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Indigo Technologies

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by mblakele, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. mblakele

    mblakele pre-jackpot member

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    The Economist
    A new type of engine for electric cars

    [...]

    But if Indigo Technologies of Cambridge, Massachusetts has its way, all this will change. Since the firm was founded in 2010 by Ian Hunter, a professor of mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Indigo’s engineers have been developing an in-wheel drive system they call the T1. They believe that their system, a module that incorporates brakes, steering and an active suspension, as well as a motor, overcomes both the electrical problem and the unsprung-weight problem, thus paving the way for in-wheel drives to become mainstream.

    To reduce the electrical difficulties, the T1 runs at 48 volts instead of the 400 volts or more used by the motors in existing electric cars. The choice of 48 volts is not arbitrary. That voltage is also rapidly becoming standard for the circuits which run things like lighting, climate control, entertainment systems and adjustable seats, even in conventional combustion-engine-driven cars. Lowering the voltage almost tenfold in this way does, though, make the T1’s motor easier to protect and insulate, which in turn makes it cheaper to produce than higher-voltage motors, says Brian Hemond, Indigo’s boss.

    [...]

    Indigo is talking to carmakers and components firms and hopes, by the end of the year, to land its first production contract. Dr Hemond expects particular interest from firms developing ride-sharing and autonomous vehicles. The sort of small, sleek vehicles or personal-mobility pods which such in-wheel drive systems might inspire would be a world away from the perambulatory Lohner-Porsche. But they would have made Porsche himself wonder what might have been had he stuck with the electric motor.​
     
  2. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Well-Known Member

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    A 48V car motor? What is it fed with? 4" diameter cables?
     
  3. mblakele

    mblakele pre-jackpot member

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    Dunno. There's some info at https://indigotech.com/technology but it's tricky to navigate. Maybe "up to 1000 MPGe performance" helps? But that's probably for a two-wheel e-cycle prototype.

    Oh, here's another article at Forbes, from April 2019:

    Indigo Technologies Brings Traction T1 In-Wheel Motor Out Of Stealth Mode After 10 Years

    Indigo's integrated suspension system will allow vehicles that use the T1 to counteract motion sickness, which is primarily caused by inertia forces on the passengers. The only way to counter those inertia forces is to generate opposing forces in the vehicle, and that goes back to the suspension, Hemond said. This sort of technology will only become more and more important as autonomous vehicles start to become widespread, said Indigo Technologies CFO Annie Rosen.

    [...]

    "We addressed the unsprung mass issue by ensuring that the vehicle itself can be lower in mass," Hemond said. "We're not trying to power SUVs or even conventional passenger sedans but smaller vehicles, and that makes the unsprung mass issue less of a problem."​

    So I think this is firmly in the "weirdmobile" category. But maybe still worth a weather eye.
     
  4. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Well-Known Member

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    Yes, not even conventional sedans, but smaller vehicles. Well, what does that leave? Motorcycles, NEVs and golf carts?
     
  5. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    48v is BS. Even my new lawnmower is 80v with Li-Ion battery. Three phase AC motors are now common that operate at 144v range. Thus you can use a whole EV car battery by re-bussing to half the OEM voltage.
    --
     
  6. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Well-Known Member

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    What lawnmower is that?
     
  7. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    Well it *was* a lawnmower. I removed the motor and the [bail-wire/push button] panel from the handle in order to electrify a Mercury 4.5 hp outboard. Lowes sells the 80v 'push' mower with a 5.0 plug-in battery and I will order separately the 6.0 battery that is made for the 'self propelled' model. If you launch the dinghy using the 5.0 battery as far as it can go then you are likely to get back to port by using the 6.0 battery for the return trip.
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