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Local Motors, a U.S. leader in the design, manufacturing, and deployment of autonomous vehicles, and Protean Electric, a manufacturer of in-wheel motor technology for passenger cars, light commercial vehicles and future transport solutions, have expanded their long-standing partnership, inking a further three-year deal valued at $7.3 million.

Under this new order, Protean Electric will deliver thousands of its ProteanDrive in-wheel motors (IWMs) to power Local Motors’ Olli 2.0 electric autonomous shuttles, accelerating the rollout of driverless vehicles around the world.

Protean is a subsidiary of National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) and part of China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group

The Olli autonomous shuttle is in use today on campuses and city streets in the Americas, Europe and Asia. 

The ProteanDrive in-wheel motors also allow Local Motors to maximise passenger space, vehicle range, and platform reliability while reaping the cost benefits delivered by this best-in-class electric wheel technology.

Vikrant Aggarwal, President of Local Motors, says: “Now in live deployments around the world, Olli is truly changing the way that we look at transportation, providing a smart, safe, sustainable option for getting around,. One of the keys in driving broad-scale adoption of electric autonomous vehicles is delivering an exceptional passenger experience, and the ProteanDrive in-wheel motors play a huge role in that experience, providing a smooth, quiet, and reliable ride while allowing us to optimise vehicle design to better address real-world use cases.”

Andrew Whitehead, CEO, Protean Electric, adds: “We are thrilled to be building on our alliance with Local Motors, enabling them to rapidly scale deployments of Olli 2.0,” . This new deal not only reinforces Local Motors’ commitment to the ProteanDrive IWM solution but offers important industry validation that the technology is mature, reliable, scalable, and delivers the cost and performance needed to address the massive acceleration in electric vehicle adoption.”


Globally Protean Electric has over 200 patents (and 120 patents pending) across 75 patent families with operations in the United Kingdom, China and the USA.

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