We've seen in-wheel motors in the past, but implementing the technology is not without its share of challenges. On one hand, it's difficult to coordinate motors that have no mechanical connection to each other, while on the other hand electric motors are designed to spin much faster than the wheels, in order to generate the desired power -- adding complexity while decreasing efficiency. A company in the Netherlands called e-Traction may have those problems licked, and now they've developed a diesel-electric hybrid bus that they say offers fifty percent better fuel economy over existing diesel buses. The vehicle also employs a GPS-based system that switches off the diesel engine entirely while operating in areas with dense traffic, reducing emissions. The company has been awarded contracts to retrofit seven commercial buses with the technology, and hopes to branch out soon into garbage trucks -- because nothing says 'green' like hauling junk off to a landfill.

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E-Traction's in-wheel motor sportin' hybrid electric bus