Electric carmaker ZAP has signed an exclusive agreement with PML FlightLink Limited for wheel motor technology to be used in next-generation vehicles that it’s developing with Lotus Engineering. The initial order has a potential value of $10 million.
PML's Hi-Pa drive integrates a motor and drive electronics in a unit with power density said to be as much as 20 times greater than conventional systems. ZAP chief executive officer Steve Schneider said the PML wheel motor technology “achieves the power-to-weight ratio to meet the performance goals of the ZAP-X, which include a top speed of 155 mph, 0 to 60 mph acceleration in 4.8 seconds, and a peak 644 horsepower.
Schneider said wheel motors allow automotive designers to achieve greater efficiencies, distributing the weight and displacement of the drive train to the four corners of the vehicle. “PML's wheel motors don't require intricate braking systems but rely instead on advances in regenerative braking that enhance efficiency and performance.”