Michelin's e-wheel eliminates gearboxes, drive shaft, and really boss rims

Joseph L. Flatley
J. Flatley|02.17.09

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Michelin's e-wheel eliminates gearboxes, drive shaft, and really boss rims

Electric car development is prompting a rethink in virtually every aspect of the automobile, from the size of the vehicle to the number of wheels and beyond. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the newest collab between Valeo and Michelin. The companies have agreed to collaborate on "electric and rechargeable hybrid vehicle systems such as the drive train, engine and battery cooling management, climate control, lighting, energy management and tires," beginning with the e-wheel. Using Michelin's Active Wheel Technology, this new device puts two electric wheels inside the hub -- one for motive power, one for active suspension -- a design that negates the need for gearboxes, drive shafts, and conventional suspension assemblies. The design has previously been tested in the Venturi Volage concept car, and the companies are currently looking to get involved with a mass-market auto maker to take this project to the next level. So if you're a large auto maker, give these guys a call -- and tell 'em Engadget sent you. Another image after the break.


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