All - EVs front or rear wheel drive? - sammy1

I am not in the market for an EV so have not given the question of F or R drive any thought until I was reading a report on the VW ID3 which is rear drive. My question is are all these EVs rear driven and what could the implications on the road be as to driving in snow? Also how does servo braking differ from your conventional car?

All - EVs front or rear wheel drive? - mcb100
The ID3 and forthcoming Škoda Enyak are the oddities in being RWD. I’m pretty sure the competition is all FWD. Certainly Leaf is, as are Peugeot 208/2008.
Thinking about braking in the braking in snow and slippery conditions, I’d think that the ability to alter the rate of regeneration to its maximum will almost replace the need to use the brake pedal in most instances. Leaf, as an example, offers one pedal driving if a driver is prepared to look ahead and anticipate.
Traction will, as ever, be a function of tyres and suspension geometry, but the ability of an EV to deliver power smoothly without the ability to be clumsy with clutch and gear change should be an advantage.

Edited by mcb100 on 24/10/2020 at 22:04

All - EVs front or rear wheel drive? - gordonbennet

I'd be interested as to weight distribution, presumably the batteries are under the floor so no reason why the vehicle can't have 50/50 weight spread, which means no RWD penalty in snow, if anything a slight gain.

The only reason people find FWD cars better in snow is because they are heavier over the drive axle, on cars with only 2WD i much prefer RWD for overall handling and control in all conditions, FWD almost always suffer from understeer a most unpleasant handling defect.

Tyre size and type dictates snow grip, used to load MINIS out of Cowley plant, those fitted with wide low profile tyres the only way to get them to move in deep snow was to reverse them (making them RWD), lesser models on sensible tyres had no trouble driving normally.

Edited by gordonbennet on 24/10/2020 at 22:42

All - EVs front or rear wheel drive? - mcb100
The VW/Škoda have the motor over the rear axle, so potentially a slight static rearward weight distribution, exaggerated when accelerating. On the right tyres, it could be very effective in the snow (not that we get much anyway).
All - EVs front or rear wheel drive? - Terry W

My take on it would be that in slippery conditions the driven wheels will spin easily.

With RWD there would be a tendency for the rear wheels to break grip and swing round to overtake the front - undesirable!

With FWD a loss of grip typically just reduces forward progress, possible sideways slip can more easily be corrected by steering.

Too much speed and the laws of ohysics take over anyway!

Another thought - why not make EVs 4WD - not through the usual method of transfer baxes, limited slip diffs, propshafts etc - but through a small electric motor in each wheel hub. Could be easily switched between 2 and 4 wheel drive, and electronic control of wheel spin to mirror the action of a limited speed diff.

All - EVs front or rear wheel drive? - Oli rag
There'll probably be a vacuum pump like Diesel engines use to replace a servo, as they too lack inlet manifold depression.
All - EVs front or rear wheel drive? - bolt

My take on it would be that in slippery conditions the driven wheels will spin easily.

With RWD there would be a tendency for the rear wheels to break grip and swing round to overtake the front - undesirable!

With FWD a loss of grip typically just reduces forward progress, possible sideways slip can more easily be corrected by steering.

Too much speed and the laws of ohysics take over anyway!

Another thought - why not make EVs 4WD - not through the usual method of transfer baxes, limited slip diffs, propshafts etc - but through a small electric motor in each wheel hub. Could be easily switched between 2 and 4 wheel drive, and electronic control of wheel spin to mirror the action of a limited speed diff.

What about this, it has been tried on a Type R and improved performance so it would work on other cars..

orbisdriven.com/our-technology/

All - EVs front or rear wheel drive? - badbusdriver

Driving in slippery conditions in a VW ID.3 will result in no discernible difference than were it front wheel drive. Unless of course you manage to completely disable the traction control system. Even if that is possible (unlikely, though you may be able to ‘slacken’ it), the means to do so will be buried somewhere in a submenu in the infotainment system, so you couldn’t do this accidentally.

All - EVs front or rear wheel drive? - veloceman
Personally I feel there is an advantage to having the front wheels driven as they also do the steering. Certainly less likely to get stuck.
Also the cars are much heavier so less controllable in snow.

Slightly off topic but due to the extra torque/performance and weight of EVs. I can see tyres lasting no time at all.
All - EVs front or rear wheel drive? - RT

Another thought - why not make EVs 4WD - not through the usual method of transfer baxes, limited slip diffs, propshafts etc - but through a small electric motor in each wheel hub. Could be easily switched between 2 and 4 wheel drive, and electronic control of wheel spin to mirror the action of a limited speed diff.

Too much unsprung weight which adversely affects ride quality - 4WD EVs use multiple motors with driveshafts.

Many modern IC cars have the equivalent of limited slip diff through the traction control electronics.

All - EVs front or rear wheel drive? - Sunny M

Another thought - why not make EVs 4WD

The Jaguar I-Pace is all wheel drive with electric motors at both axles.

All - EVs front or rear wheel drive? - mcb100
Rear engine/RWD will always have more traction than front engine/FWD, simply because of the change in weight distribution when accelerating. When setting off, the nose goes up, the tail goes down, meaning less weight on the fronts and more on the rears.
Stability systems will counter any oversteer caused by braking individual wheels, an option the driver doesn’t have.
All - EVs front or rear wheel drive? - Sofa Spud

The basic Tesla Model 3, the VW ID3, the BMW i3 and the Honda E are all rear wheel drive although the Tesla Model 3 is also available as a 4x4 by means of fitting two electric motors.

The advantages in 'packaging' that front-wheel drive offers on petrol or diesel cars doesn't apply in the case vehicles designed from the ground up as electric cars. Rear wheel drive allows a tighter turning circle and frees up more space for a luggage 'frunk' or 'froot' under the bonnet. On the other hand, if an electric car is based on the design of an internal combustion engined car (for example the VW e-Golf) then is makes economic sense to use the existing drive layout.

Individual hub mounted electric motors for each wheel looks like an attractive idea but there are disadvantages. One is that these would add a lot to unsprung weight. I read some time ago that the limited space means that only hub motors of up to about 80 bhp can be fitted. I don't know how true this is now but that means that a 2 wheel drive car would be limited to 160 bhp although a 4 WD one could be 320!

The car that showed the performance potential for modern electric cars was the Japanese Elica experimental car of the early 2000's - even before the Tesla Roadster. The Elica had wheel hub motors but it needed 8 wheels with 8 motors to provide the necessary power! The Elica might look like a static show-stopper concept but it was a working vehicle with staggering performance.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliica

Edited by Sofa Spud on 25/10/2020 at 11:28

All - EVs front or rear wheel drive? - madf

Given many EVs have LOTS of low down torque, even traction control will struggle in snow..

Given that many drivers have a s much delicacy on the throttle as a charging elephant, I expect future snowy weather will provide some amusement....

All - EVs front or rear wheel drive? - mcb100
I disagree on this one - throttle response on an EV is set up to encourage economy, so inputs are smooth and progressive, even if the driver is less than sympathetic.
Select Eco mode, and it’s less responsive again - like setting off in second or third gear.
All - EVs front or rear wheel drive? - bolt
I disagree on this one - throttle response on an EV is set up to encourage economy, so inputs are smooth and progressive, even if the driver is less than sympathetic. Select Eco mode, and it’s less responsive again - like setting off in second or third gear.

I agree, as EVs the driver should have more control over the powertrain than on standard car due to setup.

If you want to go mad you can, modern ev motors are more flexible than they used to be

All - EVs front or rear wheel drive? - mcb100
I drove a pre-production Zoë, and that drove really nicely - unless you needed to move it a few centimetres . It would either stay where it was or move a metre, but that was 2012 and there has been a lot of finessing since.
All - EVs front or rear wheel drive? - bolt
I drove a pre-production Zoë, and that drove really nicely - unless you needed to move it a few centimetres . It would either stay where it was or move a metre, but that was 2012 and there has been a lot of finessing since.

Probably better off with a prius as they creep without a problem and little effort, and no reason why an EV cant do that if well designed! though you can hear them but only to be expected

 

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