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  • Writer's pictureDhairya Gupta

Different types of Motors used in Electric Scooters

The electric scooters provide many advantages for mobility, particularly in a crowded city. They are efficient, easy to use, and, mainly, safe for our mother Earth. The electric scooter industry has observed great growth over the previous few years, with potent electric scooters giving continuous mobility and smooth rides.

A Girl on an Electric Scooter

The primary components of an electric scooter are:

  1. Electric Motor: Its like Engine of the Electric Scooter which drive it

  2. Battery: It supplies Electric Power to the Electric Motor

  3. Motor Controller: It controls the power being supplied to the motor based on throttle input

  4. Battery Charger: Charges the Battery

  5. Converter: Converts the battery power to lower voltage to run auxilliaries like lights and horn

The motor brings power from the battery and helps in the working of the electric scooter.

The DC electric motor is the "Engine" of your electric scooter. Motor Controller is the "CPU" of an electric scooter, it controls the speed, acceleration, power consumption, and performance.

Through this article we will educate you about different types of electric motors used in electric scooters as per their requirement.

Different types of motors used in electric scooters

Brushless Direct Current Motor (BLDC)

Its the most common type of electric motor found in electric scooters. A BLDC motor offers better control mechanisms and performance during its operation. It has better efficiency and power density, which make it easy to use in electric scooters, by decreasing losses which ultimately helps in increasing the driving range of vehicles. Like a DC motor, a BLDC motor has two parts - a rotor and a stator. The rotor is the rotating segment of the motor that rotates the electric scooter and is made from a permanent magnet. The stator is the stationary segment of the motor and is made from copper winding to make artificial magnet poles by proving current.

A Typical BLDC Hub Motor
A Typical BLDC Hub Motor

The BLDC motors work on the principle that opposite poles of a magnet attract each other. A sensor known as a hall sensor is there with the stator, which senses the location of the poles of the rotor., It gives a signal to the motor controller to make the opposite pole active in the stator by providing current to that particular winding. This method continues, in which the rotor is made to chase the stator winding continuously, thus, providing a rotating action to the rotor.

Advantages of BLDC motor:

  • This motor is compact

  • Strong because of the absence of brush

  • Can provide regenerative braking

  • It has precise speed control and better torque, which makes it suitable for electric vehicles.

But, it needs a hall sensor and, its placement on the stator should be an accurate work.

BLDC motor is used in Hero Electric Electric Scooters, TVS iQube, Simple One, Bounce Infinity, Jitendra Electric Vehicle, Komaki Electric Pvt. Ltd, Gemopai electric scooters.

Brushed DC Motors

Brushed DC Motors are the oldest technology Motors, which were used in the 1800s. They were among the first commercial application motors, required for transforming electrical energy to mechanical energy. These motors have been used for about 140 years, both in commercial and industrial sectors.

Photo of a Brushed DC Motor
Brushed DC Motor

This motor's brushes drag along the interior of the motor, alternately powering various coil phases and producing motion. With the brushed DC motor, over excess use, the brushes begin to wear off because of friction, resulting in voltage irregularities that can be hazardous. Voltage irregularities are also determined by the types of batteries of the electric vehicles in which they are used.

Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor

Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (PMSM) is the most commonly used motor in electric vehicles owing to its high power density, greater efficiency, and absence of torque ripple, as compared with the other types of motors used in electric scooters. Because of these factors, less noise is there during operation. Due to its lack of torque ripples, it is also used in four-wheelers. PMSM motor is used by Ampere Electric, Tata Nexon, Ather (in Ather 450x), Mahindra XUV 400, Tata Tiago, and MG Comet.

Photo of Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (PMSM) Motor of Ather 450X
Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (PMSM) in 450X with Belt Drive

The PMSM Motor has a permanent magnet, which is made up of neodymium-boron-iron on the rotor and winding on the stator. PMSM is categorized as surface-mounted and interior PMSM depending on the magnet kept in the rotor. Interior PMSM is stronger and is used in high-speed applications. PMSM motor is operated by an AC power source, not by a BLDC motor. When 3-phase AC power is provided to the stator, a rotating magnetic field is generated inside the stator. The stable magnetic field generated by the permanent magnet is synchronized with the stator magnet, which rotates.

Synchronous Reluctance Motor

The synchronous reluctance motor does not need any permanent magnets on its rotor, thus making it less costly in comparison with the motor having a permanent magnet in its rotor. The absence of winding on the rotor decreases copper losses. This makes the motor more efficient than the induction motor. The rotor has a steel core with salient poles and does not have any electrical windings.

Photo of a Switched Reluctance Motor (SRM)
Switched Reluctance Motor (SRM)

A synchronous reluctance motor works on the concept of magnetic reluctance. The magnetic flux chooses the path that has the lowest magnetic reluctance. The stator's magnetic flux chooses this path with the lowest magnetic reluctance path. The poles are formed in the rotors, which are interlocked with the stator rotating magnetic field. But, because of the inertia of the rotor and hysteresis effects, this motor is not self-starting. Thus, a particular electronic circuit is created to make this motor self-starting. The synchronous reluctance motor motor operates at synchronous speed Therefore, it is useful in electric vehicles requiring high speeds.

Tesla is one of the top companies that uses synchronous reluctance motors in their electric vehicles. These motors are often bulky, a little noisy and require complex power electronics making them expensive to manufacture. That is why they are not often used in electric scooters

About the motors used in electric scooters

Power of electric scooter motors

The motor rating of all-electric vehicles is there in watts. Watts is a measure of power as energy per second or joules per second. Motor power means, how much power a motor is capable of utilizing.

Thus, a better-wattage motor will take in more energy in less time in comparison with a motor with low wattage. The more energy a motor will take in, the more power it can generate in actuality. A more-watt rating motor will have greater acceleration.

There are rules with respect to wattage of electric motors. For e.g. is an electric scooter has a 250W (or less) motor and it's top speed it limited to 25 kmph, it is regarded as low-speed electric scooter and does not require a license and registration to operate. Most electric scooters, specially from manufacturers like Hero Electric, Okinawa come with an electric motor of 1000W and performance electric scooters can have upto 4,500 W motors.

Torque of electric scooter motors

The unit for measuring torque is Newton-metre. Torque is the twisting force generated by the motor. The wheels of a machine rotate because of the torque generated, and which develops forward momentum.Torque can also be found in the ratio of power produced by the motor and the maximum number of revolutions per second.

Torque = force * radius

This is where electric scooters beat ICE Scooters. In an electric motor, entire torque is available at zero RPM. What it means is, as soon as you give the throttle in an electric scooter, it's initial acceleration would be faster than a petrol scooter upto a certain speed. An electric scooter is usually faster off the line than a similarly priced and equivalent petrol scooter.

Performance of electric scooter motors

An electric scooter with a powerful motor is stronger. Peak power is the type of power that a motor can generate in a short period of time. Continuous power is the type of power that the electric vehicle can take in over a long period of time. An electric scooter with higher peak power would accelerate faster and the one with higher continuous power would be able to hold speeds better. Needless to say higher power comes at cost of lower range. A well designed electric scooter is the one which can hold city speeds comfortably without compromising on range.

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