Electric Skateboard: Single Motor VS Dual Motor
11.11.2020 | LycaonBoard | Blog

When it comes to purchasing your first electric skateboard, you need to choose between single motor or dual motor as it decides how your skateboard performs. This may be a little confusing for skateboard new arrivers. To figure out the characteristics of both single and dual motors will surely help you make up your mind to get the ideal board you want. There are some factors you may take into consideration while selecting motors. Here in this passage, we’ll discuss single motor and dual motor from different aspects, hoping to offer you some useful information.

Torque: Having two motors doesn't directly translate to more speed, mainly more torque. You can convert torque into speed. If you put a larger diameter wheel you can get a higher top speed. However, if you only have one motor and you put larger wheels, it will put more load on the motor and heat it up. It’s not so good for that motor to be loaded up, draw more current and get hot.  

Speed: One motor will have to work twice as hard as two motors to obtain the same speed. For example, you can have one motor pulling 30 amps or you can have two motors pulling 15 amps each. If you want a really fast skateboard, you should go two motors, because it’s sharing the load across two motors which means less heat. If you are a new skater and a bit scared to go too fast and can’t carry the momentum of dual motor, you’d better go for single motor.

Traction: Just like a four-wheel-drive car has more traction than a two-wheel-drive car, two motors have more traction than one motor. For single motor skateboard, you only get one wheel driving while the other one isn’t doing anything, then you only get a wheel’s width of traction on the ground to get the power into the ground. So when using mono drive, people can easily lose traction. On the contrary, dual motor doubles the contact patch and traction, so you can accelerate much harder.

Range: Range is determined by how much current your pulling from the battery. On flat ground, your range will be much better than if your climbing hills. And your range will be much better if your cruising than if your racing around or doing a lot of stop and go. One motor or two, in theory your range should be the same, but powering two motors also eats the battery up faster than a single motor. Therefore, skateboard with single motor usually has long range than those with dual motor.

Braking: Skateboards with dual motor have better braking ability. If you are a big guy and you want to come to a stop quicker, especially if you ride at high speeds, sudden brake is realty important. If you’re a car racing enthusiast or if you’ve ever been into racing sports, you know that the brake performance is just as important as the power and acceleration performance If you are going to ride with cars or encounter very sudden event that require you to brake unexpectedly, you will need as much breaking power as you can to avoid splashing into a car.

Commuting reliability: If you are going to use the board to get to work / school, having two motors lets you continue your ride if something goes wrong. If one motor fails, you can ride around on the other one easily, or you can prepare backup motors. While for single motor skateboard, if the only motor fails, you can only kick push the board to reach your destination.

Kick pushing: When the batteries do eventually run out, the single motor is a lot nicer to kick push because it has less drag than the duals. You can kick push the skateboard with single motor like a regular board.

Weight: Having two motors, two motor controllers, extra wires and two ECSs, it adds to the total weight. So if you’ve got to carry the board around in your hand a lot, you might actually be better off with a single drive because it’s lighter than dual motor.

Price: Two motors require two motor controllers, two motor mounts, two ESCs and sometimes two belts and pulleys (only for belt motors), so the cost of these parts doubles. Just bear in mind that if you don’t need really high torque or if you just want a standard good electric skateboard, a single motor would be a good option and it’s going to be much cheaper.

Riding spot: Your environment should determine your choice more than anything else. If you live in a relatively flat area, you can get by with just 1 motor. If you live in a hilly area, you're better off getting 2 motors. Dual motors are a must have for hills, or heavy riders.

All in all, main features of single motor skateboard can be simply summarized as:

  • Cheaper
  • Longer range
  • Less torque(less acceleration, hill climbing, braking)
  • Less traction

Main features of dual motor skateboard can be simply summarized as:

  • More torque (better acceleration, hill climbing, braking)
  • More traction
  • Less heat
  • More expensive
  • Less range

To be honest, there is no real “one size fits all” solution with electric skateboards. Your choice depends on your own needs. If you live in a place with lots of hills, dual motor is definitely your choice. If you live in a flat area, and you just use the skateboard as commuting transportation tool, single motor is enough for you as it’s of little use for you to have too much torque or traction. Similarly, if you have a limited budget, then single motor is an option. If you’ve got adequate fund and seek for fast speed, then you cannot miss dual motor skateboard. Think about your needs before making the decision!