Continental Partnership to Develop In-Wheel BEV Drive Unit

Paul Myles, European Editor

October 5, 2023

2 Min Read

Automotive supply giant Continental has teamed up with a BEV motor specialist to develop an integrated in-wheel powertrain and drivetrain.

The company has entered a strategic partnership with Munich’s DeepDrive to jointly develop a combined unit comprising drive and brake components for mounting directly on the vehicle wheel. Both companies hope to show that BEVs provide the perfect platform to place all chassis functions, including the drive, directly on the wheel.

The optimal coordination of brake and drive system could make a decisive contribution to BEV efficiency boosting range and performance. The integration of both elements in one unit is expected to allow a high level of efficiency in the drive and when braking. Also, integrated components reduce complexity through modularization and facilitate the manufacturing process.

DeepDrive has developed and patented what is called a dual-rotor, radial-flux motor that can be installed as a central drive unit or as a wheel hub drive in series production vehicles. The partnership is focusing on developing an efficient, compact wheel hub drive optimized with a view to cost-effective production.

Continental is contributing brake components for the joint drive-brake unit and also applying its expertise in industrializing products  to bring the units to market as soon as possible. In the first step, a hydraulic brake is integrated into the drive-brake unit. In a second step, it is also planned to integrate dry braking systems without hydraulic components into the wheel hub drive. The combination of drive and brake in one unit is also the first step towards a so-called corner module with integrated chassis components, such as air suspension systems, in a compact unit directly on the wheel.

Matthias Matic, head of Continental’s safety and motion business area, said: “The electric motors developed by DeepDrive extend the range of electric vehicles. They are lighter, more economical, and more resource efficient. Combining all that with our efficient, high-performance brake technology to produce a new, compact unit is a decisive contribution to the success of electric mobility. What belongs together grows together here.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_  and Threads

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About the Author(s)

Paul Myles

European Editor, Informa Group

Paul Myles is an award-winning journalist based in Europe covering all aspects of the automotive industry. He has a wealth of experience in the field working at specialist, national and international levels.

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