The simplest electric motor?

At some point in every engineer's academic career, they probably got to try their hand at creating an electric motor with parts that included a nail, a few feet of copper wire, and a magnet. If your own school days somehow missed this formative event, or if those times of yore are feeling a little distant, pop in after the jump to see a couple of motors that have been pared down to the absolute minimum. This video doesn't exactly describe what happens in an electric car, but it does show off some of the concepts at play.

With just a little wire, a battery and a spot of rare-earth magnet, these motors use the opposing forces of the magnetic field generated by the magnet and the field that comes from the current flowing through the wire to kick the wire into motion. Simple, right? When you look at this it makes you wonder why so many EV start-ups are having such a difficult time. I mean, how hard can it be?

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