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Permanent-magnet (PM) motors with both magnets and armature windings on the stator (stator PM motors) have attracted considerable attention due to their simple structure, robust configuration, high power density, easy heat dissipation, and suitability for high-speed operations. However, current PM motors in industrial, residential, and automotive applications are still dominated by interior permanent-magnet motors (IPM) because the claimed advantages of stator PM motors have not been fully investigated and validated. Hence, this paper will perform a comparative study between a stator-PM motor, namely, a flux switching PM motor (FSPM), and an IPM which has been used in the 2004 Prius hybrid electric vehicle (HEV). For a fair comparison, the two motors are designed at the same phase current, current density, and dimensions including the stator outer diameter and stack length. First, the Prius-IPM is investigated by means of finite-element method (FEM). The FEM results are then verified by experimental results to confirm the validity of the methods used in this study. Second, the FSPM design is optimized and investigated based on the same method used for the Prius-IPM. Third, the electromagnetic performance and the material mass of the two motors are compared. It is concluded that FSPM has more sinusoidal back-EMF hence is more suitable for BLAC control. It also offers the advantage of smaller torque ripple and better mechanical integrity for safer and smoother operations. But the FSPM has disadvantages such as low magnet utilization ratio and high cost. It may not be able to compete with IPM in automotive and other applications where cost constraints are tight.