How to Make an Electric Go Kart

Updated February 21, 2017

Go karts are vehicles that children as well as adults ride or race for fun, as they can go at high speeds. An electric go kart is an alternative to a gas-powered go kart. The benefits are that it has fewer maintenance requirements, it's less noisy when operated, and it doesn't release greenhouse gases, so it is more environmentally friendly and can even be used indoors. According to Popular Mechanics, electric go karts do not compromise speed; they'll go as fast as gas-based go karts. Size matters for go karts, and the following instructions will guide you through making an adult-sized go kart, which should not be operated by children because of the size difference.

Construct your frame using glue and timber or purchase a wood or metal frame. It should be a rectangular box without a top. Make sure your metal or wood frame is large enough for your batteries, motor and bucket seats to fit inside.

Use a straightforward arm arrangement for steering your front wheels by using a vertical column attached to a horizontal lever. First, open your wheel kit, which can be purchased at a home appliance store, and attach the front wheels to the lever using symmetrical connecting. Lock your front wheels, but give them a 40-degree range in which to move for maneuverability. Wheels differ slightly according to the brand, so read the instructions that come in the kit to help you affix the wheels to their mounting hardware and brackets that come in the kit, and to the go kart. These instructions will also show you how to lock the wheels.

Attach your rear wheels to the back side of your go kart frame, using the instructions that come with your wheel kit. You need not worry about attaching your rear wheels to your steering mechanism, since you steer only with your front wheels. As long as you attach your rear wheels to their mounting hardware and brackets (found in the wheel kit), they will be able to follow any turns made by the front wheels.

Mount your brake disc and rear axle drive sprocket on a compression fitting hub made of a heavy chain sprocket with taper-lock bushing. Use needle roller bearings fitted inside your frame to buttress your axles. You'll need to flip your go kart on one side and then the other to access the wheels, so you may want to find someone to help you lift it.

Flip your go kart right-side up and apply the brakes so it will not roll away while you install the interior parts.

Fit your bucket seat onto your frame longerons.

Put your motor in the frame behind the seat. Use a 100-amp 36-volt reversing controller attached to your speeder and brake pedals. To go along with your controller, choose two 36-volt 750-watt DC PM motors. This will produce about 50 amps that can accelerate up to 100 amps. Strap your batteries down to the frame.

To create your steering wheel, design an aluminium hub along with six M5 threads. One by one, join three plywood plates with the hub. Glue the three plates together and let them dry. Varnish them after they are completely dry, and attach to the steering column you made in Step 2.

Paint your go kart using your desired colour of paint.

Things You'll Need

  • Metal or wood frame
  • Go cart-style bucket seats
  • Two 36-volt 750-watt DC PM motors
  • 100-amp 36-volt reversing controller
  • Three 12-volt 40 AmpH batteries
  • Drive sprocket
  • Brake disc
  • Needle roller bearings
  • Three plywood plates
  • Wheel kit containing 10-inch pneumatic wheels with steel rims
  • Aluminium hub
  • Paint
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About the Author

Lindsay Haskell began writing fiction and nonfiction in 2008. Her debut novel, "Grace," is to be published in January 2011. Having lived in five different countries and traveled across five continents, Haskell specializes in Third World social and political issues, with a concentration in the Darfur conflict. She is currently a first-year student at Wellesley College studying history, Africana studies and English.