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If I understand correctly, the Volt's single electric motor drives the front wheels directly (without a transmission or differential). How does it avoid scrubbing the front wheels while turning? (The wheel on the inside of the turn follows a tighter radius than the one on the outside.)

It seems like you need either a differential or a split motor with separate half shafts. Does anyone here know how this really works in the Volt?

Thanks in advance,

Rick
 

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I think we have all assumed it will have a single-shaft motor close-coupled to a differential. Some form of gear reduction is required. Tom has done various dynamic analyses in other threads and found a 7:1 gear reduction ratio between the electric motor and drive line produced optimal highway mileage. Future generations may have motor-on-wheel technology, which will eliminate all mechanical drive components and provide inherent all-wheel-drive advantages.
 

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Thanks, that makes sense. The drawings I have seen don't show any internals of the integrated motor/inverter/control electronics, so what you suggest is a reasonable assumption.

I appreciate the quick response.

Rick
 

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Future generations may have motor-on-wheel technology, which will eliminate all mechanical drive components and provide inherent all-wheel-drive advantages.
I think I read somewhere that the biggest problem with motor-on-wheel technology at this point was size and weight ratios for cars. For buses and/or medium to large trucks, it's all well and good, because the vehicles themselves are made for heavy duty and have massive suspensions that can handle the weight of the large motors. But you put two motors weighing in a several hundred pounds a piece on a car and it'll be like driving with...well, two massive weights strapped to the outside of your vehicle. Cornering with any sort of speed will be on-par with trying to steer a rocket through LA traffic.

I think eventually, they'll get them to the point of being in the equivielent of a Silverado, maybe even something as small as a Colorado, but I wouldn't expect to see them in a lightweight Malibu or Volt anytime soon.
 
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