The OVEC-TWO, a small in-wheel motor vehicle based on the i-MiEV manufactured by Mitsubishi and Okayama Vehicle Engineering Center (OVEC), is said to have the body structure of its base car revamped, creating a simple structure that averts ‘surgery’ towards in-wheel motorization.
In the OVEC-TWO, the inverter, motor, reducer, drive shaft and other parts were removed, and it has been equipped with new driving control ECU (DVCU), exclusive inverter, and outer-rotor hybrid excitation FSM for in-wheel drive EV. The staff in charge said, “We just added a bracket to the crossmember that supports the new double wishbone suspension on the body of its base car. We haven’t changed anything other than that.”
As for the new double wishbone suspension at the back, the staff in charge mentioned, “We are considering the use of in-wheel motors on the rear wheels for ride quality and steering stability, thus we will be adopting and developing double wishbone suspensions. Its body is equipped with the usual front suspension and its rear suspension is mounted with a new bracket.” Moreover, its lower arm was also coiled with black tape. The staff explained, “The gauge for distortion testing was sealed only with tape.”
The drum brake, which was originally mounted in the i-MiEV, was switched to in-wheel motor, and it was installed in the interior part (near the center of the upper and lower control arms). The staff in charge added, “In-wheel motors are highly efficient as there would be no need for deceleration when driving straight. As a result, it generated about 10% more space for the battery capacity.”
He added, “Hereafter, we will be testing it on various road conditions and environment.” Lastly, he said, “Its weight is higher than the base car by 10kg, but its dash panel and headliners did adopt new materials. We plan to make it lighter and reduced its body weight. After all, in-wheel motors are the heaviest among its parts. We also want to lighten the motors’ weight and remove some parts.”
(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)