Ronzuki wrote:Epic fail. Electric motors in an off-roader...that gets submerged...what could go wrong?
Looks like something the boyz-in-da-hood would be all over though. Maybe that's their next target group.
Haha, I predicted your response. It is rather wacky but I do see some Samurai and X-90 styling influences... not sure if that's a good thing. As for the electric motors, I think they are beneficial. Batteries and motors are easier to seal and waterproof than an ICE that needs to breathe. Furthermore, an electric motor in each wheel brings about wonders in performance. That's 100% torque potential from 0 RPM in each wheel. Furthermore, the vehicle will be able to rotate on its own axis, giving it unprecedented mobility. Also, electric motors have more configuration flexibility and as this concept vehicle shows, features like portal axles to further raise ground clearance will probably be easier and cheaper to implement.
Some have already put in electric drivetrains in classic offroaders like the Jeep Wrangler and have proved electric motors aren't taking a back seat in offroad prowess. The vehicle below shows a Wrangler with batteries and an electric motor to replace the powertrain but kept the original drivetrain. Even then, it's performing remarkably well in the offroad courses. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6eIPdblAfU
The concern for me isn't the offroad prowess or water issues. It's range. EVs are limited in range and cannot easily be recharged on the go in a remote area like a fossil fuel vehicle with jerry cans. It's easy to mount a 5 gallon can on a 4x4 for extra range. That's not quite easy with a full electric vehicle. While I'm all for EVs for city vehicles and commuting, I think offroaders need to at least be PHEVs until EVs yield ranges in excess of 500 miles. This is why I like the direction Mitsubishi has taken and they claim they will implement PHEV systems in more of their SUVs, including the next Montero/Pajero.