How much do you know about the motor and engine?

The motor and engine have long been part of our technology. As our inventions got more complex, we needed terms to describe the components that convert power into motion. Motors and engines are different machines that perform that purpose.

Their definitions started to converge and are now often confused with each other. However, in technical terms, they are distinct pieces of equipment.

They each hold specific advantages and disadvantages over each other. Read on to learn more about the difference between a motor and an engine.

Input Source

Motors and engines both translate energy input into an output of mechanical energy. The difference is that an engine can translate more “languages” of energy than a motor. An engine can translate heat, steam, wind, forms of fuel and convert them into physical motion.

Motors are a bit more restricted in this aspect. They rely on electricity and hydraulic power to generate movement. They are reliant on the action of electrons rather than combustion.

The physical motion is often the first of many in a cascade of events in a machine.

You can better visualize this distinction in petrol cars and electric vehicle motors. The petrol car engine will rely on a fuel source and combust the fuel to move the internal components.

The inner components of the engine are the cylinders and pistons. The physical motion of the pistons from the combusted fuel propels the forward motion of the car. Meanwhile, motors will derive their power from electricity.


The ability of the engine to translate more forms of energy into mechanical energy is more versatile. However, it does not always mean it’s more effective.

Before electric motors, wound-up springs were what powered motors. Now electricity powers them, turning them into AC motors or DC motors depending on the supply.

This allows electric motors to recharge, making them more superior in the long run. This also made them more effective. While fuel is more energy-dense, an electric engine means that you can get rid of the “warm-up” stage.

You can switch right into the speed lane.

Modifying and customizing cars, boats and even modifying a project plane are projects that are growing in popularity. Familiarizing yourself with these differences is vital in these projects.


Engines require a reciprocating system to generate motion in exchange for another form of energy. A consequential difference that results from the difference in input is the difference in output.

Fuel combustion in engines creates byproducts such as carbon emissions. Motors, on the other hand, such as electric motors, don’t generate emissions. This makes electric motors more environmentally friendly.

Get to Know the Difference Between a Motor and an Engine

Motors and engines are not as synonymous as you might think they are. The engine can use different types of energy and fuel sources to generate mechanical energy. Motors rely on electricity and hydraulics. Now you know the difference between a motor and an engine. However, why should you stop here? To learn more about vehicle motors and car engines, check out our other blog posts.