What Type of Motor Is Used in EVs?

Electric Motor

Have you ever wondered about the propulsion of an EV? Let us look at it for a while.

When the driver of an EV presses the accelerator, the car’s battery sends electricity to the stator, forcing the rotor to move and as a result, providing mechanical energy to turn the car’s gears. When the gears turn, the wheels turn as well. All of this happens in the blink of an eye, and without the use of any fossil fuels.

What Type of Motor Is Used in EVs?

What are the types of electric car motors and how do they run?

AC & DC EV Motors

The two types of electric flow are alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC). Direct current, as the name implies, is when an electric charge flows in only one direction, whereas alternating current alternately reverses direction.

Direct current motors can be found in an electric vehicle, but only as small, micro motors used for things like windscreen wipers and electric windows, not to operate the vehicle itself. An electric vehicle’s traction is provided by an alternate current motor.

Asynchronous V/S Synchronous Electric Motors

To generate traction for an electric vehicle, two types of AC electric motors are used: asynchronous (also known as induction) and synchronous.

In an asynchronous, or induction, motor, the rotor is dragged into a spin, continually attempting to “catch up” with the stator’s revolving magnetic field. This type of electric car motor is well-known for its high power output and is widely used in automobiles.

In contrast, in a synchronous motor, the rotor rotates at the same rate as the magnetic field. This engine produces a lot of torque at a low speed, making it perfect for city driving. Another advantage is its small size: synchronous electric car motors can be small and light.

From Where Does The Electric Motor Get Its Power?

The electricity required by your asynchronous or synchronous electric car motor must pass through various stages before arriving at its final destination as traction.

Don’t mix up alternating current electric car motors with other sorts of electric, which can utilise either alternating or direct current depending on whether you plug into the grid or a specific type of charging station. While your electric car’s motor runs on alternating current (AC), the battery requires direct current (DC). Conversion from alternate to direct current is thus required, either onboard or outside the vehicle.

Grid power is always alternating current (AC). This is then sent through the onboard charger of your electric car (picture it as an AC to DC converter), which supplies power to the battery.

However, rapid charging stations found on highways, parking lots, and city streets do the AC to DC conversion process itself, ensuring that the energy for the battery arrives directly into the automobile as direct current. They are faster than AC power outlets but take up significantly more space.

How does the car then turn DC into AC for its motor? Using an inverter, a device in the powertrain…

The EV’s Powertrain

The electric motor is only one component of the powertrain in an electric vehicle. The Power Electronic Controller (PEC) controls the electronics that manage the motor’s power supply and battery charging, as well as the gear motor, which modulates the torque (turning force) and rotational speed.

Constructing the various components of an EV motor necessitates considerable skill. “To make a stator, for example, we had to figure out how to wound 2 kilometres of copper wire into little grooves in sheet metal without breaking the insulating ceramic that covers them,” explains Renault supervisor Tatiana Sueur.

Powertrain efficiency is continually being enhanced, as evidenced by Renault’s technical breakthroughs within ZOE’s powertrain unit, resulting in increased overall vehicle performance and the addition of new features.

Life Expectancy Of EV Motors

The life expectancy of an electric car motor is difficult to predict because it is dependent on so many variables. It has been suggested that the optimal lifespan in ideal settings is approximately 15-20 years. An electric car motor has fewer parts than a combustion engine, which means less and easier maintenance.

What’s The Output Of An EV?

When it comes to an electric vehicle, power output involves the difference between the electricity delivered (input) and the “useful” mechanical energy that drives the motor (output), a ratio known as energy conversion efficiency. Heat and friction can cause some of this power to be lost along the way, meaning the motor doesn’t benefit from all of the electricity coming from the battery of the electric car.

The power output of an electric car depends on the volume of its motor and the wattage of the incoming current. 

In Hybrid EVs, What Kind Of Motor Is Used?

A hybrid electric vehicle employs both an internal combustion engine and an alternating current (AC) motor powered by a battery. Historically, hybrid vehicle batteries could only be recharged by regenerative braking or slowing, implying that the combustion engine did the majority of the work.

However, a new hybrid vehicle is now available: the Plug-in Hybrid Electric. For the best of both worlds, some vehicles, such as the Renault Captur E-TECH Plug-in, include a dedicated charging connection, two electric motors, and a combustion-powered engine.


Now that you have a basic idea of the workings of an EV, and the motors used to propel them, in the next post we will discuss and elaborate on the motors and power train specifically.