Hyundai’s Uni Wheel Promises to Revolutionize EV Powertrains

Hyundai’s Universal Wheel Drive system, also referred to as the “Uni Wheel”, is a new interpretation of the wheel architecture, which its developers believe will have a more significant impact on the automotive world than the switch from ICE to electric vehicles.

The Universal Wheel Drive system is a collection of planetary gears surrounded by an encompassing ring gear and a sun gear at the center. The sun gear is connected to a drive motor and transfers power from the drive unit to the outside ring gear through a series of smaller pinion gears and linkages, which turn the wheels. The configuration of the Uni wheel allows for seamless delivery of power, regardless of the up or down motion of the wheel or the alignment of the central axis of the motor and the central axis of the wheel. A notable feature of utilizing the Uni wheel technology in a vehicle is the ability to adjust the minimum ground clearance, higher to accommodate for rougher driving situations or lower for driving at higher speeds.

Hyundai’s Uni Wheel Promises to Revolutionise EV Powertrains

According to Kim Ki-seok, a senior researcher at Hyundai Motor Group’s IATD (Institute of Advanced Technology Development):

“When you apply the Uni Wheel, the constant velocity joint and driveshaft that were connected to the e-Axle reducer disappear. What’s more, you can change the arrangement of the motor/reducer/inverter, which was centered between the two wheels. It becomes possible to create new space by pushing the drivetrain toward the wheels, something we’ve only ever dreamed about.”

Related: World First: Continental Unveils Face Authentication Technology

Another senior researcher at IATD, Lim Woo-hyun said:

“The Uni Wheel has secured reliability by using materials and heat treatment technologies that have been proven through mass production of transmissions. In addition, optimized design through strength analysis ensures trouble-free operation under normal driving conditions. It can handle even cars driving at 260 kilometers per hour.”

The Universal Wheel Drive system could be utilized across various forms of mobility. Aside from applications in traditional electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, the Uni wheel could also be utilized in smaller applications such as delivery robots and electric wheelchairs. The Uni Wheel’s freely adjustable minimum ground clearance makes it possible even to travel downstairs without wobbling. It may also be a breakthrough technology to help the mobility-impaired.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments