This guide explains everything you need to know about electric scooter motors.
Electric Scooter Motors
The DC electric motor is the powerplant of your electric scooter. It determines top speed, acceleration, hill climbing ability, power consumption, and performance with a heavier rider. All electric scooters have at least motor, while high performance scooters will have two.
Nearly all electric scooters you look at will have a motor power rating that is given in units of watts. A watt is a measure of power equivalent to joules per second or energy per second.
A higher motor watt rating, in general, means the motor will accelerate more quickly, carry more rider weight, and climb steeper hills.
What are motor watts?
The motor watts or wattage indicates how much power the motor is capable of consuming.
Noticed that we use the word consume and not produce (more on this later). A motor with high watt rating will be able to consume a lot of energy in a short amount of time. The more energy a motor consumes, the more mechanical power it will produces.
One thing to note: not all motors are created equal and motor power (watts) doesn’t exactly tell the whole story. For example, two motors could be rated for 250 W. This means they can both consume 250 W of electrical power, but it doesn’t mean they are equally efficient and produce the same mechanical power. This is because motor power doesn’t capture how efficient the motor and no manufacturer currently reports that figure.
Are motor watts useful for comparing electric scooter performance?
In general, motor power (watts) are a good way to compare the performance of different electric scooters. The scooter with a higher power rated motor should accelerate faster and carry heavier loads.
However, as we mentioned before, they don’t tell you about the motor efficiency. As such, we recommend that you consider it a useful measure to coarsely compare scooter performance.
What is the difference between peak vs sustained (or continuous) motor power (watts)?
Peak power refers to the maximum amount of power the motor can consume for a short period of time. It is not the most useful measure for comparing electric scooters because its impact on performance is .
Additionally, peak power is often 2 – 5X greater than continuous power. Some manufacturers quote the peak power of their electric scooter as a way to boost their stats.
Sustained or continuous power is the maximum amount of power the motor can consume indefinitely. Continuous power is what we (and most others) are referring to when we quote specs for “motor power” or “motor watts.” This is the most useful measure for comparing motor performance among electric scooters.
What are the difference between brushless DC motors (BLDC) and brushed DC motors?
Brushless DC (BLDC) motors is newer a technology that are better than brushed motors. BLDC motors are more efficient, have better power-to-weight, and are more durable. Most quality electric scooters will have them.
Brushed motors are an older form of motor technology that has mechanical brushes that drag along the inside of the motor to alternatively power different coil phases. In a BLDC, this mechanical component is replaced by digital switching circuitry that alternatively powers different coils in the motor.
Learn more: keep on reading!
For more technical information see our definitive guide to electric scooters.