Protean's in-wheel electric drive solution. Photo: Protean Electric

Protean's in-wheel electric drive solution. Photo: Protean Electric

ConMet and Protean Electric have formed a partnership to develop an electric in-wheel drive system as a hybrid-electric solution for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles.

ConMet will combine its experience with commercial vehicle wheel ends with Protean Electrics’ in-wheel electric drive.

Protean’s system is self-contained within each wheel without a need for gearing, driveshafts, or differentials powering each individually to provide a fuel economy boost to the vehicle. The system also stores regenerative braking energy, which allows it to have a smaller battery.

“This agreement enables us to expand the market reach of our ProteanDrive technology into the commercial vehicle market," said Andrew Whitehead, chief commercial officer at Protean Electric. "ConMet has the commercial vehicle market and wheel hub experience we have been looking for to help develop this solution."

The ConMet/Protean in-wheel electric drive system will be designed for commercial trucks, tractors, and trailers. The jointly developed electric wheel end system, which is compatible with existing vehicles, is aimed at providing vehicle packaging advantages, reducing complexity, and minimizing drivetrain losses for commercial vehicle and trailer applications.

“We are combining our decades' long expertise in wheel hubs for commercial vehicles with Protean Electric's success with drive systems for electrified passenger vehicles," stated Beto Dantas, ConMet vice president of marketing, innovation, and strategy. "The result is the development of an innovative wheel end product that will provide lower lifecycle costs, improved fuel economy, added torque, increased power, and better overall vehicle performance."