Hub drive vs chain drive BLDC motor: What's the difference

Electric scooters usually come available in two different types of powertrain options. While some electric scooters come available with hub motors, some are powered by chain drive BLDC motors. The hub motor is usually positioned at the centre of the rear wheel. In a chain drive motor, the power is transferred to the rear wheel via a set of chains and gears.

By: HT Auto Desk
| Updated on: 26 Jul 2022, 13:04 PM
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The belt drives power to the rear wheel in many electric motorcycles.
The belt drives power to the rear wheel in many electric motorcycles.

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Here are some fundamental differences between the hub motors and chain drive motors.

Hub drive motor - The hub motor is positioned at the centre of the rear wheel and rotates by drawing energy from the battery pack, and the wheel also rotates along with it. This type of motor has an advantage, where power output doesn't lose energy through the transmission system. Also, these types of electric motors come with fewer components that can break. In a nutshell, hub motors are simpler and more accessible in terms of functionality. On the other hand, these types of motors are heavier than chain drive motors, which increases the weight of the vehicle significantly.

Chain drive motor - Chain drive motors are usually used in electric motorcycles. These types of electric motors are compact compared to their hub drive counterparts. Also, they offer a specific speed, but that can be increased by changing the controller. In this type of motor, power is generated by the motor that is positioned at the centre of the electric motorcycle and channelled to the rear wheels through a belt that is rotated by a sprocket fitted to the motor. In this type of motor, power loss is higher than the hub drive motors as it uses a transmission and during the transmission, some energy is lost.

First Published Date: 26 Jul 2022, 13:04 PM IST
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