Going electric, can it be affordable?

solidus

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So I really want to go the electric route with my first kart build. I have much more electronics knowledge than I do ICE, and I also generally think this is a cool application for electric motors. Problem is, it doesnt seem possible to get an electric motor for the equivalent price of a similar gas motor... as far as I can tell. Is that generally the case? Given how affordable Predators are, and how many gas motors can be found second hand all over the place... it seems like getting something similar in electric power to the Predator 212... is going to be WAY more expensive.

Any advice? Is it not worth the time to go electric if you want high performance under a tight budget?
 

itsid

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true true..

batteries alone will be more expensive than a predator,
the motor should be as or more expensive than a predator
and so will the controller be if you get a good quality one.

Kevin got some contact with an ebay seller (the kits motor/controller are very reasonably priced)
still..
if you want to go down the electric route..
expect to pay a true Honda GX200 and not the cheap chinese clone ;)
for roughly the equivalent performance of a stock gx200/212

'sid

PS if you want HIGH performance .. NO.. no way to get that for cheap (unless you find a used perfect set by chance for cheap)
a high power batpack alone can set you back $1-2k easily 500bucks for a motor isn't uncommon and 400 for a controller that matches isn't too much either; so high performance means four digit price tags (and the first digit is never a one ... more often than not a three)
 

chimmike

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I spotted a 1800w 36v motor/controller/battery kit on Ebay that I thought was reasonably priced, but suspect it wouldn't deliver near the speed of a stock predator 212 which is less than 1/3 the cost...so I'm going gas.

Would've liked to go electric given the neighborhood...but the upgrade path for electric is also more expensive.
 

Functional Artist

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For the record, what are the parameters that define "High Performance" in a go kart? :unsure:
...burn outs?
...donuts?
...hard acceleration?
...top speed?
 

chimmike

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and you suspected wrong ;)

'sid

really? I tried some online calculators which indicated torque figures. Maybe the rpm of the electric motor in question wasn't sufficient for the torque to be comparable to the predator? Obviously electric motor torque delivery is far more efficient than gas motors and more direct, but it was indicating ~4.5ft-lbs
 

JTSpeedDemon

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Don't forget though, that gearing will amplify that torque. So with say a 6:1 gear ratio(unlikely in real life in this situation), Torque output to the wheels would be approximately 27 ft/lbs. I'm not experienced with electric motors, but I just wanted to make sure you were factoring in gearing.
 

solidus

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This is mostly what I imagined. I think I may go gas to start... and slowly accumulate the parts for an electric conversion. I just cant see myself dropping $2k+ on the motor/controller/battery setup alone. I wanted the entire build to come in under that amount for a first project.
 

Functional Artist

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BS
...ya aint gotta spend 1-2k to have fun/run an electric kart :unsure:

I'm not sure what you'all consider "high performance"
...but, ya can get anywhere from 15 to 25MPH, out of a 48V 1,000W motor/controller (~$100.00)
...& ride for 30 - 45 min. when powered by (4) 12V 12AH SLA's (~$100.00)

or
...ya can get ~20 to 30MPH out of a 60V 2,000W motor/controller ~$200.00
...& ride ~30-45min when powered by (5) 12V 12AH SLA's ~$125.00 (like above)

Check out Excalibur
...I've run 'er with (1) 48V 1,000W motor
...(2) 48V 1,000W motor's
...& also, with (1) 60V 2,000W motor (so far)

 

solidus

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BS
...ya aint gotta spend 1-2k to have fun/run an electric kart :unsure:

I'm not sure what you'all consider "high performance"
...but, ya can get anywhere from 15 to 25MPH, out of a 48V 1,000W motor/controller (~$100.00)
...& ride for 30 - 45 min. when powered by (4) 12V 12AH SLA's (~$100.00)

or
...ya can get ~20 to 30MPH out of a 60V 2,000W motor/controller ~$200.00
...& ride ~30-45min when powered by (5) 12V 12AH SLA's ~$125.00 (like above)

Check out Excalibur
...I've run 'er with (1) 48V 1,000W motor
...(2) 48V 1,000W motor's
...& also, with (1) 60V 2,000W motor (so far)


Well this is very interesting. I think the 60V/2k Watt is closer to what I was imagining when thinking of high performance. Im not exactly tiny (5'11", 195 lb) so Ill need something powerful enough to get my *** moving. I definitely want to be able to hit the 30mph mark if possible.

Going to look into some of those links. Thanks!
 

Functional Artist

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I haven't tried 'em yet
...but, I've noticed that Alfa Wheels also, has a 60V 3,000W motor available (~$130.00)

& also, a 72V 3,000W motor too (~$125.00)

...or with matching controller (~$190.00)
 

solidus

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I haven't tried 'em yet
...but, I've noticed that Alfa Wheels also, has a 60V 3,000W motor available (~$130.00)

& also, a 72V 3,000W motor too (~$125.00)

...or with matching controller (~$190.00)

Wow, so what in the world were the prices mentioned in in the first reply? Is it just about getting really high quality stuff not from China/eBay? What electric motor setup would cost over $3k? Maybe he meant high performance as in 10HP or so? I was really talking about matching the performance of something like a Predator 212 or similar

EDIT: Well actually the predator is 6.5HP.. and a 3000W electric is something along the lines of 4HP I think? So to get something at the power of the predator I would need closer to a 5000W electric? I know torque and RPM numbers are much different so I guess a direct comparison of power is not as easy
 
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EpsilonZero

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Wow, so what in the world were the prices mentioned in in the first reply? Is it just about getting really high quality stuff not from China/eBay? What electric motor setup would cost over $3k? Maybe he meant high performance as in 10HP or so? I was really talking about matching the performance of something like a Predator 212 or similar

EDIT: Well actually the predator is 6.5HP.. and a 3000W electric is something along the lines of 4HP I think? So to get something at the power of the predator I would need closer to a 5000W electric? I know torque and RPM numbers are much different so I guess a direct comparison of power is not as easy

It's the world I chose, and I wouldn't say it is top tier. I've had my kart running over 50mph with these components.

Motenergy ME1717 Motor ~$650
Kelly KLS6030H Controller ~$400
RELiON 52v 30Ah LiFePO4 ~$1100 on sale

Just the lights on my kart cost more than the low cost motor/controller/battery combo Functional Artist suggests. o_O That's not to say that those are bad choices. It's all about what you want to achieve and how much you are willing to spend to get there.

2020-09-27.png2020-09-25.jpg
 

Functional Artist

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Going electric, can it be affordable?

I was answering the original question with an emphatic "Yes" :)
...& would have to guess that EpsilonZ has closer to 3k in to his kart o_O
...compared to the ~$500.00 per kart setups that I suggested :cool:

That is, if he has it set up properly (for a "big/high power systems) with
...a big fuse
...a contactor (with a precharge circuit)
... probably ~4g battery cables (+ lugs)
...& also, a DC to DC convertor (to run them lights)

So, let's go back to the "what is high performance" question? :sneaky:

IIRC JT's kart has a small Briggs & is about the same size (kart & tires) as EpsilonZ's
...so, why don't ya'all do a comparison between the 2 :devil2:

Like, top speed
...acceleration
...overall range (on a tank or charge)
...abilities (drifting, burn outs, donuts etc.)
...maintenance (labor & cost)
...cost of use (monthly or yearly)
...& overall cost
 

EpsilonZero

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What state are you in by the way?

Virginia

OP
Going electric, can it be affordable?

I was answering the original question with an emphatic "Yes" :)
...& would have to guess that EpsilonZ has closer to 3k in to his kart o_O
...compared to the ~$500.00 per kart setups that I suggested :cool:

That is, if he has it set up properly (for a "big/high power systems) with
...a big fuse
...a contactor (with a precharge circuit)
... probably ~4g battery cables (+ lugs)
...& also, a DC to DC convertor (to run them lights)

So, let's go back to the "what is high performance" question? :sneaky:

IIRC JT's kart has a small Briggs & is about the same size (kart & tires) as EpsilonZ's
...so, why don't ya'all do a comparison between the 2 :devil2:

Like, top speed
...acceleration
...overall range (on a tank or charge)
...abilities (drifting, burn outs, donuts etc.)
...maintenance (labor & cost)
...cost of use (monthly or yearly)
...& overall cost

I went way overboard on my kart (more than 4k... it can be done for less than I spent), but I get a ton of use out of it almost every day between driving with my boys and their electric vehicles and driving solo. I couldn't go ICE because of the noise potentially pissing everyone off. So far, there hasn't been a single complaint about any of the electric vehicles I built.

I went for the full controller "assembly" from Kelly so all the best practices are observed and installed on a thick metal backplate. Battery cabling is all 1/0AWG. I can do 25 miles on a charge @80%DOD (rated for >6000 cycles, 7 year warranty) and it takes about 4 hours to recharge from there with a Grin Cycle Satiator.

I have a mixture of motor and axle sprockets and am currently running 12t/58t (good for 40+mph) but have done 14t/60t to break 50mph. The motor is supposed to max at 5500rpm but it will run all the way to 6000. I limit it in software to ~5200-5400rpm typically because of overshoot. On good condition bone dry asphalt I don't do burnouts going dead straight with 12t/58t, but turning the wheel slightly results in easy donuts, and drifting around corners does work on asphalt. Any moisture and the kart will break traction at any speed up through ~30mph going straight. Packed dirt driving is just constant drifting. If I ran a more powerful setup, I'd have to change to wider slicks; this is pretty much perfect right now.

All headlights and marker lights are run off of a separate 12v system fed by a converter that runs through a fuse box and a dashboard with all of the switches. The brake lights run through the 12v system off the controller since I use that same feed to trigger the lights and the regen brake switch. I have a manual disc brake as a backup actuated with the same pedal as the regen switch.

Maintenance is just a little lubrication/rust prevention here and there for the kart (front spindles, o-ring chain). Zero maintenance for the motor, controller, or battery (LiFePO4 doesn't need to be removed for safety). Cost of use is less than 15 cents to recharge from 80%DOD.
 
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