1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What type of motor for an electric scooter?

  1. Jan 22, 2009 #1
    What type of motor for an electric scooter!?

    Im trying to build an electric scooter for my physics for engineers class.
    I'm having trouble decidin on using AC or DC motors
    it needs to be battery powered.
    does anyone have advice?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 22, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Re: What type of motor for an electric scooter!?

    Batteries provide DC power so it would seem reasonable to select a DC motor to keep complexity and cost down.

  4. Jan 23, 2009 #3
    Re: What type of motor for an electric scooter!?

    I agree, DC motor is probably the simplest option in this case. As for sizing it, download this application from MAXON motors, pretty cool:
    You could probably buy and entire system from them, although it will cost you;) But at least you should get an idea of what size of motor and gearbox you need. For power go for lithium-ion batteries which have a very high energy density, so longest range for your scooter.
    If you are good in power electronics, you can make a re-gen braking system to charge your batteries back up instead of wasting all your kinetic energy as heat;)
  5. Jan 25, 2009 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: What type of motor for an electric scooter!?

    Agreed... DC is the way to go. You would waste a huge amount of energy if you ran your batteries through an inverter to get AC. I have a few 12VDC motors from wheelchairs that put out 1/2 HP. That should be plenty for a scooter, and remember that you can alter your gearing for max torque or speed.
  6. Jan 25, 2009 #5
    Re: What type of motor for an electric scooter!?

    There are a lot of motors out there. One for almost any application. Personal electric transportation gadgets tend to be limited by available storage capacity, not the motor.
    Since your ability to take power with you wil define the range, and usefulness of the thing you should start your design pocess with the battery. When you've found the best battery you can get, then go looking for a motor that's stout enough to take you down the road.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook