Understanding the Types of Electric Motors Available for Electric Vehicles

May 21, 2024
There are four main types of electric motors used in electric vehicles, each of which features specific design characteristics to suit various application requirements.

Electric motors are a key component of electric vehicles as they help power the various systems within these vehicles. As electric vehicle designs have evolved in recent years, so too have the types of motors available in the market.

“There's a broad range of potential design topologies available,” said Eric Berndt, Mobility & Electrification Technologies Specialist at Schaeffler.

He said there are four main types of electric motors used in emobility applications:

  • brushless DC motors
  • asynchronous motors
  • switch reluctance motors and
  • permanent magnet motors.

Each electric motor (also referred to as emachines) has its own unique design characteristics which can benefit various types of applications. Understanding the differences between these motor types and the applications for which each is best suited will ensure the right option is selected for a given electric vehicle design.

In this interview with Power & Motion, Berndt outlines the design features of each electric motor type as well as important factors to consider when selecting a motor for an emobility application.

About the Author

Sara Jensen | Executive Editor, Power & Motion

Sara Jensen is executive editor of Power & Motion, directing expanded coverage into the modern fluid power space, as well as mechatronic and smart technologies. She has over 15 years of publishing experience. Prior to Power & Motion she spent 11 years with a trade publication for engineers of heavy-duty equipment, the last 3 of which were as the editor and brand lead. Over the course of her time in the B2B industry, Sara has gained an extensive knowledge of various heavy-duty equipment industries — including construction, agriculture, mining and on-road trucks —along with the systems and market trends which impact them such as fluid power and electronic motion control technologies. 

You can follow Sara and Power & Motion via the following social media handles:

X (formerly Twitter): @TechnlgyEditor and @PowerMotionTech

LinkedIn: @SaraJensen and @Power&Motion

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