In-wheel motors have been tried by the motor vehicle industry for over 100 years. Ferdinand Porsche's first racing car (circa 1901) was an electric vehicle, powered by four in-wheel hub motors and an enormous battery.
But such vehicles have always been plagued by poor road-holding and handling.
A little over 10 years ago, engineer and businessman Dr Barry Westlake identified that the major cause of poor road-holding and handling was as a result of the need to manage each wheel-motor to take account of the varying conditions simultaneously experienced by each wheel. He devised an algorithm which allowed each wheel-motor to autonomously manage these varying conditions within a few milliseconds. In this way adjustments can be made so quickly that the driver and passengers are unaware of what the electronics is doing, and enjoy a pleasant ride, with excellent handling and road-holding.
Patents have been granted in USA, China and Australia.
It has taken 10 years for Dr. Westlake and team, to design, construct and test a prototype vehicle. The results have proven to be amazing.
The prototype benefits from lightweight Lithium batteries, high-torque high-performance in-wheel motors and a proprietary electronic Slave controller for each wheel, under the supervision of a Master controller. All of the electronics controllers are connected together using a proprietary high-performance Local Area Network (LAN).
The vehicle was developed, initially, for resorts; with and without golf courses. Resort operators told us that they needed a vehicle, no larger than a golf cart, with 4 people facing forward. They also needed the ability for the vehicles to be used throughout a modern multi-function resort, with access to beaches, sand dunes, rain-forests and wilderness areas as well as the normal resort activities, including golf.
The BrumbeeTM technology provides 4WD and is ideal for all applications required in a resort.
The technology will provide an excellent solution for city cars, and offers dramatically improved features over the currently available offerings.
We believe that our patented drive package will be of great interest to larger golf cart manufacturers and manufacturers of light passenger cars. However the package has many other uses as well. For example, it can significantly lower the centre of gravity in ATVs and Quad bikes to dramatically improve their safety, and has many industrial applications.
The roof of the vehicle can be fitted with solar panels that allow the vehicle to be re-charged any time the accelerator is not being activated.
The vehicles also have the ability to be set for maximum downhill speed, either for safety within a resort or for use by children,
We are very excited about our invention because it creates a new era for smaller vehicles.
Dr Barry Westlake, BE, PhD
Jack Boorne, AM