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Thread: Electric karts

  1. #1
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    Electric karts


    Do people use them

  2. #2
    4 Cycle Advanced User XXX#40's Avatar
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    for concession/rental karts yes
    for racing no

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    I've wondered about true electric "racing" karts too. Obviously at some point in the future it's got to happen. Even though we use VERY little fuel in our current karts, E karting will happen sooner or later. I've started following Formula E, and the technology is fascinating.
    I've done some google searches, but really haven't found much, as #40 says.
    Like 206, somebody might get the ball rolling, and maybe it will grow from there. A whole different level of kart shop, more like a high end RC shop.
    Interesting discussion.
    Clark Gaynor Sr.

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    Racing needs noise IMO....one of the reasons I can't get into some of the predator stuff. I like to hear am engine roar. Just something about it. I'd really struggle with electric unless it was the only option.

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    there is a company in Michigan that produces or did, e karts for the rental industry.. think they are in Mattawan Michigan (formula K) i got the chance to run them a few times... great torque out of the corners, we ran 150 laps on a track maybe 1/10 mile road course... never felt like they lost power... but they are quiet.. just the sound of tires squealing.

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    What a bag of worms that would open up....
    People winding there own armatures, $2000 speed controllers, that go obsolete in 6 months, custom home brew batteries, motors that go up in smoke after 1 race, battery explosions.

    Just look at RC cars, and pro slot cars, and where they have went in the past 30 years.

    Here is a currant 1/24th scale slot car motor.
    Initial cost - $350
    Body length, not including shaft - .75"
    Width - .625"
    RPM - 200,000
    HP - 1/4 hp

    Can't be raced until broke in, and once it has been heat cycled, must be taken apart, and the armature sent out for re-balancing.
    You better have 10-12 of them to go to even a small race. Going to a big race, better have twice that.
    If your lucky, you can qualify on just one, with out it going up in smoke.
    Then a fresh one for each heat, and hopefully they all will last a 5 minute heat.
    More likely than not, you will fry at least one.

    Afterwards, each that didn't roast needs to be re-built, with the commentator cut, new brushes, and the arm re-balanced again. Followed by a new break in.
    If one let the 'magic smoke' out, then a new armature, brushes, and break-in procedure again.



    Na, let's let the FIA green earth idiots keep playing with E-stupidity.....

  7. #7
    4 Cycle Advanced User flattop1's Avatar
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    Looks like the slot car stuff took a turn for the worse ! I remember a whole new set under the tree , I'd bet it wasn't 35.00.

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    Of course... we have the current 9 HP LO206 thru the 75+ HP 250cc Gas Gas six speed. $570 vs $8,000+.
    For the sake for this discussion, I think we can all agree a $20,000 electric go-kart will not be very popular. Especially if the above mentioned maintenance would be required.
    I'm referring to something in line with the current 206 thru Tag performance, and priced accordingly. Not some $10K exotic motor with a $10K equally exotic battery pack.
    Clark.

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    A $10k exotic motor only is $10k if you buy it from someone else.
    If you wind the armature yourself, or buy a chunk of samarium-cobalt, and make your own magnets, then it hardly costs that much.
    But if you go to a turd polisher (motor blue printer), then it will be $10k....

    True, there are entry level, low buck slot car motors, that cost about $10 a pop.
    But the people who race those, go to the places and order $500 worth of them, and have them made to your specifications. No one can tell, because they look just like all the $10 motors.
    So if you find a company that will supply $200, or $700 sealed electric motors, there will be turd polishers that will charge you 3 times as much for one of their 'specials'.

    Flattop1, that was a home set. A car meant for racing on a large 8-lane commercial track back in the '60s (sorry, but you may be old enough to have been alive back then) was maybe $35 by itself. A competition motors, maybe $20.

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    4 Cycle Advanced User flattop1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoFast View Post
    A $10k exotic motor only is $10k if you buy it from someone else.
    If you wind the armature yourself, or buy a chunk of samarium-cobalt, and make your own magnets, then it hardly costs that much.
    But if you go to a turd polisher (motor blue printer), then it will be $10k....

    Flattop1, that was a home set. A car meant for racing on a large 8-lane commercial track back in the '60s (sorry, but you may be old enough to have been alive back then) was maybe $35 by itself. A competition motors, maybe $20.
    I was . I did.
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    LOL, somehow, your level of knowledge indicated you were an old fart

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    I have to assume there's no way of getting this thread back to electric karts, right?
    Almost sorry I replied.
    Clark.

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    I'm a mechanic at the local rental go kart track and we have electric karts. Let me just say, you don't want to own an electric kart.

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    I was talking to someone at a local Veloce indoor speedway that uses electric Karts. The karts themselves run about $20K each. The maintenance on them is a nightmare. The batteries last about 6 months due to charging requirements between heats. Given the waste in the production of the karts (batteries, motors, chargers, etc) I can't foresee how an electric kart would be more environmentally friendly? I've seen reports how a Prius takes more energy to produce than it saves once it's in operation. I'm not sure how true they are, but the information does make sense.

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    That's pathetic.

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    Neat stuff...looks like someone has already done a lot of the research and put a starter pack together.
    Nice to see that it's doable. And that TopKart USA is involved.
    Clark.

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    Gorden, it's nice to see someone with such a positive attitude.
    I think we all have to keep in mind that whether you race a 206 or a Superkart, they're still go-karts. So belittling anything any one of us races is just a little hypocritical, don't you think?
    Just sayen".
    Clark.

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    Rotax has a kart called the 'Thunder' based on a Sodi chassis. Sounds pretty impressive performance wise and it has a 'boost button' but the battery last 10 minutes at full charge and it is heavier then a standard kart.

    Do some Googling.

    Bob K.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ClarkSr View Post
    I have to assume there's no way of getting this thread back to electric karts, right?
    Almost sorry I replied.
    Clark.
    I have, over the years ( starting in 1965) , raced slot cars, then off road, oval and on road electric 1/10 and 1/12 scale RC cars before coming to karts, and the discussion of where slot cars and RC cars have gone with technology and what that technology costs to race has a place here; we think that this part of the thread is valid and relevant with regards to where electric race karts would probably go. Both serve as good object lessons, IMO, so maybe this didn't really stray that far off course; at least give it a thought from that perspective.

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    One thing, with electric karts you could run headphones, and pipe in any engine sound you wanted.
    Just think, you could buy different sound modules, and have something like 20,000 rpm F1 sound, or mid-'50s Offenhauser Indy car, or a John Deer model-B tractor, or John Force's funny car, or just John Force running off at the mouth.
    The further down you pushed the go peddle, the faster old John would talk.
    Be better than blowing through your lips to make engine noise.....

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    I didn't check this thread for a while, but I found the following:
    - https://www.sae.org/attend/student-e...-sae-electric/
    - http://www.daymak.com/c5/ - they claim that this is the fastest (electric) go-kart on the planet

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    Quote Originally Posted by 716junkie View Post
    I'm a mechanic at the local rental go kart track and we have electric karts. Let me just say, you don't want to own an electric kart.
    Are you by chance mechanic at RPM Raceway?

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    I checked the Rotax Thunder online as Bob mentioned.. interesting. And if you Youtube it, there's all sorts of electric kart stuff which shows up. So it does appear to be out there, just not in the main stream karting world YET!
    Clark.

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    The electrics would all have to have spec parts to power them. Otherwise the multi-thousand dollar electric motors, trick batteries and all the other maxi-expensive electric parts would have to be utilized.

    THEN there is no noise to help the spectator enjoy, and the competitors to guage their progress on the track.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevinq View Post
    Are you by chance mechanic at RPM Raceway?
    Yes I am

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    Quote Originally Posted by 716junkie View Post
    Yes I am
    Cool, I went to RPM Raceway last summer and noticed some other problems with the electric karts as well, like you mentioned before. But don't you think this depends on the quality of the go-karts? I heard that the ones from the UK called 'OTL Electro Kart' where actually doing pretty good regarding the maintenance.

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    So, anyway.... to answer the question....

    They are not widespread in competition karting, but common in concession\indoor karting for sure. Off the cuff I'd say of the indoor concession tracks added last year in the US, at least 50% were electric. They are quiet which makes it easier to get approval

    On the racing side, there's some growth happening, but overall it's quiet. Last year there was a series in Sonoma that ran electric karts for arrive and drive. Laptimes somewhere between a TaG and a shifter. Biggest problem wasn't distance per charge (which surprised me), but it was heat dissipation, the motors were cooking.

    You can make electric karts (and cars) very fast over short runs, but longer distance is a challenge on a charge. Weight is still pretty significant too.
    Rotax are starting to take notice and have a program in place in europe: https://forums.kartpulse.com/t/rotax...for-karts/1207
    Here's another initiative call "EGT Holdings": http://facebook.com/EGTChampionship/...Vn6OvZDGWv1cJc

    Like anything, there's a ton of hype around them. But slowly they are cropping up more and more often.

    We talked a bit about electric karts on our live show: https://facebook.com/kartpulse/videos/2029029417311071/

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    Thank you RadialFin, that is some valuable information there. Although it seems that I can't open the live show video on Facebook you posted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevinq View Post
    Cool, I went to RPM Raceway last summer and noticed some other problems with the electric karts as well, like you mentioned before. But don't you think this depends on the quality of the go-karts? I heard that the ones from the UK called 'OTL Electro Kart' where actually doing pretty good regarding the maintenance.
    I agree. The karts we have here are OTL karts that are made in Italy. They are pretty good as being rental karts for the general public. But the general public is much more abusive on karts than any racer would be if they owned their own. So if you took away some of the durability built into the karts it would lighten them up and be able to be more raceable.

    As far as the maintenance, I'm always busy fixing something or just doing general maintenance on the karts, but we have 50 karts and there is only one of me. If I only owned 1 or 2 karts I don't think the maintenance would be anymore than the typical weekly maintenance I normally do on my own karts.

    OTL makes a "race kart" that is built for road course racing but I think there would be a way to move the electronics to a LTO kart if you wanted to. Only thing unknown would be the dirt/dust factor getting in the motor and computer. I know in offroad RC racing they don't really have a problem with it so it might work. But the cost would be outrageous. I was told for one kart and one charger it was $12k not including the batteries.

    Here is the link to the race kart https://otlkart.com/race-kart/
    At RPM we have the storm series of karts.

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