How Electric Wheel Hub Motors Work

Written by andrea stein
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How Electric Wheel Hub Motors Work
An electric wheel hub motor incorporates an electric motor in the hub of the wheel. (bike image by saied shahinkiya from

Electric motors convert electrical energy into mechanical energy, or the sum of the kinetic and potential energy available via the mechanical components of the motor. Electric wheel hub motors are commonly used in electric bicycles.


Electric wheel hub motors, also called wheel hub drives, wheel motors and hub motors, contain the electric motor within the wheel hub, or central part of the wheel. The electric motor physically drives the wheel, or enables it to turn.


Electric wheel hub motors house a coil, or stationary winding. Current flowing through the coil generates an electromagnetic field. The field attracts the outer part of the motor, which attempts to follow it, thereby turning the connected wheel.

Brushed Electric Wheel Hub Motor

Brushed electric wheel hub motors contain brushes, or devices that conduct current between moving motor components and stationary wires via a rotating shaft. This electric energy transfer eliminates the need for physical contact between moving and stationary electric wheel hub motor parts.

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