Axial Flux Motor vs. Radial Flux Motor: What Makes a Difference?

Axial flux motor vs. radial flux motor plays a pivotal role in various industries, powering everything from electric vehicles to industrial machinery. As the demand for energy-efficient and compact motor solutions continues to grow, understanding the differences between these two designs becomes essential.

This blog post aims to introduce the difference between axial flux motors and radial flux motors. From work principles to real-world applications, we will delve into the factors that make a difference in the performance and suitability of these motors for diverse industries.

Radial Flux Motors

A radial flux motor is a device that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. These motors generate flux perpendicular to the axis of rotation. Radial motors can be divided into two types: permanent magnet radial motors and induction radial motors.

Working Principle of Radial Motor

The working principle of radial flux motors revolves around the interaction between the stator and rotor components.

The stator, typically the stationary part of the motor, houses windings through which electric current flows. This current generates a magnetic field that extends radially outward.

Positioned within this magnetic field, the rotor, equipped with permanent magnets, experiences a force that induces rotation. This rotation transforms electrical energy into mechanical motion, powering a multitude of applications.

high efficiency motor manufacturing

Pros of Radial Flux Electric Motors

Structure Simplicity: Radial flux motors are simpler in design compared to axial flux motors, making them easier to manufacture and maintain.

Cost-Effective: They typically use less permanent magnet material, which can result in lower production costs.

Reliability: Due to their simpler design, radial flux motors can be more reliable and have fewer components that could potentially fail.

Torque Density: While axial flux motors may have higher power density, radial flux motors can still provide good torque density for various applications.

Wide Range Of Application: Radial motors are widely used in various fields, such as industrial automation, robotics, medical equipment, home appliances, electric vehicles, etc.

Cons of Radial Flux Motors

Size and Weight: Radial flux motors may be bulkier and heavier compared to certain alternative designs, posing challenges in applications where space and weight optimization are critical.

Limited Compactness: The traditional radial design may limit the compactness of these motors, hindering their suitability for modern applications requiring smaller, lightweight components.

Axial Flux Motors

In axial flux motors, the magnetic flux lines follow an axial path, running parallel to the motor shaft. The axial flux machine has a shorter and more direct flux path. It goes directly from one to another pole through the air gap. The magnetic field remains strong along the shorter path which helps to increase the efficiency and the power density of the machine.

Working Principle of Axial Flux Motors

The working principle of axial flux motors centers around a disk-shaped configuration of the rotor and stator.

The stator, typically composed of coil windings carrying an electric current, generates a magnetic field along the axial direction.

Positioned within this magnetic field, the rotor, which is also disk-shaped and often equipped with permanent magnets, undergoes rotation. This axial motion results in a more direct and efficient conversion of electrical energy into mechanical motion.

Axial Flux Stator Winding for Electric Motor

Pros of Axial Flux Motors

Compact Design: The axial flux machine provides higher output power with less material and a more compact structure.  It features a flat and compact design, making it ideal for applications where space optimization is critical. 

Higher Power-to-Weight Ratio: The unique configuration of axial flux motors contributes to a higher power-to-weight ratio. This means that these motors can deliver substantial power output while remaining relatively lightweight, a crucial factor in industries such as electric vehicles and drones.

Higher torque-to-weight ratio: A yokeless axial flux machine allows the use of a double rotor. Since the PM machine output torque is proportional to the effective air-gap area for a constant electrical and magnetic loading, the AFPM (axial flux permanent magnet) machine with double air-gap (rotor) achieves a higher torque-to-weight ratio.

Versatility in Applications: The compact nature of axial flux motors enhances their versatility. They find applications in electric vehicles, drones, small-scale robotics, and other scenarios where their size and weight efficiency offer a significant advantage.

Good heat conductor: Axial flux machine has an important advantage compared to radial machine in term of winding. It has a higher active winding copper and less overhang which means more ability to increase the number of turns and less heat caused by end effect. Moreover, winding can be in contact with aluminum which is good heat conductor. This means an easier cooling system. 

Cons of Axial Flux Motors

Less Proven Technology: Compared to the well-established radial flux motors, axial flux motors may be considered a newer technology. While they have proven successful in certain applications, there may be concerns about their longevity and reliability in specific industrial settings.

Axial Flux Motor Vs Radial Flux Motor Performance Comparison

When comparing the performance of radial and axial flux motors, several factors come into play. Efficiency, power output, size, and weight considerations are crucial aspects that can influence the choice between these motor types.


In terms of efficiency, both axial and radial flux motors have their strengths.

Radial flux motors traditionally offer high torque at low speeds, making them suitable for applications requiring significant power.

On the other hand, axial flux motors shine in situations where a compact design is paramount, offering a higher power-to-weight ratio.

Size and weight

Size and weight considerations are pivotal, especially in industries where space optimization is crucial.

Axial flux motors, with their flat and compact design, provide an advantage in applications where weight reduction and a smaller footprint are essential.

Heat dissipation and cooling

Heat dissipation and cooling mechanisms also differ between the two motor types. Radial flux machines, with their larger surface area, often have better natural cooling properties. Axial flux motors may require additional cooling mechanisms, especially in high-performance applications.

Axial Flux Motor Vs Radial Flux Motor Applications

The decision between axial and radial flux motors hinges on the unique requirements of each application. Discerning where axial flux technology excels alongside radial flux motors is crucial for engineers and manufacturers.

axial flux motor and radial flux motor application

Automotive Industry

Radial flux motors are commonly found in traditional vehicles, providing the necessary torque for smooth acceleration.

Axial flux motors, with their compact design, are gaining traction in electric vehicles, where weight reduction and space optimization are critical.

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy systems, such as wind turbines and solar power installations, often leverage axial flux motors due to their lightweight design and efficiency.

Radial flux motors may find applications in larger industrial settings where size constraints are less of a concern.

Robotic Systems

Robotic systems, particularly in small-scale robotics and drones, benefit from the compact design of axial flux motors. Industrial machinery, on the other hand, may rely on radial flux motors for their high torque capabilities.


The aerospace industry showcases the versatility of both motor types. Radial flux motors may power larger aircraft, while axial flux motors are suitable for smaller drones and unmanned aerial vehicles.


In conclusion, the choice between axial flux and radial flux motors depends on the specific requirements of the application. Radial flux motors offer proven efficiency and reliability, particularly in applications demanding high torque. Axial flux motors, with their compact design, excel in situations where space and weight optimization are paramount.


Which motor type is better for electric vehicles?

Both radial and axial flux motors of electric vehicles have applications. Axial flux motors are often favored for their compact design and weight efficiency, making them suitable for smaller electric vehicles. Radial flux motors, with their high torque capabilities, may be preferred in larger electric vehicles.

Can axial and radial flux motors be used interchangeably in all applications?

No, the choice between axial and radial flux motors depends on specific application requirements. Each type excels in different scenarios, and understanding the application needs is crucial for optimal motor selection.

Try to contact us for high-quality motor cores in China.