What’s the difference between hub drive motor electric skateboard, belt drive and direct drive electric skateboard?
by Muzaara on Oct 25, 2020
Hub and belt motor are now the most common electric skateboard drive way, there are a lot of people tangled in the end what is the difference. Why does hub motor drive seem to have so many benefits, but professional riders seem to like belt motors? Also what is direct drive motors? Today let’s discuss about that.
1. About power:
The first thing we started talking about is power. Many people say that the torque driven by the belt is strong and the acceleration is fast. This is true, but there is more about it. In our tests, the belt drive accelerates faster than the hub drive before 15km/h, and after 15km/h the hub and the belt motor maintain the same acceleration level, and the final top speed remains the same. However, it is important to note that sometimes the hub motor's board will have a little underpowered twitch when starting out, which is difficult to detect but does occur.
A belt-driven board would also have an advantage on the brakes, but in our tests, the belt-driven would have stopped faster below 15km/h, and the hub-driven would have had to go a little further.
In fact, there is still a little gap between the uphill ability and the downhill brake. We found a testing place with a slope of about 10-12 degrees, which is what manufacturers often call an 18-21% uphill slope. Then, I experienced two driving modes of uphill acceleration and downhill braking. I found that the hub motor was slower when uphill and could not stop completely when downhill, but the control speed was also well controlled. It was indeed a little more difficult than the belt, but it was not very big difference.
Also in our test, at the same conduction with battery and testing environment, the hub has 10%-15% more range than belt motors.
2.About riding experience
The difference in comfort is still very big, hub motors have only a thin layer of soft polyurethane tire skin shock absorption. And belt drive board with proper skateboard wheels, it is not only a lot of times thicker in soft material, intermediate support wheel core is plastic, and narrow, very suitable for deformation, help skin to relatively soft polyurethane have crumple space, is equal to the entire wheels are to help absorb shock, and within a thin rubber wheel motor is a rock-solid big iron mound, the difference in principle of the is very big. But now some companies have thicker material around the hub motors which has better experience.
3. About maintenance
The hub motor is maintained according to the road conditions you use. If you walk on the sharp and rough road all the year round, the tire skin may be more prone to wear out the pieces. Hub motor is mainly because the tire skin is too thin is easy to be torn out by the rough road surface, resulting in some pieces on the edge. In fact, as long as it is not too serious will not affect the daily use.
But this point is the weak area of belt motor! it is said that every poor belt drive player out of the house with a bag in their pocket that contains spare belts and tools for changing belts. I am just joking. Not that scary. The belt board could last for more than 600miles. However, you should always have a spare belt on hand, because the hub motor can see the wear and tear in your tire when it needs to be replaced, and the belt motor's belt may not show any obvious signs until it breaks. You may be suddenly cut off one. It sounds scary also but I have experienced that and its not that dangerous because you still have a another belt motor unless you bought a single motor board.
4.Use as normal skateboard
A lot of customer ask about using electric skateboard as normal skateboard. Both hub motors and belt motors boards could be used as normal skateboard. There is a resistance but it’s not that big. But when you use electric skateboard for long time, you might forget about this lol.
This depends on whether you like the sound of the motors. Hub motors sound is like Tesla very silent. But belt motors are like sports car have a beautiful belt motors sound.
For belt motors, you have a lot of choices about wheels. But for hub motors, you might only have 1-2 choices.
In all, let’s make a conclusion.
Suitable for belt motor players: on the performance requirements or the use of the scene up and down more; Those who are comfortable and afraid of stupefying their feet; Don't care about the noise and even some like the sound; There are also players who are not worried of maintenance and are more interested in playability.
Hub motors for players who don't care so much about performance; road condition flat and smooth, or that doesn't care if the pavement makes your feet numb; Enjoy the low-key slide don't like to be noticed; Players who are reluctant to invest in maintenance and research.
At last there is direct drive motor electric skateboards.
Direct Drive motors are very new and it is what FABOARD are focusing on. The Direct Drive motors combine benefits of hub motors and belt motors, it is silent and extremely powerful. It directly drive the wheels and save a lot of energy compared with belt motors. Also it could change the wheels easily so it has more space for DIY and also because it is the wheels that contact the road, so it has more absorption and more comfortable to ride.