Volkswagen is teaming up with Protean Electric, a promising battery-car technology supplier, to test a new system that could dramatically alter the way vehicles are designed and built.
The German maker is testing Protean’s hub motor technology on its Bora sedan, the Chinese version of the VW Jetta. The project could lead to a production model in the next few years, though the partners aren’t currently revealing specific plans.
One of the potential benefits of electric propulsion is that the space under a car’s hood can be freed up, a vehicle’s motor – or motors – moved to other locations, such as replacing the traditional center differential. Protean’s approach is to move the motors to inside a vehicle’s wheels.