Lexucator

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There is some talk on the front page about in-wheel electric motors as direction they want Lexus to head in. Quite a tricky path as there has been development of such concepts since 2005 and there is still no breakthrough. Mitsubishi thought it was an easy way to make ultimate AWD setup for their Evo program and went very deep into in-wheel motors but so far nothing came out of it.
Is this not what Acura is doing as well with the current generation NSX? Based on what I have read, the car seems to benefit in regards to performance (traction and handling). I see a lot of potential with this technology and would like to see Lexus/Toyota dive deeper into the use of this tech.
 

Joaquin Ruhi

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There is some talk on the front page about in-wheel electric motors as direction they want Lexus to head in. Quite a tricky path as there has been development of such concepts since 2005 and there is still no breakthrough. Mitsubishi thought it was an easy way to make ultimate AWD setup for their Evo program and went very deep into in-wheel motors but so far nothing came out of it.
This is VERY true. And the Green Car Reports story on the Nidec in-wheel motor linked from a recent Lexus Enthusiast news story contains this significant passage:

The reasons why in-wheel motors or hub motors haven’t jumped beyond concept cars and research-and-development projects revolve around one game-stopper: unsprung mass. Even in this new form, Nidec’s wheel-hub system weighs about 70 pounds. Having such a heavy motor system as part of the wheel-hub assembly would require radically different suspension tuning and likely require sophisticated dynamic damping systems that could negate any weight savings.

Opting for a motor at each wheel rather than one for each axle also potentially adds cost, and in-wheel motors are also more vulnerable to damage from curbs, potholes, ice, and road salt.
 

Will1991

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Slowly but happily we’re getting there! Very good news!
So, can we expect a 2020 reveal as MY2021 for series production? :)
 

mediumhot

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Is this not what Acura is doing as well with the current generation NSX? Based on what I have read, the car seems to benefit in regards to performance (traction and handling). I see a lot of potential with this technology and would like to see Lexus/Toyota dive deeper into the use of this tech.
They have two electric motors instead of one on the axle like everyone else does including Tesla. I'm not sure if NSX/RLX have differential on axle where two electric motors are, common sense say they don't but I'm not hundred percent on that. They are not in-wheel motors but effect on individual wheel control like torque vectoring could be similar although inferior to in-wheel concepts we've seen so far.
 

Lexucator

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They have two electric motors instead of one on the axle like everyone else does including Tesla. I'm not sure if NSX/RLX have differential on axle where two electric motors are, common sense say they don't but I'm not hundred percent on that. They are not in-wheel motors but effect on individual wheel control like torque vectoring could be similar although inferior to in-wheel concepts we've seen so far.
Thank you for your response. After doing a bit more reading on the all wheel drive system used in the NSX, I think you are correct in regards to the lack of a differential on axle design. At least I did not come across information providing a definitive yes or no.
 

ssun30

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The unsprung mass problem will always haunt EVs with in-wheel motors. They have to develop motors with much higher power densities. The Next step is axial-flux motors which look like pancakes instead of the cylindrical radial-flux motors. Some companies are already producing these and claim 2-3x power density improvements. But the hurdle right now is cost.

At 10kW/kg each hub motor would weigh ~10 lbs/5kg for a 200kW/270hp car, which isn't a lot. The extra mass can be saved by downsizing the brakes and use lighter alloy wheels. But the problem then is whether regulators will approve a vehicle using regen as the primary method of braking with friction disks only as backups. That's what they already do in motorsport where the mechanical brakes are designed to be the minimum size possible and would easily overheat if the hybrid system fails. And of course lightweight wheels are not cheap.
 

krew

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Digital Trends spoke with Lexus executive vice-president Koji Sato about the brand’s plans for full electric vehicles, and received more detail than expected:

While full technical specifications remain under wraps, Sato revealed Lexus will soon invest a substantial amount of money into a platform developed specifically to underpin electric cars. His research and development department is also working on in-wheel electric motors, a setup in which the four wheels operate independently, though he conceded the technology isn’t ready for production yet.
“The in-wheel motor is just a concept, it will take years to make that technology possible, but we will continue to pursue this exciting technology,” Sato promised.

This technology likely goes hand-in-hand with...
Continue reading...


 

internalaudit

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Damn. I think if Toyota can come up with decently sporty BEV sedans or even SUVs, it has a chance to pull ahead of its German competitors. The Tesla Model 3 have been rated higher than the new BMW 3 Series. I sincerely hope Toyota realizes coming up with a Lexus IS AWD (and maybe the NX for SUV lover) BEVs can elevate its standing against the German makes.


 
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ssun30

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Damn. I think if Toyota can come up with decently sporty BEV sedans or even SUVs, it has a chance to pull ahead of its German competitors. The Tesla Model 3 have been rated higher than the new BMW 3 Series. I sincerely hope Toyota realizes coming up with a Lexus IS AWD (and maybe the NX for SUV lover) BEVs can elevate its standing against the German makes.
They likely won't because they want to be safe with the battery. Many manufacturers (Tesla, Audi, BMW, and a few chinese OEMs) all have overcharge modes which allow the battery to discharge above rated power for bragging rights (a few tenths quicker 0-60 times); the cost of course is degraded battery durability (something competitors don't care about). This is something Toyota and Lexus will likely never do, and will even leave safety margins below the rated power. They will always have their hands tied in the back if they want to keep the reputation for reliability and durability.

I expect their BEVs to be somewhere around 20-25% down on power compared to the competition, unless Panasonic gives them significantly superior (I mean a generation lead) battery tech.
 

internalaudit

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They likely won't because they want to be safe with the battery. Many manufacturers (Tesla, Audi, BMW, and a few chinese OEMs) all have overcharge modes which allow the battery to discharge above rated power for bragging rights (a few tenths quicker 0-60 times); the cost of course is degraded battery durability (something competitors don't care about). This is something Toyota and Lexus will likely never do, and will even leave safety margins below the rated power. They will always have their hands tied in the back if they want to keep the reputation for reliability and durability.

I expect their BEVs to be somewhere around 20-25% down on power compared to the competition, unless Panasonic gives them significantly superior (I mean a generation lead) battery tech.
I don't need 0-100 bragging rights. Even Bolts and Leafs are preppier than many ICEVs. I am okay with below 7 secs as long as I save on gasoline cost and perhaps maintenance over the lifetime of the vehicle.

BMW and MB aren't planning sub $50k USD AWD BEV sedans yet. I don't think Audi is either so lots of opportunity for Toyota. I wonder what kind of progress on solid state batteries it will have before end of next year. They are announcing something hopefully before the Tokyo games.
 

Will1991

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Hybrid batteries already have a high C rate, so high discharge rates aren't a problem for Toyota, but I do reckon a hybrid and a full electric battery is completely different things. They also have a good reliability even with air cooling only.

The only one thing missing is energy density.
 

internalaudit

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My apologies if this motor1 article is considered spam but sounds like solid state battery has already arrived. No wonder Toyota has the bravado to want to share its solid state battery technology with the public during next year's Tokyo Games. :)


According to CAR, which uncovered the details, Audi is allegedly cozying up to Rimac, the Croatian performance EV brand, which is already working with Porsche and is rumored to be working with Bugatti and possibly Lamborghini, too, in the near future. All are VW Group brands. Rimac will allegedly supply Audi with four electric motors and fast-charging batteries, says the publication. Other juicy details uncovered include pricing, which should start just under €200,000 ($224,416 at current exchange rates) with a zero-to-62 time of 2.5 seconds thanks to all-wheel drive.

But that’s not all. The publication also says Audi will have access to the latest solid-state battery technology that’ll bring an increase in capacity and range.

=====
Duh,
Blue Solutions is already producing these batteries for mobility (buses, cars) and they have a factory here in Canada

 
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ssun30

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Hybrid batteries already have a high C rate, so high discharge rates aren't a problem for Toyota, but I do reckon a hybrid and a full electric battery is completely different things. They also have a good reliability even with air cooling only.

The only one thing missing is energy density.
And the problem is exactly that you can't have both high discharge rate and energy density in a battery. A hybrid Li-ion battery can have up to 30C discharge rate but a meager 80Wh/kg energy, while a BEV Li-battery may have 300Wh/kg but capped at 3C at most.

SSBs are expected to have even lower C rating (<2C) although their cooling and safety advantage may allow higher C rating in practice.
 

internalaudit

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I wonder if Lexus will introduce a new SUV slotted between the UX and the NX. The Q4, slotted between the Q3 and the Q5 seem to be the perfect size for urban driving.


The Q4 e-tron measures 180.7 inches overall and standards 74.8 inches wide and 63.3 inches tall, putting its size squarely between the existing Audi Q3 and Q5 crossover SUVs. Thanks to the compact packaging of the electric drivertrain and floor-mounted battery pack, Audi says the Q4 offers nearly the same cabin size as class-higher SUVs.
 

internalaudit

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I didn't know labor in Japan was so cheap. $470k USD is play money in North America. :)


Toyota and automotive components manufacturing giant DENSO will establish a joint venture for research and development of in-vehicle semiconductors. Slated to launch in April 2020, the new company will conduct research on the basic structure and processing techniques of next-generation semiconductors, including power modules for EVs and monitoring sensors for automated vehicles.
DENSO will maintain 51 percent ownership of the new company, which will start with roughly 500 employees and 50 million yen (about $470,000) in capital.
 

CRSKTN

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I didn't know labor in Japan was so cheap. $470k USD is play money in North America. :)


Toyota and automotive components manufacturing giant DENSO will establish a joint venture for research and development of in-vehicle semiconductors. Slated to launch in April 2020, the new company will conduct research on the basic structure and processing techniques of next-generation semiconductors, including power modules for EVs and monitoring sensors for automated vehicles.
DENSO will maintain 51 percent ownership of the new company, which will start with roughly 500 employees and 50 million yen (about $470,000) in capital.
Toyota is public, I'd have to look for more details but that might be their net working capital position, not necessarily cash on hand.
 

flexus

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I didn't know labor in Japan was so cheap. $470k USD is play money in North America. :)


Toyota and automotive components manufacturing giant DENSO will establish a joint venture for research and development of in-vehicle semiconductors. Slated to launch in April 2020, the new company will conduct research on the basic structure and processing techniques of next-generation semiconductors, including power modules for EVs and monitoring sensors for automated vehicles.
DENSO will maintain 51 percent ownership of the new company, which will start with roughly 500 employees and 50 million yen (about $470,000) in capital.
Labor isn't cheap in Japan. Average worker in Japan earns roughly 40k USD a year and average Japanese (including childs, pensioners, unemoloyed, disabled, students) earns 34k USD a year. The 50 million yen is share capital which means that all the share of the newly formed company are worth 470k USD. If you want to know how big the company is we need to wait until 2021 for first income statement. Look for word 売上高 it means revenue.
 
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