Electric kart project

So in my engineering class we have a final project that we devote most of our time towards during the second half of the year. I thought something cool I could do would be make an electric kart. I have access to a full machine shop, and all the tools I would need. I have some question about the logistics and costs of doing this.
How much would the cheapest rollers go for?
Will batteries and motors empty my bank account? (im looking for 206 power)
Do you think these companies will have any sympathy for a student doing a school project? Sponsors maybe?
for the people who have already done this:
What were your total costs (if you dont mind answering)
How hard was it to get a track to let you drive on?
how many hours did it take?
Is this something a person could do who doesn’t have professional electrical engineering experience?
Thanks!

1 Like

I think you need to kick off with a DD2 or Shifter roller - I believe the weight will require front brakes to be able to slow it safely.

Everything really depends on what are you going to do with it. If you want to race it at club level, it could cost a lot. Like Bryan Hall did in his thread. You will need a high battery power with a good Motor+ Controller which can be really expensive.

If you just want to do a technical demonstration, it can be fairly cheap, you do not really need a really chassis, just make your own or use a yard chassis. low HP electrical motor from fork lift, golf kart or even electrical bike kit will do the job.

Motor control and whole setup should be pretty straight forward, you do not need a EE degree to do it, but with some EE knowledge will speed up your decision making.

Are you handy with a welder? I may be able to help on the chassis front if so.

I have some EE skills as we have an EE section in engineering each year. Certainly not my best skill though. I have no expectation for this to compete or last a while or be consistent, I would just like something that goes about 206 speeds for at least like 5 minutes.

I’ve welded in the past like 2-3 times, but dont have access to any welding things right now. I could as my teacher If he knows anyone with a welding kit.
I also had a welding YT phase (found it interesting) so I know common phrases and types of welding

You can just do some math here, calculation could be way off but a good baseline and feel free to correct me if I am wrong!

206 speed is a 9HP, chassis with engine and gas is about 165lbs.

assuming you will buy parts new from supplier/shop, running at ideal situation
10KW motor from Golden motor $600+ weight ~40lbs
Motor Controller from Golden motor $600+
72V 20AH x4 battery pack from Amazon $2000+ ~90lbs

This combo should last run at a straight line for about 15min, on track with heavy acceleration and braking will probably half of that which is 7min.

I’ll look around and see what I have if you decide to do this project and see if we can get you something cheap to use as your base.

I’m going to try and reach out to these places to see if I can get any discount or sponsorship as a student. Any companies that you think I should try?

I think my spreadsheet will get you fair answers to many of your questions:

Not cheap. Not light. But it will be fun. Just don’t expect too much from GM or Motenergy motors, their specs are… optimistic.

Looking at all of your schematics and research makes me realize that this may well be beyond my ability.
Fortunately another student made an… effort at an electric kart. It’s very much a mess and I’m trying to make it actually work atm. So maybe if I get this done I’ll have some good knowledge and experience.


1 Like

So 80/20 aluminum used to make sim rigs appears to be chassis.

Indeed. It’s missing screws, half of it isn’t tightened, one of the motors was mounted wrong in the gearbox thing, nothing fits, it’s a mess. I just machined a motor mount yesterday so hopefully it comes out looking good. Maybe I could try and make my own sim rig?