Feeds

Michelin strikes key 'e-wheel' deal

The future de la 'leccy moteur

High performance access to file storage

'Leccy Tech If the future of the 'leccy car is going to be built on in-wheel motors, it's looking more likely to be a case of Vive le France than Rule Britannia.

French auto engineering group Valeo and equally French tyre manufacturer Michelin have announced an agreement to “co-ordinate the development of electric and rechargeable hybrid vehicle systems such as the drive train, engine and battery cooling management, climate control, lighting, energy management and tires". And so put France at the forefront of electric car technology.

Michelin e-wheel

Michelin's e-wheel: hub of the matter

One of the key parts of the plan will be the further development of Michelin's Active Wheel Technology, a wizard idea that puts two electric wheels inside a wheel hub: one to provide motive power, the other to provide active suspension. Between them they negate the need for gearboxes, drive shafts, conventional suspension assemblies and a lot of other run-of-the-mill oily bits.

The possibilities this opens up were demonstrated, rather stylishly, by the Venturi Volage concept car which was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show back in October 2008.

Valeo and Michelin still need a mass-market car maker partner to turn their dreams into reality, but with Renault recently announcing what amounts to its withdrawal from the large car market – the next generation Laguna is heading for Madame Guillotine - and Peugeot Citroen needing a €3bn (£2.6bn / $3.9bn) loan from the French government to keep its head above water, the pressure to cosy up and get on with developing the next big thing has never been greater.

Venturi Volage

Venturi's Volage: hugs the road, actively

Just to keep everyone focused, Valeo CEO Thierry Morin recently said: "We may team up with a French firm or it maybe a Germany company." That should keep everyone on their toes at the Elysée Palace.

Michelin's in-wheel motors are not unique, of course. PML Flightlink's Hi-Pa Drive has already been seen in the prototype Lightning GT, a Ford P150 and Volvo's ReCharge concept. Unfortunately, PML Flightlink slipped into administration back in November 2008 - another plucky British engineering endeavour hitting the buffers.

Or so we thought. It now appears that PML is out of administration and owned by the “Electric Motor Works Limited”. What exactly this means is a bit of a grey area, but PML did tell Register Hardware that “all the same people are still here”, so hopefully a Lightning vs Volage head-to-head at the Top Gear test track in a few years time is still a possibility. ®

Venturi Volage Picture Gallery

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.