3 reasons why electric cars should be all-wheel drive

all wheel drive electric cars

Today, we discuss all wheel drive electric cars.

Environmental pollution and depletion of fossil fuels make the vehicle manufacturers think about alternative sources of energy for vehicles. Electricity is also considered an alternative fuel.

Electric vehicles started gaining momentum in the automotive market. World’s established vehicle manufacturers either started manufacturing or declared their plan to produce the electric vehicle in the near future.

All wheel drive electric cars are being developed to enhance the vehicle performance and to put them competitive to internal combustion engine vehicles.

A conventional vehicle has one set of power train that powers a pair of front or rear wheels. Most of the cars in the automotive industry are front wheels powered vehicle.

The engine is placed in the front of the car and the power is transferred to the front wheels to move the vehicle. (There are IC engine cars with back wheel drive – Eg. Tata Nano)

All wheel drive electric cars

All wheel drive electric cars provide independent control of the front and rear wheels. The common configuration of AWD electric vehicle uses two motors connected to a pair of front and rear wheels.

Based on the torque demand from the driver, ie. when the driver presses actuator pedal of the vehicle, vehicle control unit decides how to split torque among the two motors and delivers the energy to the wheels.

Conventional vehicles are 2 wheel drive cars use only one set of wheels to drive the vehicle, and the other set of wheels rotate as the vehicle moves.

All Wheel Drive vs. 4 Wheel Drive

All wheel drive cars and four-wheel drive cars are not the same. An all wheel drive electric car’s all wheels are powered by the electric motor.

Tesla Motors introduced dual motor all wheel drive for their cars. They use two motors and each motor connected to a pair of front and rear wheels to power the vehicle. Drive torque comes from all the wheels of the vehicle.

4 wheel drive is another technology where each wheel would be controlled independently and applied mainly to off-road vehicles. Construction of 4 wheel drive vehicle is more complicated and it makes the vehicle weigh more.

Why does Electric Vehicle Require AWD?

Advancements of power electronics made Electric vehicle drive control easy. Demand for customer satisfaction and vehicle efficiency improvements kick-started implementing innovative technologies in an electric vehicle. All wheel drive electric cars are being developed to achieve the same.

Reason #1: All wheel drive electric cars save energy at light load

All wheel drive electric cars have more than one motors whose ratings are less than that of a car with a single motor. At light load, the motors can be run at the maximum efficiency region.

Hence it reduces the loss in the vehicle and improves range of the car.

Reason #2: All wheel drive electric cars improve user experience

The additional motor in an AWD electric car powers it whenever necessary. High acceleration, extra torque when vehicle climbs up, etc. would improve user experience in an AWD electric vehicle.

Reason #3: To show that an electric car is superior to internal combustion engine vehicle

Electric vehicles are now developing and competitive with conventional vehicles. Innovative technology addition in EVs increases the user’s confidence to use electric vehicles.


All wheel drive electric cars are being developed by manufacturers since they have advantages over normal electric cars. Control and development of all wheel drive electric car is complicated than two-wheel drive electric cars. Two parallel power trains which could power the vehicle together or independently in all wheel drive electric cars.

Key points

  • Conventional vehicles and most of the electric cars are two-wheel drive vehicles
  • 4 wheel drive vehicles are generally off-road vehicles
  • All wheel drive electric cars have advantages

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1 Comment

  1. Alot of people are converting their off road vehicles into electric which is a good idea to me I’m looking out to see more diy coming on board doing their own jeep into electric not waiting on Chrysler to come with 4xe plugin jeep. Mahindra electric should also come up with their version of off road electric vehicles suv and Roxor off road I’m also putting together all the information i can by combining knowledge and ideas together that when the time is right I will also like to convert an off road vehicle into electric, electrification style.

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