Home Forums General Karting Discussion Electric Kart?

This topic contains 21 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Charles Kaneb 1 month, 1 week ago.

Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #71636

    Aaron Hachmeister
    Participant

    So I’m relatively new in karting and still in high school. One of my classes is a year long engineering project and I was wondering what the karting community thought of electric karts? Other than commercial entertainment use I haven’t seen anything about it and I believe there are definitely some advantages to trying it. Off the top of my head, there’s less noise for people to complain about and no need to worry about mixing gas, messing with carburetors and clutches (in my yamaha class for the clutches at least). What’s the general opinion on them though? I could see it being almost similar to a TaG engine in terms of power but I’m not really sure. It’d be a fun design concept at the very least if nobody has executed it before.

    #71638

    David Cole
    Keymaster

    Hi Aaron,

    Check out the Sanzaru Games Karting Championship as they have been running a competition class utilizing electric motors for the past few years. See if you can connect with their director and maybe he can connect you with some of their drivers.

    David Cole - eKartingNews.com Managing Editor -
    @DavidColeEKN

    #71640

    Michael Zahorski
    Participant

    Someone brought one out to our track once and ran with the Tag class.  He used the motor and batteries from the Zero Cycle.  The top speed was about equal, maybe a little faster, but where he excelled was in acceleration (of course).  Normally on our back straight you might be able to pass one other kart, he was able to take 3 of us in the first half of the straightaway.  The one problem that he has running with us was heat production.  The batteries produced so much heat when charging between heats.  He had bags of ice on the batteries and motor in between runs to cool them down.  He actually missed one heat since the batteries weren’t charged and were still hot.

    #71642

    Aaron Hachmeister
    Participant

    Thanks, could you tell me how long his batteries lasted? I think it’d be really cool to have a dedicated conversion kit to get an electric kart. Or if they do I’d like to hear about it because I’ve been looking but I can only find homemade setups

    #71651

    Matt Martin
    Participant

    You’ll find rental kart setups, and home-made setups.  that’s basically all there is out there right now.

    The best option for racing would be to have a decent thermal management system, in addition to a spare battery pack or two.

     

    Battery life will greatly depend on the track, and % of time spent on the throttle.

     

    The Zero motorcycle ran an 11.4kWh battery and I would guess that you could get 10-15min out of it. They ran one – in production trim – up Pike’s Peak in about 12 minutes.

    #71676

    Jim White
    Participant

    Check out Rattlesnake Racing in California. They are at the forefront of electric karts. They have run several NCK road races and are fast.

    #71679

    Walt Gifford
    Participant

    Mixing gas, noise and smoke are the charm of kart racing.

    Wait until you have a lippo explosion that burns someone in half.

    Gif

    FAA certified jet engine and aircraft technician,
    Nicholson Speedway class champion 2001,
    Yamaha KT100 Service Center,
    41 years karting experience

    #71682

    DeanMcNeil
    Participant

    Electric Karts are the way to go . I currently have one Ive been running for 2 years. 67 hp 104 lbs torque   its fun    still working out the bugs. Contact Harlan at hollywood electrics   he can set you up with the Zero motorcycle running gear, it seems the easiest way to go. Im currently working on a twin motor electric, plan on setting some track records.I also race a 125 shifter kart it tries to kill you the , electric is so smooth and depending on the track we compete with either the TAGS or the shifters. Working through heat  , charging and weight issues. Ive been in karting over 40 years, in a couple of years every track will have an electric class. No noise, minimal maintenance and faster than gas.  Every year they make big improvements.

    #71683

    Jim White
    Participant

    Looking at pictures of the zero motor and it appears to be similar to what our electric group runs out here.

    #71857

    Walt Gifford
    Participant

    To be honest I know zip about electric karts. What kind of battery do they use and what does it cost? lithium-ion probably.

    Gif

    FAA certified jet engine and aircraft technician,
    Nicholson Speedway class champion 2001,
    Yamaha KT100 Service Center,
    41 years karting experience

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  Walt Gifford.
    #71879

    Matt Martin
    Participant

    You can use whatever battery you want.  Li-Ion is the current best performer (of non-experimental batteries) with respect to energy per unit mass.

    Depending how motivated you are, you could use modules from existing vehicles – Zero motorcycle, or a number of electric cars.  Or, you could make your own cells to fit neatly on the kart – E-bike folks have documented it fairly well:  https://www.electricbike.com/home-built-battery-18650s/

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  Matt Martin.
    #72142

    Walt Gifford
    Participant

    What’s the buy in to retro fit a gas kart with electric including charger, extra battery ect? has anyone put together a package?

    Thanks,
    Gif

    FAA certified jet engine and aircraft technician,
    Nicholson Speedway class champion 2001,
    Yamaha KT100 Service Center,
    41 years karting experience

    #72147

    Matt Martin
    Participant

    if you were to go with commercially-available pre-made “kits” you’re looking at $3-7k depending on power and air vs. water cooled setups.  The fancy water-cooled setups with regenerative braking make 15kW (20hp) “continuous”, and 38kW (50hp) “peak” (1 min continuous).

    #72223

    DeanMcNeil
    Participant

    Check with Hollywood Electric Motorcycles , Harlan can get you a quote, The s motor has 67hp and 106 lbs of torque, they work well on sprint karts. you can run them hard. I always start with a shifter kart frame , not alot of modification needed. Takes a little while to cut down the wiring harness but other wise . You just need to fabricate a motor mount and battery box.

    #72407

    Walt Gifford
    Participant

    IDK do you think karts are getting a little over blown with $7,000 power plants @ 67HP?

    Thanks for the info. I think I’ll just keep rockin’ my KT100.

    Gif

    FAA certified jet engine and aircraft technician,
    Nicholson Speedway class champion 2001,
    Yamaha KT100 Service Center,
    41 years karting experience

    #72431

    Matt Martin
    Participant

    I agree it’s expensive currently.  Prices will come down – that’s why many high-end performance kart rental/arrive-and-drive places have gone for electric.

     

    But, a top-of-the-line KZ2 setup will run the same price and cost way more over the life of it.

    Consider the life-cycle costs – electricity at $0.15 /kWhr (when energy is expensive) vs. the cost of race fuel and rebuilds.

     

     

    I still love the noise my TM makes, but the prospect of electric-drive karts is thrilling.

    #72576

    Aaron Hachmeister
    Participant

    Thanks for the responses guys, I’ve gotten caught up in school so I had to put this on the backburner for a little while but this was exactly what I was wondering. I mentioned I have an engineering class because I thought/am thinking about making an electric kart kit as the year long project but was not sure if it was feasible to do. I will agree with you Gif, mixing 2 stroke and all that is part of the charm, and I love racing my Yamaha, but at Badger where I race people complain about the noise. I figured electric could get us by that issue, and with all of the buildup around electric cars now I figured why not transfer that to a competition kart (I know there’s electric karts for commercial use but those things weigh like 600 pounds since they’re built for strength instead of speed. Jim, I’ll try to get in touch with them, but it looks like they need a specific chassis for the electric kart? I’m not sure if you know them at all but I was wondering if there’s a general conversion kit to get any kart to run electric. And Matt, are the kits for karts or just all the hardware needed for a light electric vehicle in general? I don’t think 67 HP is completely necessary for applications on a kart but it’d be interesting to have a progression system like we do in regular 2-stroke engines.

    #72689

    Walt Gifford
    Participant

    The L2 pipe is allot quieter than a 4 hole can, just sayin’.

    http://www.diygokarts.com/vb/showthread.php?t=9700

    Gif

    FAA certified jet engine and aircraft technician,
    Nicholson Speedway class champion 2001,
    Yamaha KT100 Service Center,
    41 years karting experience

    #72763

    Aaron Hachmeister
    Participant

    I prefer running the pipe to the can but there’s only one series that does so (Thanks Mid-American). Imo it sounds better and is faster than the can, however either way next door will probably complain about noise until we’re shut down

    #73434

    Nik Goodfellow
    Participant

    http://www.electricmotorsport.com/

    You can pick and choose your size of motor, then decide how long you would like to run for and pick your battery pack. The larger the charger you pick, the faster it will charge, assuming it doesn’t require three phase or 240V charging which you might not find at your local kart track. Either way you will waiting in comparison to adding gas.

     

    One thing to keep in mind when designing an electric kart power train is that the torque is instantaneous, it doesn’t build up like a 2 stroke or even 4 stroke. So in my opinion you can get away with a lower powered motor and still get the same feeling or rush and you will find you will run a much smaller gearing to make use of that torque from zero rpm.

    #73610

    Richard Hughes
    Participant

    Michael Zahorski thanks for the link as well as thanks to all else for answering!

    #73682

    Charles Kaneb
    Participant

    The batteries and motors are here – definitely cost and weight competitive as long as your races are < 15 minutes. They’ll do better if the scenario you choose is “ICA on a tight track” rather than “roadracing shifter”.

    The difficult and expensive part is battery management/charging and the motor control system.

Viewing 22 posts - 1 through 22 (of 22 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Karting's News and Information Leader ekartingnews | an HMG publication