FWIA: The Car Without an Engine

The folks over at Ohio State University, spearheaded by Junmin Wang, are currently testing a golf-caddy-looking prototype called Four-Wheel Independently Actuated (FWIA) which runs without an engine, transmission or even differential.


Their concept seems a little crazy at first, but actually it isn’t as far-fetched as you may think. Back in the 1900’s Ferdinand Porsche developed a hybrid vehicle with two hub-mounted motors on the front wheels.

However, in contrary to Porsche’s car, the FWIA is more eco-friendly because it doesn’t run on gasoline. Instead, it runs on four 7.5kW electric motors attached to each of the FWIA’s wheels; each powered by a 15kW lithium-ion battery pack.


And that’s not all. These four independent motors are all linked to an on-board computer that controls how each wheel behaves to ensure a safe and comfy ride. This involves accurately measuring the brake, gas pedal and steering a hundred times a second!

Unfortunately, according to Junmin Wang, the FWIA won’t be seeing the light of the day anytime soon. However, he claims that the team will continue to refine their vehicle to be more efficient and safe.

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9 Comments on this Post

  1. so its like a 4×4 car hehehe kala ko pa naman as in wala na talaga…may motor pa rin pla lols

  2. Same concept sila ng Merc AMG SLS Electric,

  3. Uh how is this ground breaking? A number of electric car designs use the principle of having independent motors on each wheel. And of course when you have independent motors you need a computer to have them work together. And a lot of electric cars don’t really have a transmission perse.. And having motors on each wheel, what would you need a differential for? Really this is basic electric vehicle stuff.

    And oh BTW, its brake (to slow down) not break (to wreck).. They’re different..

    • radial engines in ww2 prop airplanes also have a similar principle.

  4. blackwing

    Err… what do you mean a car without an engine? An electic motor is an engine. Technically speaking, an engine converts energy into mechanical work, and an motor is an engine that converts enery into motion as mechanical work. So given that the FWIA has four electric motors, it has four engines.

    • technically correct criticism

    • Common sense pag sinabing car engine it means “car engine” hindi electric motor. Anyway it’s a good thing at least hindi na kailangan ng magastos at mausok na gas.

    • @blackwing bobo hahaha ikaw ang nagpapagulo dito eh pwede mo ring tawagin na car engine ang electric motor -___-

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