Drive a vehicle developed by ourselves will be fun and interesting. An electric scooter would be suitable for city drive, rural drive, and day today commute that ranges only a few kilometers.
Moreover, an electric scooter pops up in our mind when we first think of building an electric vehicle ourselves. It is not that tedious task to make one e-scooter yourself.
So let’s do build an electric scooter. It is possible to convert an IC engine based scooter to an electric scooter with minimal components.
In this post, there are a few affiliate links to shopping websites. I would get a small commission when you buy the products through the link provided here. You would not have to pay more money for that. 🙂
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Components Required for Electric Scooter
The positive side is that the complete conversion kit[affiliate] will be available to buy from online shopping sites also. Motor, controller, throttle to control the speed of the vehicle will be readily available. The wheel can be directly connected to the motor, and hub type BLDC motor will be the better choice.
A large number of sensors, advanced controllers, etc. are not required in a basic Electric Scooter.
Ratings of the components depend on the application of the vehicle. If the vehicle wants to run long distance the battery capacity has to be more.
Vehicle battery should be capable of holding power for a long. If the desired characteristic is a high-speed drive then the selection of motor with high rating would be the prime concern.
Following are the minimal components required to develop an electric scooter.
Electric Motor and Controller
Different types of motors are used in an electric vehicle. They are selected according to the applications, availability, cost, etc.
Permanent magnet BLDC motor can be used in an electric scooter due to their advantages. Power of motor that uses in Electric Vehicle should be below a threshold value (250 W and speed less than 25kmph in India) so that the vehicle can be driven without register to the government vehicle department.
You may read about interesting factors about electric vehicles.
Variable speed gears are not generally installed in an electric scooter which we are going to build yourself. The motor will mount to the wheel of the scooter and avoids losses in gearboxes. Precise speed control methods and attractive speed-torque characteristic of electric motors avoid the use of gears.
Motors of various specifications are available such as 200W, 250W, 500W, 1600W, etc. Speed controller (inverter) can either be developed or get as a part of an e-scooter conversion kit.
If you are so interested in electrical circuit designs we can go ahead with inverter design as well.
State Space Pulse Width Modulation (SVPWM) Inverter would is the best choice of inverter for Electric Vehicle. Additional protection would be mandatory for the inverter that would be designed by yourself. The reaction for a sudden failure of elements, acceleration, etc. has to be taken care of.
The controller in conversion kit can be used which would be the better choice at this situation. Check for the protection circuits they provide for the controllers before choose one.
Battery for electric scooter
The capacity of the battery of an electric vehicle decides how far it could travel with a single charge. A battery of an electric vehicle is different from the battery that used in an IC engine based vehicles for auxiliary purposes.
Read more about Electric Vehicle batteries and their characteristics
The average distance that travels by an electric scooter will be 70 km with 48V 20 Ah battery. As the capacity of battery increases distance traveled by the vehicle also increases.
But this would not be a proportional increment since the weight of the vehicle increases and it increases the energy required to travel a unit distance.
Use 48V 20 Ah battery which would provide an acceptable range for an electric vehicle. If a single battery is not available two 24V volt 20 Ah batteries connected in series do the job. The concern with battery is their life. How long an electric vehicle battery lasts affects the total life-cycle cost of Electric Vehicle.
The battery would have to be replaced in every 3 to 5 years and replacement cost would be affordable to use the vehicle in the long term. Running cost of Electric scooter would be less compared to IC engine scooter. How expensive is an electric vehicle?
Battery Charger for an electric scooter
Battery charger would either be designed or buy to charge the battery. Usually, they are not included in the conversion kit. Based on the specifications of the battery the charger can be designed and set up.
Battery charger impacts on the life of the battery. So carefully select a charger with temperature, and overcharge protection.
Provision to charge the battery can be given at a convenient location on the scooter. Connect a socket in the scooter to connect the charger to the battery. Since the battery is located at the bottom of storage space, beneath footrest would be the apt position of charging socket.
Body of an Old Scooter
An old scooter can be used as the base for the electric scooter. Engine, gears, exhaust system, everything is not at all required for an electric vehicle which we are going to build from the old scooter body. Electric hub motor plays the role of back tire of the scooter.
So the existing tire can be removed. Throttle will also be replaced with the one used for electric motor speed control. Brakes keep their position as such for the front wheel.
As I said before you can get the complete electric scooter conversion kit to assemble the vehicle.
How to assemble components of Electric Scooter
Once the components are ready, the next step would be assembling them to an eco-friendly e-scooter. Test if all components are in working condition before starting our real task. Do all connections and check the motor runs without any fault for some time. Then try speed control as well.
An old scooter which is made up of fiber would be the best choice for the body of electric scooter since it weighs less which is a desirable characteristic.
First of all, remove all unnecessary components from the body of an old scooter which would act as the body of our Electric Scooter. Remove engine, exhaust tailpipe, rear tire, petrol tank, etc.
Modification on the rear part of the scooter is required to fit electric motor and wheel connected to it. Scooter engine is generally connected in one side of the rear wheel and this method cannot be adapted for hub electric motor.
A metallic basement is necessary to connect the wheel and motor. Get a good mechanic to weld and create the basement. It should be firm and well balanced.
Space below the storage space (under the seat) where the engine resided before, will be our location of the battery. Keeping battery at the lower side of the vehicle brings the center of gravity near to the ground and enhances the stability of the vehicle. A basement to keep battery is also needed to be constructed.
Battery should be properly protected from damages, vibrations, and water. Cover lower and side portions of battery and keep it stiff in the basement. It should not displace from the position while the vehicle moves. Airflow has to be permitted for cooling of the battery. So it should not be fully covered.
Keep the controller of the vehicle in the storage location below the seat and make it stay there firmly. Location of the controller can be shifted to the front of the vehicle also. But it unnecessarily increases the length of wire to connect to the motor.
Remove old throttle of scooter and connect new throttle for speed control of Electric Scooter. Connect all other necessary equipment such as horn, indicators, and light.
We are not finished our task yet! Balance of the vehicle must be checked from a service center or by slowly running the vehicle.
What have we done as far to build an electric scooter?
- Tested all components
- Assembled as an electric scooter
- Checked for stability
Now we can do a test drive of our electric scooter. Then drive e-scooter and enjoy!! It’s always important to note the condition of battery, brakes, and tire for the smooth operation of our pet vehicle.
An electric scooter is a convenient vehicle to travel a short distance and an easy vehicle to be constructed (or converted from conventional scooter). In this post, we discussed the necessary steps to convert a conventional old scooter to a fully electric vehicle.
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