In-Wheel motors have not taken the dominant role in the electric vehicle industry yet. For example Audi has been playing with four of these motors on their concept car, some buses are equiped with these motors from the Dutch E-Traction, but none of it has taken main stage yet. The Protean In-Wheel Motor
What I liked about this article is the system described in case of failure; there are a few backups in the form of paralel motors. This ensures you can get home even in the unlikely event of a motor failure. On top of that, Protean opening up a factory in China to produce 50.000 of these motors per year is a nice outlook to encounter more of this technology in an electric vehicle soon.
Protean Electric looks to revolutionize electric cars with in-wheel motors http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2012/07/18/protean-electric-looks-to-revolutionize-electric-cars-with-in-wheel-motors/
Protean’s innovative design packages the stationary, permanent magnet at the center of the device while the rotor is on the outside, making it easier for the wheel to be directly attached. Inverters and power electronics are housed between the two, rather than in a remote unit, further simplifying and reducing the weight of the complete system. Each motor is made up of between four and eight parallel submotors, so in the event that one fails the unit can continue to operate until it is serviced.
Pretty cool, right?