Published on November 30th, 2023 | by Subhash Nair


Hyundai & Kia Unveil Universal Wheel Drive System Which Houses Entire Drive System

The Hyundai and Kia Universal Wheel might be an important step in EV development.

Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Corporation have recently unveiled the revolutionary Universal Wheel Drive System, known as ‘Uni Wheel,’ during the ‘Uni Wheel Tech Day’ in Seoul, Korea. This groundbreaking innovation is set to reshape the landscape of future mobility devices, offering a functionally integrated wheel drive system that maximizes interior space in electric vehicles (EVs). Let’s delve into the details of this paradigm-shifting technology and explore how Uni Wheel is poised to redefine the future of electric mobility.

Uni Wheel: A Game-Changer in EV Design

The Uni Wheel drive system is a leap forward in EV design, addressing the challenges posed by conventional power transmission methods. Unlike traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, Uni Wheel redefines the drive system structure by integrating essential components into the wheel hub. This unique approach allows for a flat-floor configuration, optimizing space and paving the way for Purpose Built Vehicles (PBVs).

Advancing Future Mobility Through Space Utilization

Hyundai Motor and Kia’s focus on space utilization within future vehicle architectures aligns with recent advancements in electrification, autonomous driving, and connectivity technologies. Uni Wheel employs a special planetary gear configuration, facilitating multi-axis movement and a wide range of suspension articulation. This not only ensures high durability and ride comfort but also enables unprecedented torque vectoring for enhanced dynamic ability and driving stability.

Efficiency and Interior Space Optimization

Uni Wheel’s relocation of drive system components to the wheel hub unlocks additional space within the vehicle, allowing for innovative interior layouts. By downsizing the electric motor without compromising performance, Uni Wheel offers the potential for larger cargo rooms, unconventional seating arrangements, and improved battery capacity for extended driving range.

Passenger Space Maximization for PBVs

The Uni Wheel concept proves particularly advantageous for Purpose Built Vehicles (PBVs), offering a flat-floor platform that maximizes interior space. Unlike traditional EVs, where battery placement often impacts passenger space, Uni Wheel optimizes battery packaging, minimizing the loss of passenger room. This feature is pivotal for PBVs, allowing for flexible and scalable designs to cater to various use cases.

Universal Adaptability to Various Mobility Devices

Uni Wheel’s versatility extends beyond passenger vehicles, making it suitable for a wide range of mobility devices, including wheelchairs, bicycles, and delivery robots. With the ability to scale from 4 inches to 25 inches or more, Uni Wheel’s adaptability makes it an ideal solution for diverse forms of personal mobility. The system’s unique capability to adjust the rotation axis opens doors for smooth stair-climbing mobility solutions.

Hyundai Motor and Kia’s commitment to perfection is evident through their continuous verification of Uni Wheel’s stability, efficiency, and durability. The companies have applied for and registered eight patents related to Uni Wheel in South Korea, the United States, and Europe, showcasing their dedication to advancing electric mobility through cutting-edge technology.

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