Michelin’s Motorised Wheel – Coming Soon to a Peugeot Near You?
At last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show vehicle manufacturer Peugeot presented its BB1 concept, a car just 2.5 metres long and powered by electric motors placed inside the rear wheels – units designed in association with Michelin. This extraordinary vehicle is now a step closer to going on sale after Peugeot confirmed it has shifted the BB1 from concept car status to project status. A production version should thus be unveiled in 2012 or 2013 and most likely closely resemble the concept car’s design.
The power units on the BB1 concept are an evolution of Michelin’s Active Wheel. “In the case of this motorised wheel we have eliminated the central electric suspension to concentrate primarily on the two functions, braking and electric traction,” Patrick Oliva, the Michelin Group’s global vice president for Sustainable Development explained during the Frankfurt show. “This concept is extremely interesting also because the electric motors that we’re using are high power density traction motors, and in the case of the models which have been developed with Peugeot on the one side and Renault on the other side, we open up new levels of freedom for the design of vehicles. This has been extremely well represented in the case of the BB1 concept developed by Peugeot, where we have a car that is extremely small but offers at the same time a space which is optimised.”
The Michelin developed motorised wheel delivers 20hp and accelerates the BB1 concept car from 0 to 30km/h in 2.8 seconds and from 30-60km/h in 4 seconds. Power is provided by a lithium-ion battery back that allows a range of 120 km.