What Electric Motors Can Be Used In A Go Kart or E Bike; Bench Testing and Recommended Sizing #61

I test several motor types to demonstrate which can be used in a Go Kart, electric bike/vehicle application. I show a Washing machine motor, Treadmill motor, scooter and others…

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1. First video reference to a car starter… (not a recommended motor type. They are designed to run at max for 10-30 seconds not extended periods of time)

2. Second video reference to car alternator

A very well presented Project, but as mentioned above, car alternators aren’t designed to be loaded in reverse like that for extended periods of time.

3. The inverter shown is rated at 6000 watts peak, and 3000 continuous according to the paper work. However, this could easily mean 1500 watts per plug. So my first impression in the video is likely wrong.

4. In the US Washing machine motors are usually induction motors, but in other countries they are often universal motors.

5. The Tesla uses a custom three phase AC motor. This type of system cost thousands of dollars to have the right motor, controller, and battery bank to match. There is a reason the Tesla cost so much. This I think is way outside the scope of a backyard go kart project. If you have the budget you can certainly use a AC motor designed for this application. I was focused on Household recycled AC motors when making this video.

6. “Brushless” DC motors are often called AC motors and that is completely appropriate. They are very similar to 3 phase AC motors except the way they are controlled is different. This topic was not covered in this video as I was primarily focused on the question of salvaged motors from household machines like washing machines. But certainly with the correct controller, a Brushless DC motors works with batteries. Many electric karts are powered by this type of motor.

Technical Corrections…

In the video I say “three phase DC” but It is more appropriate to call it a AC motor when referring to “phases”. At the time I was thinking in terms of the way the guy was using the alternator. He was controlling it with a Brushless DC controller.

30 kph is 18.6 mph

Someone in the comments suggested that the 3000 watts limit might be 1500 watts per outlet. That does seem like a reasonable marketing “glitch”. This is not in the manual anywhere, but If this is true, the inverter is performing as advertised.

Final Note:
PLEASE UNDERSTAND…I receive hundreds of messages on all platforms (email, Facebook, comments etc) asking for advice, and help with projects. At this volume, I simply can’t do one on one advice.


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