August 16, 2009

The Electric Kart project [HAR 2009]

Filed under: Automobiles by Branko Collin @ 1:59 pm

The E-Kart or Electric Kart is an experiment to see “whether we can somehow conceive our own home-built electric vehicle—we bought an old go kart frame and converted it to a zero emission kart, using parts from an electric scooter,” according to its makers, Anthony Liekens and Walter Schreppers.

I talked to Liekens at HAR. The electric scooter was used simply because they had one available from China that wasn’t rated for use on the road in Belgium, and also because this solution was cheaper than getting the required parts separately. Originally, they wanted to buy an electric motor that would draw 4800 watts. The current scooter-based model uses 500 watts.

When I visited E-Kart Village, Anthonie was mourning a flat front tire, but in true hacker spirit, he told me that they were looking into the many and diverse applications of duck tape to overcome this problem. And sure enough, a day later I saw the kart zip across the campground again.

The E-Kart has a top speed of 23 km/h, and because it can access all its torque immediately, accelerates very fast. The E-Kart blog has lots more info, including videos and a complete, illustrated history.

Now it’s off for me to the last of the talks of HAR 2009. I hope you enjoyed reading about the camp as much as I enjoyed attending.

Update: I appear to have forgotten to include the link to the E-Kart blog, an oversight I have now corrected (see first paragraph)—B.

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