We use a direct drive 750 watt hub motor and it is in a casted 16 inch rear wheel. This motor has no internal gears and should last for years. The wheel is casted with no spokes to loosen or break and is essentially bombproof. This type of hub motor is considered the most reliable electric bike drive system made. The problem with a direct drive motor when it turns a standard mountain bike or road bike wheel is that it doesn't allow a low enough gear to climb hills and sometimes overheats. With our 16 inch rear wheel we have a much lower gear so the motor can climb a steep hill with absolutely no overheating issues and being run at 48 volts it can spin fast enough to attain non regulated speeds of over 30 mile per hour. Please note that all motors are programmed to comply with federal law. Without a doubt this motor wheel combination makes the Wattwagon special.
The controller is an external 12 Mosphet waterproof model that is seriously overbuilt for the task. It never gets warm or hot unlike most hub motors with small undersized internal controllers that conspire with the hub motor to create a hot running motor particularly up hills.
When a hub motor has an internal controller and it needs to be replaced then the whole hub has to be torn down, wires cut and a new controller soldered in. In the unlikely event that the Wattwagon controller needs to be replaced it is right out in the open and easily replaced without tearing into the motor.
The Wattwagon comes with an LCD display which gives speed, max speed, trip distance total distance, has a light for night viewing and controls 5 pedal assist modes and programs the Wattwagons top speed. The Wattwagon comes with a standard pedal assist sensor and cutoff brake levers that shut off the power to the motor when pulled. Throttle is optional and the more we ride the Wattwagon the more we feel the throttle is not needed. The controller has the capacity to add regen braking to the Wattwagon but in our testing we thought that the regen was too strong for safe operation. Regen doesn't add that much back to the battery and some people feel that regen might be bad for the life of the battery.
The controls, pedal assist and LCD display stay on the bike once installed. We send a wiring kit that features a quick release plug that allows you to plug and unplug the bike from the wattwagon in seconds