Re-Inventing the Wheel: Marcus Hayes

Automakers have just lately introduced detailed plans to impress giant parts of their fleet, but electrical autos are nothing new. And neither are the innovators driving clean-power expertise. Marcus Hayes is amongst these EV veterans. He first turned excited about different power whereas pursuing his diploma in Transportation Design on the ArtCenter School of Design in Pasadena, California. Marcus reduce his enamel on EV expertise whereas engaged on a design undertaking dubbed the “21st Century Taxicab,” an alternative-energy public transit car. Marcus’ work caught the eye of a bunch launching a sophisticated transportation hatchery known as CALSTART“I used to be the sixth firm to hitch the hatchery in 1994. By 1998, there have been 200 firms within the incubator. The applied sciences developed contained in the hatchery contributed to items of various tasks, just like the Tesla Roadster. I met Lee Iacocca there, and he and I collaborated phenomenally. I additionally labored with Paul McCready, whose brainchild was the primary mass-produced electrical automobile.” Marcus is presently the Co-CEO of ORBIS, a California-based firm hell-bent on reinventing wheels automobile wheels.

Marcus Hayes, co-CEO of ORBIS, from his LinkedIn profile. [Marcus Hayes]

“The issues that I noticed in engaged on these numerous EV tasks stemmed from the truth that the powertrain was rooted in inside combustion. What automobile firms had been doingand are nonetheless doingis eradicating the gasoline tank and changing it with a battery pack. They basically use the identical legacy structure for electrical that they did for inside combustion. That implies that the one enchancment attainable in any of those methods turns into utterly depending on battery chemistries which are presently inadequate. Proper? We’re working on this backward setting, spending trillions of {dollars} on manifesting this variation, but we’re nonetheless locked into inside combustion structure. And it’s very irritating. In order that frustration led me to ORBIS,” he continued.

The ORBIS ring-wheel, an ultralight hub motor and regenerative braking system that’s a bolt-on recreation changer for autos: tremendous gentle, tremendous highly effective. [ORBIS]

ORBIS is greatest identified for its patented Ring-Wheel, a light-weight in-wheel motor system that weighs the identical as a passive wheel, eliminating the necessity for extra elements like transmissions, axles, and differentials. This will increase the vary of electrical autos by 20%. “The notion of an in-wheel motor has existed since Porsche facilitated a hybrid electrical in-wheel motor carriage in 1886. The concept of the in-wheel has been round ever since however was largely discarded. The resistance to in-wheel motors was due to the unsprung weight.  The in-wheel motor courting again to Porsche was considerably heavier than typical wheels. ORBIS has invented the primary in-wheel motor system that doesn’t have a weight penalty. We will take what we prefer to name a ‘passive wheel’ off and change it with a motorized wheel, and there’s no distinction in suspension response, braking response, or driving response,” Marcus defined.

A glance contained in the epicyclic gearing of the ORBIS hub motor. The light-weight aluminum forgings are on par with carbon fiber, however inexpensive and presumably a greater lifespan. [ORBIS]

By way of creating their in-wheel merchandise, Marcus and his group realized that the electrical motor must be positioned as shut as attainable to the place the work is being achieved. “In our case, an electrical motor must be on the wheel, not upstream behind a bunch of efficiency-robbing elements. In order that’s what we do and we have now a confirmed, light-weight, high-power, high-performance wheel,” he stated. “Apart from our in-wheel motor, ORBIS develops small, interchangeable, and hot-swappable batteries. What we discover, even in a industrial fleet, is that our clients have these vary expectations and we present them what their wants truly are. It’s normally 70% lower than what they initially thought.” 

Kate Ingber at Bonneville driving the PiCycle, a novel electrical bicycle design that set an AMA report at 104kph. [Marcus Hayes]

Marcus additionally has in depth expertise designing and constructing e-Bikes. He constructed the primary electrical bike to set two land velocity information on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 2006 and 2007. The expertise Marcus and his group developed at Bonneville is what they’re utilizing variations of now in car wheels to spice up EV vary. “The velocity wasn’t what we’d hoped, however Bonneville is nothing if not laborious on gear and our prototype lithium chemistry repeatedly failed within the harsh circumstances. After 4 days of distress, we set the report utilizing lead acid batteries strung collectively in a large chubby package deal bought from an area auto elements retailer. We had plenty of completely different experimental batteries, however extra importantly, we had an experimental drivetrain. As we do now, we used a small, light-weight motor to drive a wheel as an alternative of a heavy, giant motor with excessive inertia. That environment friendly, light-weight expertise is what we introduced with us out of Bonneville.”

Different tasks: a McLaren chassis with nitrous-EV energy and ORBIS wheels. From Marcus Hayes’ Instagram. [Marcus Hayes]

Marcus can be the designer of the Picycle e-Bike. The bike is a part of the Museum of Science and Trade’s everlasting assortment. “As a child rising up in Chicago, I mainly lived on the Museum of Science and Trade. I actually spent as a lot time there as my dad and mom would let me. And so, to have a motorbike within the everlasting assortment is phenomenal.” Marcus and ORBIS’ imaginative and prescient stems from automobile and bike traditiongenuine tradition.  “Going electrical shouldn’t be at the price of the interior combustion expertise. As a child at racetracks, Castrol motor oil was one among my favourite smells. ORBIS doesn’t have Castrol, however we do have extraordinary torque, velocity, energy, and reliability. As a lot as I really like inside combustion, I really like electrical extra for what it might do by way of the expertise. So, if we take a traditional Mini Cooper or a Fiat or a Lancia or no matter it’s, whether or not it’s a hybrid, or whether or not we do a full conversion, it’s a thrilling, rewarding expertise. And no person has to fret about  dropping inside combustion. We’re gaining a elegant type of energy and mobility by going electrical.”

The PiCycle on the Museum of Science and Trade in Chicago. [Marcus Hayes]



Stephanie Weaver is the EV Editor at The Vintagent, and a Philadelphia-based freelance author. When she’s not locked to her laptop computer, she might be discovered driving horses and bikes.