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While batteries are the popular focus for everyone when it comes to electric vehicles so most forget the other essential part, the motor. This is probably because the technology is complex and current electric motors produce ample power. Unfortunately that leads to the the lack of critical reviews of whether these motors are using that battery power efficiently. We all assume that they are amazingly efficient a using power – but is that really true?
Electric vehicles have a motor that replaces the internal combustion engine that coverts battery power to spin the wheels and directly power associated components. Based on research a modern electric motor for a vehicle can be made up of less than 20 parts where as an internal combustion engine requires at least 200 parts. Interestingly both don’t need computers to run in basic format but more computing power to required to make the electric motor run more efficiently.
There are all sorts of motors that are powered by electrical energy. I won’t go into AC Vs DC etc… and that vehicle motors are AC yet the battery is DC, or the metallurgy of cobalt, iron and nickel magnets or their composites or even radial flux, as this article is not Physics 101. However what is clear is that electric motors have been around for over 100 years with lots of developments in that time and just as many developments as the internal combustion engine.
There are many types and variations of electric motors that are in use today. So what types of electric motors are being used by cars and motorbikes in 2022? The most popular models namely Tesla and Nissan Leaf (leaves?) use the same but different motors. Note that each manufacturer has patented designs and materials that are not fully disclosed. However broadly, the common trait is that they use 3 Phase AC Synchronous Permanent Magnet motors. Note that Tesla uses both AC Induction and DC Permanent Magnet motors. In the future, motor reviewers may be forced to explain the motor type which would be hilarious for the older folk. That said it has taken 20 years for people to understand that Lithium-Ion batteries are currently (pun intended) are the best compromise of the rest…
So just like the many types of internal combustion engines for example: diesel vs petrol, naturally aspirated, turbo, multiple turbo, supercharges, turbo and supercharged, gas turbine, two stroke vs four stroke, 1 v 2,4,5 6 ,8 10,12 cylinders, Otto vas Atkins Vs Cross plane and Rotary. Nonetheless each has it’s pros and cons and time in the spotlight.
After my own research a statement or conclusion saying which is the best type or powerful or efficient electric motor is difficult answer – at the moment (2022). There is no simple or a simple black or white answer every normal person would like. I can only comment on what the latest trend and that the most popular choice is the 3 Phase AC Synchronous Permanent Magnet motor. If you understand what that entails than good for you…