Updated: Hi-Pa Drive Ford F-150 Is All Electric


The current iteration of PML Flightlink's Hi-Pa Drive electric Ford F-150, which will debut next week at SEMA, is 100 percent electric powered, according to Peter Christie, PML's director of sales and marketing

Energy for the four wheel-mounted electric motors is stored in a 40-kilowatt lithium-ion battery, mounted where the fuel tank used to be.

"Depending on the drive cycle, the truck's electric-power-only range is 75 to 100 miles," Christie said. "It requires plugging in overnight to recharge the battery."

PML has no plans to end its efforts to "green up" the F-150 after the SEMA show ends.

"The next step is to make the F-150 into a full series hybrid during the first quarter of 2009," said PML CEO Craig Knight. "We're hoping to use a flex-fuel motor from Ford that's already been certified [by the federal government]. That engine would be used to recharge the batteries when the truck is driving. We think it's a realistic goal the truck could get more than 100 mpg as a series hybrid."


In turning an F-150 into an all-electric full-size pickup, PML has removed its engine, transmission, exhaust system and rear differential. Even with four 66-pound motors that deliver 150 horsepower and an astonishing 516 pounds-feet of torque per wheel, the truck weighs less than a conventionally powered F-150.

Software controls power output to each wheel, depending on road conditions and slippage, using computer code to create a digital differential and full-time all-wheel drive.

"We're demonstrating that in-wheel motors can be used on larger vehicles," Knight said. "You don't have to be small to be green, and [if you're a manufacturer] you don't have to give up your most profitable vehicles. We're removing oil, carbon and cost from driving without compromising consumer choice and vehicle design."

There are no plans, for now, to mass produce the Hi-Pa F-150, but that could change. Knight said he believes that with the right backing and partnerships, Hi-Pa F-150s, or something similar, could roll off assembly lines by 2011.

We'll have more on the Hi-Pa F-150 next week during our SEMA show coverage.



YES!!!!!! This is how it should be done. 600hp??? HAAA!! Thats insane. And no more oil changes or tune ups. Although Id like to see this Hi Pa drive system put into a smaller pickup. Just a short bed, no extended cab pickup. Somethign i can put my dirtbikes into or pinball machines or whatever and yet still be able to park in tighter spots. Build this F150 or even a smaller truck with the Hi Pa drive and i will DEFINITELY buy it.

600hp my foot.. the other Demo cars running these PML wheel motors barely achieve walking pace. I think the biggest laugh is they have picked a vehicle with a live rear axle to put wheel motors on..??? Unless they plan to totally redsign an independant rear end fo rit they can never delete the rear diff housing LOL Hilarious!

Umm come on guys, anyone who knows how to read specs would see that they are saying you are going to get 150 horsepower. The per wheel statement is the 516 pounds-feet of torque per wheel.

just kidding, I have to agree though, its hard to believe that they could possibly have a 600hp electric vehicle.

Seems they didn't go the next step and take out steering linkage and have the computer steer by altering wheel speed/direction. Wonderful slow speed maneuverability and speed cornering controls to virtually eliminate roll overs and spin outs. What a value.

This was done to a Mini Cooper too. It can do 0-60 MPH in 4.5 seconds. BMW is looking at making 500 of them as a test. The Volvo Recharge concept car also uses these in-wheel motors. Michelin is also developing an in-wheel electric motor. Wake up everyone, this is the future. I want one of these trucks for towing my horse trailer. The zero RPM torque cannot be beaten.

Good idea but most people dont understand that it still pollutes, where do you think the power comes from. HORSEPOWER AND TORQUE THOUGH ARE AMAZING. Maybe we should start looking into hydrogen.

If any of you think this vehicle will be for sale in your lifetime you are living in a dream world; the oilies won't permit it and they own the auto companies. So go back to sleep.

The PML motors are 24 phase liquid cooled motors with all control electronics in the wheel. Top of the range is 120 Kw and 700 lbsft of torque at zero revs. So this truck has 480kKw/643hp and 2800lbsft of torque total. Should go quiet well.

Forget hygrogen, it is a dead duck that won't lay down.
Very low efficiency on a well to wheel usage about 12.5%
worse than an IC engine at 25%max. Also very difficult to move, as 4 times the volume for same energy as gasolen when liquifid and puting it down a pipe line is even harder.

A battery series hybrid can make 50% or better and even if the electricity is generated in a coal fire power station the CO2 is still half of an IC power car. BYD in China has the first series drive electric on the road for sale, but still has in board electric motors. The Volvo recharge is the best design so far, with PML inwheel motors and beats the BYD and Cheve Volt design. I believe from 2015 the only car to buy will be a series electric drive hybrid.

I hope this car will find its way to the production line ASAP so that more people can enjoy driving without causing to much harm on the environment.

funny how these hub motors are so widely used in electric bicycles and have great torque and power and distance yet everyone seems so skeptical when they put them in a vehicle. I figure without all the spindle gears and drive line connections would be a plus benefit at any rate. and I figure even if I added a spare battery at 1000 lbs for 200 mile range and towed my 4300 lb travel trailer. I am all for it. matter in fact if you decide you want to make a conversion kit for 1991 GMC truck put me on the test list. and if I can put a small generator engine in it to make it a hybrid the output of CO2 would still be way less then 15 MPG of my gas truck now.

I've been following PML since first stumbling on the Mini QED prototype. It's beautiful. I'm trying to create a travel show with a budget for modifying a few hippy vans to Hi-Pa Drive series platforms...
Against the "oilies" wishes: thinking a GEET inspired generator motor for recharging (that's a water+hydrocarbon plasma-fuel-based IC system)... also note: creating hydrogen could be a lot more energy efficient, if new theories are correct and accepted; then the "oilies" can use their chemicals for something useful like piezoelectric polymers and the film used in fuel cells.
Capacitors and capacitor-battery-hybrids can be used for faster-charging - so your vehicle could be recharged while you sip your latte and stretch your legs on long trips. Better yet, wireless electricity transmission would negate the need for batteries, but the aristocrats and tax-men don't like the idea of "free" power.
Keep up the good work Protean, and Printed Motor Works (can't wait to electrify my custom towny-bicycle); don't forget about "on location" (copyright 2006), the travelogue/reality show that will follow a troop of motion picture artists telling stories from their hippy van tour around Canada and beyond.

PML converted a Mini to overdo a Porsche. They put a motor in each wheel. No live axles. IC engines cannot compete with the torque of electric motors. PML has now been split into two companies.

A motor on each wheel and a small generator set providing power with a large battery bank will make a very nice vehicle. The Chevy Volt does 60 mpg on IC engine alone.

"600hp my foot.. the other Demo cars running these PML wheel motors barely achieve walking pace. I think the biggest laugh is they have picked a vehicle with a live rear axle to put wheel motors on..??? Unless they plan to totally redsign an independant rear end for it they can never delete the rear diff housing LOL Hilarious!"

Dude...I was just at their facility in Romulus and was taken for a test drive. Ummm...'walking pace'...really? Aaand...'live rear axle blah-blah-blah can NEVER delete the rear diff housing blah-blah-blah'...you may not know this but THEY ACTUALLY CHANGE THINGS ON VEHICLES when developing prototypes! I know...crazy isn't it. Idiot. Get your facts straight before you open your mouth and 'prove' what everyone around you probably already knows.

I've been watching these PML Hi-Pa motors since they first mounted them on a mini cooper.

As far as not getting 600hp. They list each motor at 150hp with 500ft/lbs of torque. They get the 600 as a cumulative number 4x150=600. Real world they probably get a little less. What is important is this truck pulls 2000ft/lbs of torque. It could darn near tow a fully loaded bus.

When they debuted these in the mini cooper they got 0-60 times around 4.5 seconds, that's no joke even on a car that small, so the 600hp is a little more believable.

This is exciting stuff! I am not of the mindset that "the oilies control everything", and it sounds like there is some history of PMLs proving viability. Any overheating concerns?

Any thoughts on diesel from algae? Are the claims true that the algae or the process EATS CO2? I know there are some diesel cars obtaining 75 mpg. Maybe as a viable option until something like PMLs become commercially feasible?

if ford put such avehicle available they would'nt be able to build them fast enough.have 110 outlet it would be a contractors dream,come on mullaly give it a shot!

algae can produce ethanol at something like 100,000 gallons annually per acre per year as compared to corn which produces about 1,000 gallons per year per acre or something like that. right guys?

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