’s tech demo is designed to get someone interested in the technology. The company has no plans to make anything.
Saietta Group’s aim is to develop a viable axial-flux concept, sell the technology rights, earn royalties, and let somebody else work out how to scale for manufacture. Think of axial flux as the rotary engine of electric motors.