DIY Electric Scooter

All about my DIY electric scooter proof of concept using a furniture trolley as a test bed.

This experiment is more about the mechanics involved with making a single wheel steerable drive unit.

Lets be generous and say that it is the early stages of development starting with zero budget.

I have always been interested in anything with wheels.

One day, I was lucky enough to rescue two electric scooters from a place known locally as the transfer station, aka the rubbish tip. My favourite place to go shopping. As they say, one man’s rubbish is another man’s gold.

Alas, the local authorities don’t exactly share my enthusiasm, so they have made it harder to go shopping there.

Needless to say, both electric scooters were beyond repair, so I salvaged the motors and the wheels. The left over pieces were returned for no refund.

Both motors are 24 volt DC rated at 200kw, with speeds of 2500 rpm and 2750 rpm. A tad fast, I thought, then realised it is no load speed. According to my research these electric motor are capable of speeds up to 15 kph for a person who weighs no more than 70kg.

The fact is that I do weigh a bit more than that, so why not use two motors instead of just one? The fact is this design is a stand alone drive unit, and I could make two, so in theory, that would double the weight carrying ability. More on that later, perhaps.

My first attempt at making a scooter did not work well enough, so the project was shelved for a while.

A Bright Idea

A few months later, looking for a new project, I realised that I actually do have all the ingredients necessary to make a scooter.

I could always buy a set of wheels from the big green shed, but why would I when I have access to not one but two pairs of wheels from two of the furniture trolleys that I have here.

The photo shows the drive unit mounted on the furniture trolley. I have also used the front steering fork from the salvaged electric scooter, which is hidden under all the wooden parts.

Anything with wheels is fair game, and the plan has always been to borrow the wheels off the furniture trolley. Why not use the whole furniture trolley? It already has the appearance of a scooter if it lies down, and all I need to do is mount a third wheel on the front.

It did work, but the chain would slip off under power. The reason I thought was because of tension under power would pull the sprocket out of alignment.

So it was back to the drawing board.

DIY Electric Scooter Mk2

Here I have mounted the electric motor on a hinge, and used a bungee cord to keep a constant tension on the chain. The electric motor is mounted on a hinged platform so that under power it would not pull the sprockets out of alignment. That’s my theory, anyway, and it does seem to work. 

Also made a different kind of steering, the tried and trusty rope on a crossbar, which also serves as a footrest.

I made a Sketchup model of  the Mk1 homemade DIY electric scooter.

The link opens SketchUp for web, and you can view and save the model.

More Homemade DIY electric scooters

Step by step instructions on how to build a homemade Electric scooter using a second hand scooter. Plans to build a DIY Electric scooter from buggies built for fun.

Back to woodworking projects.