Following its acquisition in June of in-wheel motor technology company, Protean Electric, Swedish EV manufacturer NEVS has revealed Protean360+, a jointly developed electric-drive ‘corner module’ designed for next-generation urban mobility pods.
Such pods are a next-generation urban transport vehicle design that is hoped to move people and goods around busy cities smoothly and efficiently, and this corner module would be very useful in such environments as it would offer limitless 360° steering capability for manoeuvrability. Having full rotation would allow the vehicle to spin within its own footprint, helping it to negotiate extremely tight urban streets and park in tight spaces with kerb-side precision.
The Protean360+ corner module combines this steering capability with an innovative suspension set-up, pneumatic ride-height control and an efficient and powerful in-wheel electric motor. The module’s compact size will allow an urban pod to have an entirely flat interior floor and offer easy access via front, rear and side doors. Once stationary, the ride-height control feature enables the pod to ‘kneel’, dropping the vehicle entry-point to kerb level for easy loading of heavy or cumbersome loads, and step-less access for passengers with impaired mobility.
“Transport-as-a-service urban mobility is gaining momentum, and with it the need for a new class of urban transport vehicles,” stated KY Chan, CEO of Protean Electric. “Whether shared or private, for passengers or goods deliveries, human-driven or autonomous, these new vehicles will require new technologies to be fit for purpose. The Protean360+ corner module was born from our team’s innovative thinking about how to meet the requirements for these next-generation urban vehicles.”
NEVS AB has stated that it will use Protean’s technologies in future vehicle designs, when considered appropriate.