What Type of Motors do EVs Use?

October 17th, 2022 by

Electric vehicles run on alternating current electric motors. The two main types of electric motors in EVs are synchronous and asynchronous motors.

View Luxury Electric Vehicle Inventory

By now, most people are aware that electric vehicles are powered by an electric battery rather than a gas engine. But what other components are at work inside of an EV? Electric vehicles have some things in common with traditional vehicles but differ in many ways as well.

In a traditional car, the engine converts energy from burning gasoline into power for the car. The process is different for an electric vehicle. Instead of converting gasoline into energy, an electric vehicle motor converts electricity from the battery directly into power for the car. So how, exactly, does that process work?

EV Motors Use the Same Type of ElectricityA red luxury electric car driving down a highway.

You are probably aware that there are two different types of electrical currents: Alternating Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC). 

When using DC, the electrical current flows continuously in one direction. As the name implies, an AC electrical current flows in two different directions, alternating at different times.

Your electric vehicle motor uses AC electricity to power the vehicle. Smaller electrical components in the car might use DC for some functions. But when it comes to powering the vehicle as a whole, AC is used.

Different Types of Electric Vehicle Motors

Just because all electric vehicles use the same type of electricity, it does not mean all EV motors are the same. There are a couple of different kinds of electric vehicle motors that get used in different models. These are synchronous and asynchronous motors. The names “synchronous” and “asynchronous” refer to the spin of a rotor in relation to the motor’s interior magnetic field.

Synchronous Motor

In synchronous motors, the rotor spins at the same speed (in sync) as the magnetic field. Synchronous motors are lighter than asynchronous motors and deliver more torque at lower speeds. 

While synchronous motors deliver less power output, they are great for city driving, where higher speeds are not often necessary.

Asynchronous Motor

In an asynchronous motor, the rotor spins slightly slower (out of sync) with the magnetic field. This method produces a higher overall power output than synchronous motors, which produces more horsepower and speed for the vehicle. However, asynchronous motors are also heavier than synchronous, which adds more weight to the vehicle. The high output of asynchronous motors makes them the preferred motor type for many EVs, regardless of the added weight.

Lifespan of Electric Vehicle Motors

We cannot say for sure how long most electric vehicles should last. This is simply because electric vehicles are still new, so most cars and their equipment have not run through their full life cycle yet.

With that said, manufacturers can give highly educated estimates about the presumed lifespan of EVs, their batteries, and their motors. With proper maintenance, you should expect your electric vehicle motor to last at least 15 years.

AC and DC Charging StationsLuxury Electric Vehicle Charging

If you are somewhat familiar with electric vehicle charging, you are likely aware of the different types of charging stations available. Level 1 and 2 chargers use alternating currents, while Level 3 chargers use direct currents. But if the car runs on AC power, how can it be charged with DC power?

When you charge your EV using a DC fast charging station, the car converts the DC into AC on its own. It does this using a component in the powertrain called an inverter. Inverters are used in many different types of electrical equipment to convert DC energy into AC.

Ray Catena Auto Group has the expertise to get you behind the wheel of the best luxury electric car for your lifestyle. Find your nearest dealership location or contact us today.

Learn more about electric cars: