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What type of electric motor is used in electric cars?

Electric cars typically use AC induction motors or permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSMs). AC induction motors are simpler and less expensive, while PMSMs offer higher efficiency, power density, and torque density. Both types of motors are well-suited for electric vehicle applications.

The electric vehicle (EV) industry has seen significant growth in recent years, driven by technological advances, environmental concerns, and favorable government policies. One of the core components of every electric vehicle is the electric motor. This paper will explore the types of electric motors used in EVs, focusing on the two most commonly used motors: permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSM) and induction motors.

Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (PMSM)

PMSMs are widely used in electric vehicles due to their high efficiency, power density, and ease of control. As the name implies, these motors use permanent magnets on the rotor to generate a magnetic field that interacts with the stator electromagnetic field to produce torque and rotation.


  • High efficiency: PMSM offers a high power-to-weight ratio and excellent efficiency over a wide range of operating conditions.
  • Compact design: The use of permanent magnets in the rotor allows for a lighter, more compact design, which ultimately results in a smaller, lighter motor that facilitates vehicle weight reduction and packaging.
  • Precise control: precise torque and speed control are possible.

Induction motor

Induction motors, also known as asynchronous motors, are another common type of motor used in electric vehicles. Unlike PMSMs, induction motors do not have permanent magnets in the rotor. Instead, the rotor's magnetic field is induced by the stator's electromagnetic field, which creates a slip between the stator and rotor frequencies, resulting in torque.


  • Lower cost: Induction motors do not require expensive permanent magnets and are therefore often more cost-effective than PMSM.
  • Robustness: IMs have a simpler rotor structure, which makes them more robust and better suited to handle harsh environments and high-temperature conditions.
  • Regenerative braking: Induction motors can efficiently convert kinetic energy back into electrical energy during regenerative braking, thereby improving overall energy efficiency and extending range.


In summary, the two most common types of electric motors used in electric vehicles are permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSM) and induction motors (IM). The choice between these motor types ultimately depends on the specific requirements of the electric vehicle application, including factors such as driving range, performance, cost, and durability.

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