Parts of an Electrical Motor


There are two basic types of electrical motors used in motor vehicles. A Direct current (DC) or an Alternating current (AC) motor is used as a power source, depending on the size and speed of a vehicle. Electric AC motors are generally used for larger vehicles, as they are light weight and can produce more power compared to DC motors. Electrical DC motors are less expensive compared to AC motors and are used for DIY gas to electrical conversions. There are some basic parts that a simple dual-pole DC electric motor has.

DC Power Supply

  • The power supply of an electrical motor is the component in which the operating power source is generated. Although this part of an electrical motor can vary, the emphasis on the power supply is always the same. The difference between each type of power supply is the type and measurement of the energy produced. Within a DC power supply unit (PSU), the source of electrical power can be utilized from a battery, fuel cells, solar or generator type of power converter.


  • The electrical motor part which aids in the direction of the electrical source provided by the power source unit is called the 'Commutator.' The commutator works as a rotary switch which is able to reverse the currents of the electrical source between the external circuit and the rotor, producing a steady flow of electrical movement within the electric motor.

Rotor Armature

  • The rotor or armature of an electrical motor has continuous rotation while the motor is running. This is also to aid with the movement and supply of electrical power to other parts of the motor and vehicle. The left side of a rotor displays electrical contacts, while the right side contains the electrical pin contacts.


  • The axle of an electrical vehicle contains part of the main power source, which provides the ability of direction of the vehicle, through steering and gear usage. Without a power source from the electrical motor to the axle, an electrical vehicle will not have driving control.

Field Magnet

  • A field magnet within an electrical motor provides a magnetic field, which enables the inner coil wire within a DC motor to rotate. The rotation of the coil wire sustains a steady flow of electrical energy within an electrical motor.

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  • Photo Credit Christine & Scott Gable
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