What is the Secret of an Electric Skateboard Motor?
Choosing the right electric skateboard motor is essential for fun rides and performance.
Nobody wants to end up with a gorgeous piece of junk that can’t carry its weight. If we care about the aesthetics, the manufacturers know how to appeal to that side of us – but we want all the power that the skateboard can give us too!
This is why we’ve taken time to look at an e-skateboard motor, its essential points, and what you could get in the market.
Table of Contents
Electric Skateboard Motor Configuration
We’ll go right ahead and say it.
Whether you’re building your electric skateboard or buying one already made, there are clear differences between what is available and what they can do for you.
What you need to know here is about the power delivered using a dual-motor or a single one.
As you can infer, dual electric skateboard motors are a combination of two (2) single ones; with the same power and characteristics.
They come in belt-drive or hub configuration. More detail will be discussed in the next section.
Power and torque are also crucial differences between each class.
Belt-driven ones will require more battery energy to power their motor size.
Ironically, some buyers realize later that they don’t need all the power a dual motor delivers.
For one, weight is essential when choosing the right power in your motors. This is more important when skating uphill.
Users who don’t tip the scales at a high weight level can settle for single motors and think that will be fine.
It is rare to see electric skateboards with only one motor.
Demeras Single Skateboard Motor
✅: 350w of single power motor with a 25km/h maximum speed.
X: Only suitable for e-board that are less than 910 mm wide.
XiAOLL Brushless Wheel Motor
✅: 250w that can reach 20km/h maximum speed. Not bad for a single motor.
X: It is only the motor, so you might need to buy the other parts to transform your board.
Vikye 36V Brushless Hub Motor
✅ It is a good option for a beginner that requires low power (150w) and still reaches 15km/h.
X: 70mm diameter, which is okay but will give low ground clearance.
As far as we know, only Liftboard has a single motor configuration. Based on what some users say, the efficiency is not bad.
The main reason is that it will feel and drive slowly when you are on flat ground, but you’ll start to feel the lack of power going uphill.
One positive thing about them is their lower overall weight than the dual ones. Besides, that would be less maintenance in the long run.
E-Skateboard Motors Types
We will consider two (2) e-Skate motors here: hub and belt drive.
More motors have come up in the market (like the direct drive – a form of hub drive – and gear drive models), but they are yet to crack into the hearts of users and techies like the others.
So, we’ll consider the top two; which is the best for you and why?
Double rear hub motor
Hub motors are usually located at the end of the e-Skateboard, hence the name rear hub motors. In this setup, the motor is attached directly to the wheel it drives.
VGEBY Brushless e-Skateboard Motor
✅ 90 mm wells (good clearance), 900w power combined.
X: Wheels could be hard to replace.
Promotor rear hub motor
✅ 550w of power that each motor can deliver. This translates to 30km/h speed.
X: the truck shaft is short and possibly unsuitable for electric longboards.
Shikha e-Skateboard 1100w Rear Hub Double Motor
✅ Seven (7) inch trucks with 90mm wheels are suitable for e-longboards.
X: It does not include other parts besides the motors and trucks.
Instead of referring the energy to the wheels through a system of gears and belts, the motors directly impact the performance and speed of the wheels.
This allows for less energy loss in transmitting energy from one form to the other.
Good stuff about them
The most significant advantage of rear hubs is that the skateboard continues to move like a regular skateboard if the battery power dies.
Another one is that they also have greater braking control and improved efficiency. This could make sense since there are no other parts involved.
Likewise, the hub’s format means that it needs lesser moving parts. That means fewer overall costs, in the long run, lesser time to take apart and re-assemble, making a cleaner overall setup.
Unfortunately, things are not all rosy here. Some of the downsides are:
– A rear hub configuration cannot manage heat the same way as belt drive systems. This is mainly because of their enclosure system.
– They almost always restrict users to the use of wheels that come attached to them, crippling the true DIYers who want to customize it all.
– Impact absorption may not be as good as expected since the PU composition of the wheels.
I recommend reading: Electric Skateboard Wheels Guide: What you need to know about it.
Double belt drive motor
The belt drive motor systems have been around for over 20 years, so we will try to explain it too much in detail, but if you got into e-Skate early enough, chances are you’re used to this technology.
ZXMOTO Electric Longboard Drive Dual Hub Motor
✅ With a total of 1500w of power, you can reach up to 35km/h.
X: A bit noisy, heavy set. In addition, no belt tensor system is available.
FFMT dual hub motor
✅ It could reach around 40km/hr, and its torque is decent.
X: Wheels are only 83mm, which could not be enough for ground clearance.
Still today, belt drive systems are famed for their faster acceleration due to much better torque transmitted by the belts. They are also stronger at climbing hills thanks to the unique gearing system.
Furthermore, this belt drive electric skateboard motor manages heat well, providing longevity for the motors and wheels alike.
They sound great, right? But there is a significant issue with this configuration.
Once it comes to weatherproofing, though, they fall flat. The belt is usually there for all to see, which will also gather dust and moisture faster.
Having said that, the best maintenance practice is to clean up the belts after every ride. Of course, this is in an ideal world, so do it, at least if you have been skating off-road or for a few days in a row.
As for the price side, they are more expensive for all the parts involved.
Things to Know When Choosing the e-Board Motor
Depending on which of the electric skateboard motor options you are settling for, now you need to know how to choose the best one.
Unfortunately, the average Joe can’t just walk into a hardware store and get the best pick unaided. You will need to understand what makes the motors good at what they do and why.
We’ve looked at those notable points below.
Electric skateboard motor size: diameter and width
There are two (2) sizes in the motor to look at: the actual size of the motor and the stator one.
Most people only check the first and assume that a bigger motor is a more powerful unit; that’s not quite right.
Look into how big the stator is too, and use that to make a better-informed decision.
That said, every motor will come with a 4-digit size imprint. The first two digits denote the diameter (in mm), while the other two refer to the length (in mm).
For example, from the image above, the size of this Flipsky motor is 63 mm in diameter and 74 mm in width.
What is a stator? The plates of the motor spread the electrical current to the wiring to the rotating parts.
The KV measures the number of revolutions a motor can give (usually under a minute) when 1 volt of power is applied.
This measurement is taken when the motor is free of a load. The interpretation here is that a higher KV rating means a higher motor power, which in turn will guarantee you a higher speed.
A motor with a higher KV will have a lower torque plus a higher top speed, and vice versa.
Electric skateboard motor watts
The wattage (or power supplied) by a motor is a function of two (2) parameters:
– Current – measured in Amperes (Amps of A); and
– Voltage – measured in Volts (V).
Manufacturers will sometimes include the power rating up-front, but you can use the ampere and voltage to make better choices.
Most motors support an extensive range (about 4 – 15V) for voltage, so you shouldn’t have an issue with that. Your skateboard and motors will intelligently pick which is best for them then.
The same cannot be said for the current, though.
So, always make sure your electric skateboard can draw at least 5% more current than the motor provides.
For example, if your motors provide 75A each (which makes 150A for two motors on the board), make sure the board itself can draw 157.5A as a minimum. Otherwise, the board could get fried during the operation.
As we said above, modifying the wheels on a hub motor is tricky.
If you don’t mind going with the provided wheels, you are welcome to try them out. If you prefer custom wheels, you might want to see what the belt drive systems offer.
PS – The hub market is growing quickly, and manufacturers are trying to churn out more sleeves for hub motors. There’s a lot of potential in the wings if you can wait for it!
So, which batteries should you invest in?
You’ll first notice that some batteries come in series (S) and some in parallel (P) arrangements. The deal would make a difference even if two batteries had the same rating.
While there are a lot of factors to consider, this general guide should help.
PS – You can mix both types of batteries. Here’s what you get from each class.
Electric Skateboard Motor Wrap-Up?
As you have seen, this part of an e-board affects your ride.
Whichever configuration you pick (dual – single, belt, or hub), you must do proper maintenance so the performance doesn’t drop.
Keep in mind that the topography of your area influences what motor you should go to. A weak motor (e.g., single configuration) is going to disappoint.
How will you choose if you know all that goes into an average electric skateboard motor?
No matter which one you go for, we are more confident that you would have made the right choice.