I was never able to have a gokart when I was younger, most likely because they were very dangerous. Now, as an adult, its probably even more dangerous, but I really wanted to build my own electric kart. I spent many hours perusing online forums trying to learn how to make this all happen. The difficult part, in my opinion, was going to be building the frame. However, due to serendipity, I found a cheap gokart frame on craigslist. The frame included the steering mechanism, which was a real bonus. Now all I needed was to remove the gas engine bits, and figure out how to make it go using batteries and an electric motor.
I created a small project box that would house the motor controller and other wires necessary for the project. The motor is a 1000 watt 36 volt motor used for an electric scooter. Additionally, I purchased an electric throttle pedal which works just like a gas pedal. The parts were purchased to basically plug and play with the motor controller, although I did have to wire the correct plastic connecting pieces onto some of the parts.
For batteries, I used 3 12v SLA batteries wired in series. This gave me 36v to run the motor. It produces plenty of power to push me around between 12-15 mph.
The last time out there was an issue with the sprocket on the axle, but I should be able to get it back and running soon. It’s been a great project that has given me a lot of satisfaction that I made it work.
Here is a short video of me on the cart as the sprocket breaks and I can’t stop. Luckily there was nothing in front of me!