The global hub motor market size was valued at USD 10.8 billion in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 16.47 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 4.8% during the forecast period (2022-2030). Hub motors are a particular motor power generator mounted on vehicles' wheels to increase their efficiency and performance. They are mounted on the wheels of electric vehicles to lessen the load on the engine and improve the vehicle's performance. Hub motors are installed near the drive wheels of vehicles with in-wheel motors, rotating the wheels through a small drive shaft with no lag time. The motor power transmission is done instantly to the wheel and provides exact control over the wheel because there is no time lag with this system. A battery pack, fuel cell, and generator make up the motor. It operates without the aid of gears and makes use of the battery's electric energy by turning it into a rotary motion. It also lengthens the motor's overall life by reducing the contact between the rotor and stator.
Hub motors make electronic commutation easier and do away with the need for bulky drivelines, differentials, and axles. They have low mechanical losses, are simple to install, and can be used to power internal combustion engines (ICEs). The left and right wheels are also driven by separate motors, allowing for independent torque control for each wheel. Brushless DC technology, a newer form of DC motor technology in which electronic commutation takes the place of mechanical commutation, is the technology employed in this system. This gives the motor a longer lifespan by removing all contacts between the stator and rotor. Compared to their competitors, hub motors have advantages like being simple to install, not requiring a differential, and being devoid of gears or transmission.
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Increasing Production of Several Vehicles with In-Wheel Electric Motors
In-wheel electric motors deliver direct and indirect torque to the wheels without a differential power electric vehicle. Furthermore, one of the manufacturers of electric mobility, GEM Motors, is concentrating on developing GEM in-wheel electric motors for potential clients in Switzerland, Italy, Sweden, Germany, and Italy. Since electric vehicles have several advantages over fuel-powered cars, their demand for and production has significantly increased in recent years. Fuel-powered vehicles are more affordable and effective because parts like fan belts, oil, air filters, head casings, timing belts, cylinder heads, and spark plugs do not need to be replaced. This makes electric vehicles more attractive, holding back the fuel-powered car market. Thus, the hub motor market is expected to grow due to the increased production of electric vehicles with in-wheel motors.
High-Performance Benefits for Electric Vehicles
The differentials, transmission, axles, and drive shaft are being replaced by in-wheel motor systems owing to enhanced performance and advantages. Without this technology, traction control and stability are provided by decreasing the wheel's too-fast rotation. This method takes longer since it is reliant on and constrained to the use of retarding force. However, hub motors significantly increase traction by delivering precisely controlled motoring torque or braking in a relatively brief period and stability control by limiting stopping distance and enhancing vehicle dynamics and safety. Thus, adopting a hub motor improves an electric vehicle's performance, which is expected to fuel the market for hub motors.
Complex Structure and Low Operation Speed
The hub motor uses many magnets, so depending on the application and wheel size, the operating speed is lower and ranges from 300 to 500 rpm. Motor cogging torque is a risk when operating at low speeds. Coggin torque manifests as jerkiness at lower speeds because the rotor's permanent magnets interact with the stator slots of permanent magnet machines. An undesirable aspect of the operation of such a motor is cogging torque. Cogging torque causes speed ripples, but the motor's moment of inertia cancels out the effect at high speeds. Additionally, the need for an electrical connection between the body and the wheel results from the motors being housed inside the wheel, which increases the risk of fire while also making the harness connection more challenging and stressful. As a result, it is anticipated that hub motors' low operating speed and complex structure will impede the market's expansion.
Globally Increasing Adoption of Electric Vehicles
Since electric vehicles have several advantages over fuel-powered cars, demand and production have surged dramatically. Fuel-powered cars are more affordable and effective since parts like head gaskets, timing belts, fan belts, oil, air filters, cylinder heads, and spark plugs do not need to be replaced. This makes electric vehicles the preferred option, which holds back the market expansion for cars that run on fossil fuels. Due to enhanced vehicle dynamics and traction control, automakers also concentrate on developing electric vehicles with hub motors. As a result, the hub motor market's players can expect a lucrative opportunity for growth as electric car manufacturing increases.
The global hub motor market is segmented by product, position, motor type, and sales channel.
Based on product, the global market is segmented into pedelecs, throttle on demand, and scooters/ motorcycles.
The scooters or motorcycles segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.9% during the forecast period. Hub motors for motorcycle expanding market share can be attributed to features like high torque, increased power, and better vehicle handling for both new and used cars. During the forecast period, it is anticipated that electric bike sales will increase, increasing the demand for hub motors for electric bikes. This is due to the growing support from governments in France and Norway and OEM efforts to improve the current electric two-wheeler models.
A motorcycle equipped with throttle-on-demand technology only uses the motor when the rider presses a little switch or button. It also offers simple operation, a comfortable grip on the handlebars of a bicycle, and other features. Additionally, "boost" buttons perform a similar function of delivering full power, such as the one on the Go-cycle 4. In contrast to a "pure" throttle, which may be twisted or a lever or trigger, which can be depressed, this mechanism often provides full "all or nothing" power and nullifies any power from the bike's built-in pedal-assist system.
Based on position, the global market is segmented into front hub motors and rear hub motors.
The rear hub motors segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5% during the forecast period. In the global hub motor market, the rear hub motor is predominant. This setup offers strong acceleration, improved traction, and high flexibility. The strong hub motors are suitable for rear installation because the e-bikes' rear wheels can handle higher power better. Major electric two-wheeler manufacturers prefer to install hub motors in the rear wheel to benefit from traction control.
A front hub motor is small and simple to install on almost all bikes. They are simple to fix and swap out. Older conversion kits, as opposed to the Swytch Kit, can be weighty and affect the bike's overall weight. In addition, the front-wheel drive might have less torque at low speeds. Therefore, they are useless for towing or on dirt roads.
Based on motor type, the global market is segmented into gearless hub motors and geared hub motors.
The geared hub motors segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.7% during the forecast period. As it regulates a vehicle's speed, the geared hub motor is the largest segment with the fastest growth in the global hub motor market. Geared hub motors have a high torque output, making driving up hills or over mountains easier. The largest market for geared hub motors is in the Asia-Pacific. Geared hub motors are used primarily in e-bikes because they are more compact and lightweight. The demand for geared hub motors in the Asia-Pacific region will increase as e-bike sales grow.
The gearless hub motor is also known as a direct drive hub motor. The axle that runs through the middle of a direct drive hub motor is the motor's axle, and the copper windings are attached to the axle. The "stator" is the name given to the entire axle assembly. The hub motor's outer shell is where the magnets are mounted, and the magnets move when electricity is applied to the stator, which induces a magnetic field. This causes the entire motor shell to turn, moving the e-bike forward.
Based on sales channels, the global market is segmented into the aftermarket and original equipment manufacturer market.
The aftermarket segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.5% during the forecast period. The third-party vendors are those who offer aftermarket hub motors. Replacement and services for various hub motors are possible applications for the hub motor aftermarket. Aftermarket is a secondary market that offers extras, replacement parts, used machinery, and other products and services needed for upkeep and repair.
When an automobile is delivered to the appropriate customer, hub motors and various related technologies are installed as part of the pre-installed solution types known as automotive OEMs. Hub motor market growth for OEMs is anticipated to be fueled by rising demand for fuel-efficient vehicles and increased demand for electric vehicles due to government regulations on gas emissions.
The global hub motor market is bifurcated into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market
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Asia-Pacific is the most significant shareholder in the global hub motor market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.6% during the forecast period. The largest market in the Asia-Pacific area is China, where the government is actively promoting the use of electric two-wheelers to curb the country's alarmingly high levels of pollution and car emissions. It produces the most electric bikes anywhere in the world. Hub motor sales will rise as the number of electric two-wheelers sold rises. For instance, NTN collaborated with the Chinese automobile manufacturer FSAT to develop the air-cooled in-wheel motor driving system and the vehicle motion control system. To produce lightweight New Energy Vehicles (NEVs) that use in-wheel motor driving systems, NTN will offer technical assistance to FSAT. These businesses have robust global distribution networks. Additionally, these businesses provide a wide variety of OEM products and have relied on new product development, partnerships, contracts, and agreements as their primary market positioning strategies.
Europe is expected to grow significantly at a CAGR of 4.7%, generating USD 3.57 billion over the forecast period. The Netherlands and Germany accounted for about 77.4%, with the former accounting for about 45.7%. Significant growth is anticipated in Italy and the Netherlands during the forecast period. Hub motor adoption in electric vehicles improves the vehicle's dynamics and traction control, increasing demand for hub motor-equipped vehicles. Pedelecs was the highest contributor in Europe, and significant growth is expected from the throttle-on-demand and pedelecs segments.
Due to increased demand in North America for vehicles with hub motors and improved performance and dynamics, the hub motor market is predicted to grow significantly. The market for hub motors is expected to grow due to new electric vehicles, with hub motors being introduced by top luxury car manufacturers. For instance, a luxury automaker named Lexus debuted its first electric vehicle with an in-wheel electric motor.
Market expansion in Latin America and the Middle East is predicted to be fueled by hub motors' increased performance and the continued development of hub motors by electric car manufacturers. Due to the increasing demand for environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient vehicles, top automakers plan to launch a new line of electric vehicles in this area.