A Japanese firm called SIM-Drive Corp. has developed an electric vehicle called the SIM-LEI, (for Leading Efficiency In-Wheel. The EV's claim to fame is the hub motors it carries in all four wheels.
Details about the car's technology is sparse, but its lithium-ion batteries come from Toyota, and one might speculate the in-wheel motors could be Toyota technology as well: Sim-Drive says the use of high-technology let them come up with motors small enough to fit in the car's wheel hubs. There is some speculation that the technology is related to the high-efficiency induction motors Toyota described a few months ago.
At any rate, the hub motors are configured so the rotor resides near the wheel rim and spins around a stator affixed to the axle. SIM-Drive says the car can travel over two hundred miles on a charge. The SIM-LEI is also said to move from 0 to 62 mph in just 4.8 sec. and should be capable of traveling 333 km (207 miles) on a single charge.
The batteries and inverters sit under the floorboards rather than in the trunk as a way of keeping them closer to the in-wheel motors, and to lower the car's center of gravity.
No price has yet been set, though a target date of 2013 has been listed as the time frame for commercialization of the vehicle. If it does go on sale, SIM-Drive says it likely will be marketed through Mitsubishi and Isuzu, two of the 34 organizations that make up the consortium that founded the company. SIM-Drive itself was formed in 2009 with the intent of pushing forward new technologies in the electric car market. consortium members.