How does it work ?
An electric hub motor is quite simple: it's a wheel with a motor inside, with 3 wires coming out of it.
Unlike the usual electric motor where the stator (the "fixed" part of the motor) is the outer shell and the rotor (the "moving" part of the motor) the inner part of the motor, a hub motor works the other way around. The inner part is fixed to the truck of the board, and the outer shell is rotating around it. It's covered with a polyurethane coat that's used as a "tire".
Pros and Cons
- clean look
- less noise (the motor is inside the wheel and there are less moving parts)
- clearance (just the wheels and trucks, no extra parts around)
- no belt wear/break (of course, there’s no belt…)
- pushing the board is possible (maybe not true with all hub motors though; manually pushing with motors connected can damage the Vesc)
- easier to setup/assemble
- less parts required
- often dual-drive by default (2 motors per axle)
- good quality required, price++ (a cheap hub motor would likely break/fail easily)
- wheel and motor is one block
- gear ratio of 1:1
- motors can overheat more easily due to be enclosed in the wheel (which can make them fail)
- people recommend a 2 hub-motors drivetrain (to avoid overheating)
- The wheel material sometimes doesn’t stick well to the motor frame itself
- Requires specific trucks