Powerful rare earth permanent magnets (PMs) are generally utilized in in-wheel PM synchronous motors for electric city commuters. However, the use of rare earth PMs has become undesirable due to high prices. An in-wheel PM synchronous motor that does not employ rare earth PMs therefore needs to be developed. We have previously proposed an in-wheel axial-gap motor that can generate high torque density and has features such as a coreless rotor structure with ferrite PMs and a reduction gearbox inside the stator. Through further research, we confirmed that suppression of eddy current loss arising in the rotor is important for attaining higher efficiency in high output motors. Accordingly, here we introduce an improved rotor with slits which can suppress eddy current loss. The results of experiments on a new prototype show that the improved rotor is effective in producing high efficiency and can satisfy the properties demanded of the in-wheel motors for electric city commuters.