Engine vs Motor – [Difference in tabular form with Images]

One of the major distinguishing factors between a motor and an engine is that the motor converts the electrical energy into mechanical energy whereas the engine converts the chemical energy of fuel into mechanical energy.

difference between engine and motor

Let’s go over a little introduction to each of them.


A motor is an electrical device that helps to convert the electrical energy into the mechanical energy of the rotor.

The electric current and magnetic field help to generate a force that causes the rotor of the motor to rotate.

It generally consists of the following components:-

  1. Stator
  2. Rotor
  3. Armature
  4. Commutator

Based on the source of power supply required, the motor is classified as a DC motor, AC motor (Single phase, 3 phase).

Let’s know about the basic working of the electric motor with the help of the below figure.

Working of an electric motor

An armature coil generates a magnetic field as current passes through it, which causes the coil to act like an electromagnet.

The polarity of the magnetic field developed in the coil changes with the change in the direction of the current.

As shown in the above figure, if the like poles (S-S or N-N) of the permanent magnet and the electromagnetic (armature) coil are close to each other, then the repulsive force between like poles causes the coil to rotate till the opposite poles (S-N or N-S) of the permanent magnet and electromagnet come closer to each other.

Now by changing the direction of the current passing through the coil, the polarity of the electromagnet gets changed and again the like poles of the permanent magnet and electromagnet are close to each other and it again causes the coil to rotate.

In this manner, the changing magnetic field of the armature coil helps to generate continuous rotary motion.


The engine is a device that converts chemical (fuel) or thermal energy (steam) into mechanical energy.
For example, a steam engine converts the thermal and pressure energy of steam into mechanical energy, while in an IC engine, the chemical energy of the fuel is first transformed into thermal energy, and then into mechanical energy.

The IC engine has different designs based on the fuel used for combustion (Petrol or Diesel).

The engines generally consist of the following components:-

  1. Piston
  2. Cylinder
  3. Connecting rod
  4. Crankshaft
  5. Valves

Because of internal combustion, the engines work at high pressure and temperature and provide higher power output which is used in different applications.

Difference between Engine and Motor:

Sr. No.EngineMotor
1It converts the chemical energy of fuel into mechanical energy.It converts electrical energy to mechanical energy.
2It requires an air and fuel mixture to run.It requires AC or DC electricity to run the motor.
3The engines have a noisy operation.The motors are less noisy.
4It has less efficiency than a motor.Motors are more efficient than engines.
5It operates at a high temperature & high pressure.The running temperature is less than the engine.
6It creates more vibrations due to the more moving components.It creates fewer vibrations because of fewer moving components.
7It contains both reciprocating and rotary motions.It contains only rotary motion.
8It consists of components like Piston, Cylinder, Valves, Crankshaft, etc.It consists of components like stator, rotor, armature, etc.
9Cooling and lubrication are necessary to run the engine efficiently.It doesn’t require cooling and lubrication.
10Applications:- Cars, bikes, chainsaws, Lawn movers, etc.Applications:- Fan, Washing machine, Blowers, etc.


  1. Which is the more efficient engine or the motor?

    Electric motors have more efficiency than engines.

  2. Which is heavier, a motor or an engine?

    For the same power output, the engine is heavier than the electric motors.

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Pratik is a Graduated Mechanical engineer. He enjoys sharing the engineering knowledge learned by him with people.

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