How Do Ebike Motors Work? Let’s know Elaborately!

E-bikes are the most popular option to hit a long or tough riding for all-ages cyclists. These popular vehicles are a great combination of worth the price & an advanced level of fun enjoyment.

Let’s come to the point. Before making a decision of purchasing a super-speed e-bike, which question will knock you the most? The bike motor! Therefore, it mandatory to know details about the ebike motor and how do ebike motors work!

An E-bike motor is the responsible thing, propel the rider up or through smoothly on rough or obstacles added terrain.  Certainly, the bike motor will give you the required stamina to make all impossible riding possible.

We also make impossible matters possible here. We also tried to fit ourselves with the up-growing e-bike industry so that we could know good about bike motors and let you know the working mechanism of this precise ebike parts.

In Our Today’s Guide,

We will make a clear discussion over-

  • How Do Ebike Motors Work
  • Types of Electric Bike Motors
  • Which Motor Type is Best for the Ebike?
  • What Is Power Ratings?
  • Understanding the Sensor Type & Throttle

Let’s stop all ado, and move forward-

How Do ebike Motor Works – At A Glance!!

There are two main things that are responsible to force the electric motor to work. One is an electric current and the other is a magnetic field. However, a magnetic field is created by a coil of wire that is wrapped around a metal core. This wire is connected to a battery. The movement of the wire as it cuts through the magnetic field creates an electromagnetic force on the metal core, which then causes a rotating motion. E-bike also works in this same manner.

There are three steps to making an electric motor work. Before explaining each step, let’s me tell which metal parts are working behind a working e-bike motor!

How Do ebike Motor Works

The following things are all about behind an e-bike motor work!

  1. A Magnet
  2. A Loop Of Wire
  3. Map To Wrap Around The Magnet
  4. A Battery
  • Creating an Electric Current: The first step of making an electric motor work is to create an electric current. In order to do this, there must be a loop of wire that runs through a magnetic field. The loop of wire will generate electricity as it enters and exits the magnetic field.
  • Magnetic field creation: The second step is to create a magnetic field. To do this, you need more coils wrapped around the magnet.  Then you need to connect the coil to the electric source. Next is, turning on the current, so that it can excite the two coils to generate a magnetic field.
  • Spinning the Brush or Outer Body: This stage proceeds by rotating an electric coil with a magnetic field in a circular motion. That makes the coil spin and turn a shaft, which transmits the work to another device such as a fan, drill, compressor, ebike wheel, etc.

How Do Ebike Motors Work? – Briefly Describe

Simply if i say, an ebike motor works once you turn on the motor switch while you are pedaling to run the ebike wheel. Depending on the torque sensor activity, it assist to the pedaling. If you push harder on the pedal, the torque sense more.That means you are in a need of more motor power for a smooth driving.

How do electric bicycles dominate the road with their electric bike motor? How does the motor work to provide electric power to assist the pedal?

To understand the performance of the Electric Bicycle Motors, you have to know the main three components of an ebike. Among the THREE  key components, Electric Motor is the major one that makes the regular bike an electric bike.

In the meanwhile, let me tell you about another two components; the battery and the display. The battery provides power to the motor, and the display panel helps to measure the amount of speed the user needs or wants. However,lets understand the working mechanism of the electric bike in the following phases-

How Do Ebike Motors Work

Phase 1:

Let’s speak from the fundamental Level-What does an electric motor do? They convert the electric energy to make it mechanical energy. The mechanical energy helps to create the magnetic field, which further allows the shaft to spin and to sense on the Torque Sensor. It is a very basic matter.

Phase 2:

Ebike features the Brushless DC Motors (BLDC Motors).  As these motors are brushless, so unlike the older motors they don’t alter the direction of the current flow (towards the motor). For more than a decade, brushless motors become more efficient and more standard compared with all brush motors.

These motors have Permanent Magnets with Electromagnet fields which works combined to convert Electric Energy into Mechanical Energy. BLDC motors are full of a bunch of wires which usually works as the Electro-Magnet Field for further work.  This circular wire is also called the Stator. And another orientation of the wire depends on the Stator called the Rotor.

Phase 3:

And to understand how e bike motors work, you have to understand the Stator and the Rotor. When the battery provides current to an electric motor, the insider electromagnet of the stator repels and causes spin to the Permanent Magnet of the Rotor.The Stator is added with a Shaft that generates Torque. And you might know already that the Torque is everything to assist the pedal to run the bike.

Get to Know Better: How Does an E-bike Hub Motor Work?

Types of Electric Bike Motors

Two types of motors are greatly popular in the bike industry. One is Wheel Motor (Hub Motor), and another one is mid-drive or Centre drive. Though most customer opinion goes to Centre drive we never saw particular one bears dominating quality among another one. Both these two motors have advantages and disadvantages.

Types of Electric Bike Motors

1. Wheel Motor or Hub Motor

It is most common motor types nowadays. Comparatively these motors are cheaper with more flexibility to provide the power to the bike pedal. Instead of driving the crank, the Wheel motor drives the Wheel, so if the pedals are not moving, the Wheel motor will turn the Wheels which will help to move the bike.

Wheel Motor or Hub Motor

The disadvantage of this type of motor is an uneven turning of the Wheels, for which the user may feel less smooth power distribution on the leg.

2. The Centre Drive Motor or the Mid Drive Motor

This is present at the cranks of the bike. These battery types are smoother and offer good performance compared with the Wheel Motor. Users also feel a good weight distribution over their bike if the bike is run using a Mid Drive motor.

The Centre Drive Motor or the Mid Drive Motor

Compared with the hub motors, Mid Drive motors are more powerful. The power ratings for the Mid Drive Batteries are-50Nm to 80Nm (Of Torque). E-bike with an advanced parts combination, obviously run with this type of motor. These motors not only make the engine long life span, but it also offers better equipment set up for the user.

The only disadvantage of this motor type is-it is pricy a bit! However, Hub motor again could be a Direct Drive Hub Motors or Geared Hub Motors.

3. Friction Motors

Friction motors also are popular due to the cost-efficiency compared with both the Hub and the mid-drive Motors. The cyclist who wants to convert his/her traditional bike as an Electric Motor Bike can use this motor purchasing at a low price.

Friction Motors

In the friction motor system, the user gets a small wheel with the small-bolt motor drive with some additional kit packed in the kit pack. The small wheel can usually place on the chain Stay or the Seat Stays. So what the small wheel does is, spin the tire, and push the bike to run forward. As a result, here the term indicates the friction comes from the tire (increase the tire wire).

Friction motors are only we suggest for the regular bike user who wants to afford relatively a cheap amount. In all new e-bikes, you will rarely find a friction motor. Friction motors are cumbersome and are comparatively less efficient.

Which Motor Type is Best for your Ebike?

Which motor type is best and which one do we suggest for the electric bike? It mostly depends on the types of Ebike and terrain you’re going to ride on. Deciding one suitable one among the Hub-Driven or Mid Drive system is depending on the priority you are giving on your electric bike.

Which Motor Type is Best for your Ebike

A mid-drive motor is suggested for the bike which is prone to climb on a hill. As Hub Motors are featured Low-Speed-Climbing and they cannot spin properly at the Optimal RPM, therefore mid-drive motor systems are the on-the-go motor for all E-Mountain Bikes.

Mid Drive motor also has another advantage that is, the user can change the tire relatively easily as there is no need for wiring of the Frame & the Hub, so the user can run fast.

Weinert says- “If you’re cruising uphill at low speed and the motor is spinning at low speed as well, you’re turning a lot of that power into heat rather than forward motion,” (www.bicycling.com,)

Hub Motors are cheaper and they don’t break down the bike chain (the operating system is at the outside of the Bike Chain Drive). But these motors add extra weight (bigger, also needs larger batteries). And when the user needs to change the tires, it creates hassles (need to wiring in between the motor and the power).

So if you are using an e-mountain bike, obviously expert opinion will go to the mid-drive motor system. And for the flat terrain rider, the hub motor won’t depress the cyclists more!

Can You Make Your Electric Bike Motor?

Yes, you can if you don’t mind getting busy make dirty your hands. You can move on technical DIY to retrofit your traditional bike using a motor (Hub Motor/ Mid-Drive System). At first select the type of motor, Battery type with the Pedal Assist Mode. After than fit all of these parts into your aftermarket e-bike motor kits to set the total motor system.

If you successfully can finish this DIY set-up, it will save your cost and will peace your mind!

What Is Power Ratings?

Users need to know what does the Power Ratings mean because they need to understand the Rated Power. Universal truth is, the motor’s actual power is never the same with the max output the motor need to be maximum potential. The Power Rating for an e-bike is defined as How Much Your Electric Bikes Are Getting for a fixed time set.

These fixed time set ranges are the peak power duration and which ranges in between motor can work at the peak power of 750W only for 1 to 2 seconds!

Power actually what is? Power is the measurement of how your electric motor works quickly at the peak power at rated duration. Yes, we express the motor power by Watt. If you could understand how fast your motor is spinning, you can get the power.

Power will be in that case= Torque x RM (rotational speed of the motor).

If you want to elaborately understand the max power coming from your electric bike motors, you can see the manufacturing details. In the manufacturing list, you will find the voltage the amperage features on your motor. Suppose your electric motor is rated by 52 volts and 75 amp,

In that case, the power will be=53volt x 20Amp=1,040Watt.

But if your motor is brushless, it will never be 100% efficient. And for this, you will never get the 1040-watt power from your motor. Suppose your motor is 75% efficient, in that case, our mathematics says, you will get 750watt power to move forward.

Understanding the Sensor Type & Throttle

Two more things we are going to include here all-electric bikers should know in detail. And knowing these two-term will affect a long-term electric bike riding experience for each rider.

Sensor Type:

Sensor type determines the level of power you need or want from your electric bike. Based on the input from the user end, a sensor works to determine the speed of the pedal-assist.

A sensor is helpful to offer a better riding experience. Also if offer a faster riding too. As a sensor works based on the cadence of pedaling, so when your bike needs faster pedaling, your sensor will speed it up.

ebike Sensor Type

Speed sensors are most popular nowadays for the Hub motor-type electric bikes.  They will sense your bike speed. And to go faster you have to speed up your pedal.

However, another sensor term is the Torque sensor which is usually added to determine the motor torque amount. So in that case if you want to go faster, you have to focus on your pedal, you have to harder your pedal.

The torque sensor is usually perfect for the Mid-Drive Motor System. That is, if you are an e-mountain biker, you need to use a torque sensor to sense how harder you are running your pedal is.

Throttle:

Do you need a throttle on your electric bike? To know this, you have to know at first why do you need a throttle on your pedal assist bike. Having a throttle on your Pedelec will allow you to ride the bike without pedaling.  However, the throttle is a matter of the rider’s performance and street law approval.

Class 1 e-bikes are pedal-assist, Class 2 electric bikes are both pedal assist and throttle. And the remaining class 3 electric bikes are the extreme speed provider that is almost 28mph, but whether your Class 3 ebikes can have the throttle or not, will solely depend on your performance and the l .

What you need to do is, checking the street law very carefully, before purchasing any class ebike with or without throttle with the set mph.

Finally

we have come to the endpoint of our today’s discussion. If you have read our full article with your full concentration, we think you are now well-equipped with the electric bike motor’s knowledge.

Knowing clearly how do ebike motors work usually helps each bike user to choose the right bike equipped with the right motors accordingly.

Please drop your valuable comment regarding anything related to our content.

Rudy Johnson

Rudy Johnson is the owner and main author of this site, BikeGlossary. Basically, he’s an engineer and researcher. He has Electrical and Electronics Engineering(EEE) degree in his bachelor's and master's. Besides, he also does product research on different electronics and electric products to share different findings with people. Rudy has a team consisting of 3 members who are also closely working with him.
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