Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

Networking For A Better Future - News and perspectives you may not find in the media

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December 27, 2003

The Whispering Wheel - Electric Diesel Hybrid

A Radio Nederland story tells about an experiment in progress in Apeldoorn, a small city in the Netherlands. A bus with its motors right in the wheels - actually the wheels form part of the motor itself.

While the technology is not revolutionary, it is a smart application of what we presently have and a good step towards a more friendly public transport, both for the environment and for people. And the best thing - it could be put in now, without having to wait for development of better fuel cells or other more exotic energy converters.

A new Dutch invention can make cars, busses and other vehicles no less than 50 percent more efficient and thus more environmentally friendly. Better still, the technology is already available; it all comes down to a smart combination of existing systems.

This winter, in the city of Apeldoorn, a city bus will be used to prove that the claims about the new invention are true. These are quite bold. E-traction, the company that developed the bus, boasts fuel savings of up to 60 per cent, with emissions down to only a fraction of the soot and carbon dioxide an ordinary bus would blow out of its tailpipe.

In addition, the test bus requires no adaptation, its drivers need no extra training and there'll be no discomfort for passengers. It will simply run on diesel, just like all the other buses, and it should be just as reliable. One thing however will be very different; the Apeldoorn bus hardly makes a sound, hence its nickname "the whisperer".

In-wheel engine

All this is made possible by an ‘in-wheel' electric engine, in fact nothing more than a normal electric engine turned inside out.

The outer wall of a traditional electric engine is a cylinder lined on the inside with copper wire. If electricity is fed into the copper wire, the current will circle the cylinder on the inside at high speed. Cylinder and wire together are called the ‘stator' (because it doesn't move).

To change the electricity running along the inner wall of the cylinder into movement, another part of the engine comes into play: ‘the rotor'. This is in fact an axle, mounted in the centre of the cylinder, with permanent magnets attached to it. The electrical current in the stator pulls the rotor magnets along and the axle starts to turn.

The wheel works precisely the other way around. The fixed part of the engine - the stator - is now on the inside. The wire is wrapped around it.

The moving part of the engine – the rotor - is no longer an axle fitted with magnets but a ring running on the outside of the stator.

The magnets are fixed on the inside of this ring. If power is fed into the engine the magnets will – as before - follow the current, but now it's the ring on the outside, which will turn.


And that's what makes ‘the whispererÂ'revolutionary; a ring functioning as a wheel. By just putting a tire on it you can drive a bus, a car, anything with it. Since the wheel is in fact the engine, no axles or any other friction-producing and therefore energy-wasting mechanical parts are needed.

Even the transmission is unnecessary; if you want to go faster you just run more electricity through the engine. And it works really well while braking, when the in-wheel engine works as a generator, produces electricity to charge the batteries.
Pack of Batteries

The power to drive the Apeldoorn bus is stored in a big battery pack that sits in a steel drawer under the bus. Changing the batteries every time they're drained would be impractical, as would be taking the bus out of service for recharging them for hours on end. Instead, a small diesel-powered generator built into what used to be the bus's engine bay continuously charges the whole battery pack.

Since in-wheel engines are so highly efficient, the generator's diesel engine can be very small, about the size of the compact city car's engine. Because charging the batteries is all it needs to do, the tiny engine consumes very little fuel and can run continuously at a speed of 1700 revs per minute, the most efficient rev count.

Clean and quiet

Passengers will find it more important that the bus is quiet and clean. No more roaring buses pulling away from the station in a cloud of diesel fumes. When the whisperer pulls away (and whenever it drives for that matter), the power comes from the batteries, not the diesel engine which simply keeps on purring quietly.

Furthermore, the constant rev count makes the catalyser much more effective, and the small size of the engine makes it possible to completely fill the rest of the engine bay with sound proofing. Being 90 percent quieter than other buses, the ‘whisperer' really deserves its name.

Testing period

In the coming six months the bus has to prove itself in everyday practice. Come summer, the city of Apeldoorn is set to decide whether to use whisperers on a larger scale in public transport. Dr Arjan Heinen, inventor of the whisperer and director of E-traction, radiates confidence: "This is a practical solution for present-day public transport. Every bus driver can get behind the wheel and do his job as before, only now it's quiet, clean and energy-efficient." 

The future of the in-wheel electric engine seems bright. At the recent Tokyo Motor Show, it was the engine of choice in many of the futuristic hydrogen-powered concept cars.

See also related:

e-Traction Company site

The Wheel - Only one moving part

March 2008: Wheel Motors to Drive Dutch Buses
Thanks largely to its in-wheel motors, the bus can travel twice as far as a conventional bus on a liter of diesel, says Arend Heinen, who is both an engineer and spokesperson for the company. That translates into a reduction in fuel consumption of 50 percent. The company has been awarded contracts to retrofit seven commercial buses with its technology, with the first to be completed next month.


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Saturday December 27 2003
updated on Friday December 17 2010

URL of this article:


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The Telegraph, UK, reported on 18-05-2003: - In results independently verified at Bristol University, a team from Gardner Watts - an environmental technology company based in Dedham, Essex - show a "thermal energy cell" which appears to produce hundreds of times more energy than that put into it. If the findings are correct and can be reproduced on a commercial scale, the thermal energy cell could become a feature of... [read more]
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Electric vehicles, long touted as the future of pollution-free personal transport, don't seem to be doing so well. General Motors is abandoning its experiment with the EV-1- recalling the leased electric cars from those trying them out, according to a report in the New York Times. But another zero-emission driving experience may be just around the corner - the Air Car. Former Formula 1 engineer Guy Nègre from France is... [read more]
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Kohei Minato and the Japan Magnetic Fan Company
This article is from the latest Future Energy eNews of April  5, 2004, sent out by Tom Valone of the Integrity Research Institute. The article on Kohei Minato's magnetic motor is one of several in the newsletter: 1. China's Voracious Energy Needs - How and where will China get the energy to maintain its economic growth? 2. Zero Point Energy Pursued by Two Aerospace Companies and DOD Agency - Aviation Week & Space Tech reviews the... [read more]
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Recently, I sent out an e-mail message to some people interested in the energy dilemma, linking an article that describes a potentially very significant discovery on how to manufacture hydrogen without input of electricity. The article says: Australian scientists predict that a revolutionary new way to harness the power of the sun to extract clean and almost unlimited energy supplies from water will be a reality within seven years. Using... [read more]
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Readers' Comments

send me any articles about it

Posted by: bagus on March 24, 2005 05:59 AM


I need info & availability on the older type of elecric wheel motors for use on agricultural vehicles

Posted by: Deon on June 4, 2009 02:48 PM


Appeldoorn? mb you ment Apeldoorn?

Posted by: rofl on October 22, 2009 10:49 AM


You're right - it should be Apeldoorn, not Appeldoorn.

Posted by: Sepp on October 22, 2009 12:26 PM


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These articles are brought to you strictly for educational and informational purposes. Be sure to consult your health practitioner of choice before utilizing any of the information to cure or mitigate disease. Any copyrighted material cited is used strictly in a non commercial way and in accordance with the "fair use" doctrine.



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