RC Electric Motors: Understanding Types, Performance, and Maintenance

RC Electric Motors: Understanding Types, Performance, and Maintenance

RC vehicles have become increasingly popular in recent years, with their distinctive appearance and excellent performance on various terrains. These vehicles have a unique system of operation that relies on an electric motor to provide the necessary propulsion. Understanding RC electric motors is crucial for both amateur and professional enthusiasts to fully comprehend how the system functions and how it can be improved for optimal performance. With the advancement in technology, several types of electric motors have been designed and incorporated into modern RC vehicles, such as brushed and brushless motors. Each type of motor has its advantages and disadvantages, and understanding their differences will enable you to select the best motor for your RC vehicle. In this article, we will take a closer look at RC electric motors, their construction, operation, and how to select the right one for your vehicle.

Types of RC Electric Motors

RC electric motors come in different types, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Understanding the types will enable you to make informed decisions when purchasing an RC vehicle. Here are the common types of electric motors used in RC vehicles:

Brushed Motors

Brushed motors have been the primary option for RC vehicles for many years. They contain two magnetic poles, one stationary and the other rotating. Electricity flows through brushes, which maintain contact with a commutator attached to the rotor. The commutator converts the electricity into rotational energy providing the necessary propulsion to the RC vehicle.

Advantages of a Brushed Motor:

  • Brushed motors are easier to operate and require minimal maintenance.
  • They are cheaper when compared to brushless motors.
  • They are efficient for low-speed applications.

Disadvantages of a Brushed Motor:

  • They are not efficient for high-speed applications.
  • The brushes wear out and require replacement over time.
  • They produce a lot of heat and are less durable than brushless motors.

Visit www.motorsandesc.com to purchase high-quality brushed motors at competitive prices.

What type of motors are used in electric vehicles?

Electric vehicles (EVs) use two types of motors: AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current) motors. AC motors are more commonly used in EVs due to their efficiency, regenerative braking capabilities, and ability to provide high torque at low speeds. DC motors, on the other hand, are simpler and cheaper, making them a popular choice for smaller EVs like electric scooters and bikes.

Some popular electric vehicles using AC motors are the Tesla Model S, Model X, and Model 3, as well as the Chevrolet Bolt and Nissan Leaf. DC motors are often found in electric bikes such as the Rad Power Bikes RadRover.

For more information on electric vehicles and their components, check out websites such as Inside EVs and EVANNEX.

Brushless Motors

Brushless motors have become more popular and are now commonly used in high-performance RC vehicles. They use a computer-controlled inverter to deliver power to the motor windings resulting in higher efficiency, more power, and less heat generated. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of brushless motors:

Advantages of a Brushless Motor:

  • They are more efficient, producing less heat and offering higher performance compared to brushed motors.
  • They have a longer lifespan because they don’t have brushes that wear out over time.
  • They offer more precise speed control and are quieter when compared to brushed motors.

Disadvantages of a Brushless Motor:

  • They are more expensive than brushed motors.
  • They are more complex and require a more sophisticated electronic speed controller (ESC).
  • They require regular maintenance to maintain peak performance.

Interesting fact: A brushless motor uses a series of magnets around the rotor, which produces a more efficient and smoother power supply.

Top Brushless Motor Brands

Brand Features
Traxxas Powerful and durable, easy to install and works seamlessly with Traxxas models.
Castle Creations High-quality and reliable, with excellent performance on high-speed vehicles.
Team Associated Efficient and reliable, offering excellent power to weight ratio for high-performance vehicles.

Visit www.castlecreations.com for high-quality brushless motors, electronic speed controllers, and other RC vehicle components.

Why Brushless Motors are Better?

  • Brushless motors offer higher efficiency compared to brushed motors
  • They have longer lifespan due to reduced wear and tear of parts
  • Brushless motors are quieter and produce less heat
  • They require less maintenance and are easier to clean

If you’re interested in shopping for brushless motors, you may want to check out websites such as Amazon or HobbyKing.

Battery Selection

The battery is the source of power for the RC vehicle, so selecting the right battery is crucial to achieving optimal performance. Here are some factors to consider when choosing an RC battery:


  • The voltage rating of the battery should match the voltage rating of the motor in the RC vehicle. Using a battery with too low or too high of a voltage rating can damage the motor, speed controller or other electrical components.
  • Higher voltage batteries provide more power and speed but can also be more dangerous if not handled correctly.


  • Capacity is measured in milliampere-hours (mAh) and determines how long the battery will last before needing to be recharged.
  • A higher capacity battery will last longer but may be heavier and more expensive.

Discharge Rate:

  • The discharge rate determines the amount of current the battery can provide at a given time.
  • A higher discharge rate will provide more power but may also reduce the battery’s overall lifespan.

Interesting fact: Lithium-polymer (LiPo) batteries are the most commonly used type of battery for RC vehicles as they offer high energy density, power output, and low weight.

Visit www.amainhobbies.com for a wide selection of RC batteries from trusted brands like Gens Ace, Venom, and Traxxas.

What is the voltage of a RC car?

Most RC cars operate on a voltage between 4.8 and 7.4 volts. However, some high-performance RC cars operate at higher voltages of up to 22.2 volts.

If you’re looking to purchase an RC car, make sure to check the product description or manual for information on the car’s voltage. Websites like Amazon and HobbyKing offer a wide range of RC cars with different voltages to choose from.

Understanding Motor Ratings

Motor ratings provide insight into the performance of the motor and the RC vehicle it powers. Here are some key motor ratings to keep in mind:


  • Revolutions per minute (RPM) is the number of times the motor’s output shaft spins per minute.
  • Higher RPM ratings generally result in faster vehicle speeds and greater power, but also consume more battery power and may generate more heat.


  • Kv rating is the RPM of the motor for each volt of electricity applied to it and is measured in RPM/volt.
  • Higher Kv ratings produce faster vehicle speeds, but lower torque and acceleration.
  • Lower Kv ratings are better suited for off-road vehicles that require more torque for climbing and crawling over obstacles.

Understanding motor ratings is crucial when selecting a motor that matches the needs of your RC vehicle. Some websites offer a wide selection of motors that cater to different applications and performance requirements. One such website is Tower Hobbies, where you can find motors from leading brands like E-flite, Castle Creations, and HPI Racing.

How to Calculate Motor Ratings?

To calculate motor ratings, follow these steps:

  • Determine the power needed for the motor by calculating the load torque and speed.
  • Convert load torque and speed to horsepower using this formula: horsepower = (torque x speed) / 5252
  • Add additional horsepower based on any friction losses or inefficiencies in the system.
  • Select a motor with a horsepower rating equal to or greater than the calculated value.

For more detailed information on motor ratings, refer to manufacturer websites or publications such as the National Electric Manufacturers Association (NEMA) standards.

Battery Selection

Choosing the right battery is crucial for the optimal performance of your RC vehicle. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a battery:


  • Higher voltage batteries generally provide greater speed and acceleration, but they also consume more power and generate more heat.
  • Lower voltage batteries are ideal for off-road vehicles that require more torque and slower speeds.


  • Battery capacity is measured in milliampere hours (mAh) and determines how long the battery can power the vehicle.
  • Higher capacity batteries can provide longer run times, but they are also heavier and larger than batteries with lower capacities.

Discharge Rate:

  • The battery’s discharge rate determines how much current it can deliver in a given time.
  • Higher discharge rates are ideal for more powerful and demanding RC vehicles, while lower discharge rates are better suited for smaller and less powerful vehicles.

When selecting a battery, ensure that it is compatible with the motor and the vehicle’s electronics. Many websites offer batteries that cater to different brands and models of RC vehicles. Here are a few websites to check out:

Why is it important to choose the correct battery for your application?

  • Optimal performance: Choosing the correct battery ensures that your device or equipment operates at its peak performance.
  • Safety concerns: Using an improper battery can pose safety hazards due to potential leaks, explosions, or overheating.
  • Lifespan of the device: An incorrect battery may damage the device over time or reduce its lifespan.
  • Economic considerations: Choosing the right battery can save you money in the long run by extending the life of your device or reducing the frequency of replacements.

If you need help choosing the correct battery for your application, consult the manufacturer’s website or seek advice from a professional in the field.


Understanding RC electric motors is crucial for anyone interested in getting the most out of their RC vehicle. Brushed and brushless motors have their strengths and weaknesses depending on what the user wants. The battery selected should be based on the voltage, capacity, and discharge rate suitable for the vehicle’s needs. Motor ratings such as RPM and Kv are also essential factors to consider when selecting an RC motor.

With this knowledge, users can make informed decisions when purchasing their RC vehicle components, replacing parts, or even upgrading their motors. There are many more technical and advanced details that people can learn about RC electric motors, but we hope this article provides a foundation of knowledge that inspires further learning and exploration.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced RC vehicle enthusiast, understanding the workings and mechanics of the motor is essential. With the proper care and maintenance, an RC vehicle can provide endless hours of fun and enjoyment. Keep learning and happy driving!