US ARMY SAID TO INVEST $2.7 MILLION IN QINETIQ ELECTRIC WHEEL
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has announced a $2.7- million investment in UK-based QinetiQ’s electric hub-drive technology. QinetiQ’s hub-drive replaces gearboxes, differentials, and drive shafts with compact electric motors contained completely within the wheels, significantly reducing the overall weight of a vehicle.
QinetiQ is developing the hub-drive system as part of DARPA’s Ground X-Vehicle Technologies program, which aims to improve future military vehicles. The latest round of investment will be used to bring the technology into the building and testing phase, including production of two working units.
The QinetiQ team is also looking at opportunities to introduce similar hub-drive systems into commercial sectors such as transport, agriculture, mining, and construction. The system could be scaled up or down for use on any type and number of vehicles, from dump trucks to space rovers. The benefits of enhanced power, high torque, efficiency, and agility are not limited to military vehicles, so the developers are keen to explore opportunities to use this technology in new and innovative ways.