Local Motors, a leader in the design, manufacturing and deployment of autonomous vehicles, and Protean Electric, a world leader of in-wheel electric motor technology, have expanded their long-standing partnership. The is for a further three-year deal valued at $7.3 million.
Under this new order, Protean Electric will deliver thousands of its ProteanDrive in-wheel motors (IWMs) to power Local Motors’ Olli 2.0 electric autonomous shuttles. This will accelerate the rollout of their state-of-the-art vehicles around the world.
The Olli autonomous shuttle is in use today on campuses and city streets in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Olli’s autonomy system ensures safe autonomous operation and delivers a rider-friendly experience.
This is thanks in large part to the ProteanDrive in-wheel motors. These are lighter, smoother, and more energy-efficient than alternative solutions such as electric axles.
The ProteanDrive in-wheel motors also allow Local Motors to maximise passenger space, vehicle range and platform reliability, while reaping the cost benefits delivered by this best-in-class electric wheel technology.
Vikrant Aggarwal, Local Motors president, said: “Now in live deployments around the world, Olli is truly changing the way that we look at transportation, providing a smart, safe, sustainable option for getting around.
“One of the keys in driving broad-scale adoption of electric autonomous vehicles is delivering an exceptional passenger experience. The ProteanDrive in-wheel motors play a huge role in that experience, providing a smooth, quiet, and reliable ride while allowing us to optimise vehicle design to better address real-world use cases.”
The accelerating climate crisis further underscores the urgent need to transition to battery electric vehicles (BEVs). This is because road transportation is estimated to account for approximately 17 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. The electrification of the automotive industry could drive a significant, positive impact in the battle against climate change.
Andrew Whitehead, Protean Electric CEO, said: “We are thrilled to be building on our alliance with Local Motors, enabling them to rapidly scale deployments of Olli 2.0.
“This new deal not only reinforces Local Motors’ commitment to the ProteanDrive IWM solution, but offers important industry validation that the technology is mature, reliable, scalable, and delivers the cost and performance needed to address the massive acceleration in electric vehicle adoption.”