Protean Electric Announces New Manufacturing Facility In China
Protean Electric, the developer of in-wheel electric drive systems, announced $84 million in new funding from GSR Ventures, New Times Group, Oak Investment Partners and the city of Liyang, Jiangsu Province, China.
This capital will be used to bring Protean's in-wheel electric drive technology to production by establishing manufacturing facilities in Liyang.
The funding is led by GSR Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Beijing and Silicon Valley. They will be joined by the New Times Group, a Liyang-based industrial group. Oak Investment Partners, Protean's first venture investor, is also participating in this round of funding. The city of Liyang is partnering to provide prototype manufacturing support, with favorable industrial policy.
"We have a very unique value proposition: We can create hybrid and electric drive vehicle options, on the vehicles that people like to drive," said Bob Purcell, chairman and CEO of Protean Holdings Corp. "We can provide more power, better fuel economy, easier integration, and lower cost. The Protean Electric drive system is probably as close as the industry will ever get to a bolt-on solution."
Features of Protean's in-wheel motors include:
- Fuel economy improvements up to 30 percent depending on battery size
- Highest torque density of any of today's leading electric propulsion systems
- 81 kW (110 hp) and 800 Nm (590 lb.-ft. torque) in each motor
- Weight of only 31 kg (68 lbs.) per motor
- Fits within the space of a conventional 18- to 24-inch road wheel
- Superior regenerative braking capabilities, which allow up to 85 percent of the available kinetic energy to be recovered during braking
Protean Electric's plans in China call for beginning prototype motor production early next year and volume production in 2014.
Protean has developed multiple demonstration vehicles, including a Ford F150 pick-up truck, Volvo C30, Vauxhall Vivaro cargo van, Guangzhou Automobile Company Trumpchi, and BRABUS full electric and hybrid vehicles, based on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and were featured at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Protean has been awarded 21 patents for its unique technology and design, and more than 70 additional patent applications have been filed internationally and with specific countries in North America, Europe and Asia. Protean also has won the prestigious 2012 Technology Pioneers Award from the World Economic Forum as being one of most promising start-up technology companies in the world.
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