Kia Corporation and Hyundai Motor Company have introduced the Universal Wheel Drive System, named 'Uni Wheel,' at the Uni Wheel Tech Day held in Seoul. This transformative drive system promises to reshape the design of upcoming mobility devices.
Uni Wheel utilises a unique planetary gear configuration featuring a sun gear in the centre, four pinion gears on each side, and a surrounding ring gear. Power generated by the motor is transmitted to the sun gear, engaging the pinion gears, and subsequently rotating the ring gear connected to the wheel.
Uni Wheel is an ingeniously integrated wheel drive system that enhances the interior space of electric vehicles (EVs) by strategically relocating primary drive components within the wheel hub. This innovative design has led to the creation of an entirely new structure for the drive system.
Unlike internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles that rely on a complex network of transmission, drive shafts, and constant velocity joints, Uni Wheel streamlines the drive system. It achieves this by moving an EV's reduction gear inside the wheel hub and situating a compact individual motor near each wheel, ultimately reducing the length of drive shafts.
The novel approach liberates a substantial amount of interior space compared to traditional drive systems, paving the way for future mobility products tailored for diverse applications, including Purpose Built Vehicles (PBVs).
Jongsool Park, Senior Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Technology Development of Hyundai Motor Group, stated, 'We are pleased to showcase innovative ideas that could become game changers in the future mobility market. We will perfect the technology so that customers can experience mobility in a completely different and new way.'