Introduction: DIY Electric Skateboard


This is intended to be a quick guide on what you need to create a homemade electric skateboard on a relatively small budget that can rival a new consumer brand that costs in excess of £1200. The board I built can reach speeds of about 26mph and with regenerative breaking can run for about 10KM. Above is a video and a few pictures of my build and the next pages will be about the parts and the changes I would make to mine if I were to make another. Please support my work by subscribing to my YouTube channel

Please don't try and replicate this design as it is not guaranteed to work and there are several changes I would make to it. It is effectively just a prototype. Like any form of transport like this remember to wear a helmet. These are dangerous so I am not responsible for any injury's suffered.

Step 1: The Deck

Picture of The Deck

Firstly I would recommend a longboard deck rather than a skateboard as this gives you more stability, a smoother ride and more space for your components. It needs to be solid with little flex and topmounted rather than drop through trucks to give more room underneath for the electronics enclosure and motor. The diagram from explains the different choices. It is the top one that is ideal. .

As for the wheels you need a relatively large diameter and about medium softness to give a smother ride. Some wheels come with plastic hubs such as the orangatang kegel, which is ideal for mounting the pulley wheel onto. In my case I just drilled directly into my solid wheel. This works for the moment but will not necessarily last a long time.

Trucks: now this is where you should consider the shape and design so that a motor mount can be made for it (more on this later)

So as long as you follow this you can choose any deck you like. In my case I made my own to save money as in the video.

Step 2: The Electronics

Picture of The Electronics

A power kit including appropiate motor/s and matching esc can be puchaced from bruno at This saves you a bit of time matching components and is almost guaranteed to work.

Single vs dual motor set-up. Usually one larger lower kv motor is enough, it was in my case and climes hills very well and is the cheaper option. More than enough for average commuting. Dual set-ups will give more power and will climb hills effortlessly but the cost can increase significantly. So for this guide I'll just stick to the single set-up.

Motor: suitable motors for electric skateboards obviously need to have high power and torque. Brushless out-runners for rc planes are commonly used. You need one with a low kv such as the turnigy sk3 213kv that I used or the smaller ntm prop drive 270kv are both good choices.

Esc: You need a speed controller that can support very high amps. These are usually identified by HV in the name of the esc. Get a good quality car one as cheaper ones can sometimes just burn out. The easiest was to choose is to get one that your choosen motor and batteries can plug straight into. Bruno at alienpowersyetem sells very good escs (i used one of his) but it requires some soldering and adaptor cables to make my hobbyking motor and batteries fit. If you buy the kit from him however this shouldn't be a problem.

Battery: Most people use Lithium Polymer (LiPo) in there builds. This is because they provide a huge amount of power for there size and weight. However the main disadvantage of these is they are volotile and have to be looked after very carefully in order to avoid a fire or destroying the battery. That being said if you charge them properly with a good quality balance charger and don't over charge or leave under charged for a long period of time they are ok. The best alternative is LiFePo4 which hold less but still a good amount of power and are sometimes easier to manage.

What you need to know:

mAh is how long it will provide the power for and C is the discharge rate (how quickly it can provide the power) The pack configuration is also stated, e.g 4S1P. This means that there are 4 cells all in series forming one pack. 8S2P would mean that there are 8 cells, 2 packs of 4 in series are connected together in parallel to give a higher capacity.

I used 2x 4S1P 25C 5000mah turnigy lipo batteries wired in parell for my build. An easier option is to buy one of brunos new ready made flat packs that can be found here. often 6S is more that enough and cheaper.

Transmitter/reciever: any hobby one will do here, car ones are best as you have a trigger for the throttle. Only problem with these is that they are very bulky and require a lot of aa batteries. Some people have used an arduino mini and wii wireless nunchuck. I might do an instructable on that at some point.

Step 3: Drive System

Picture of Drive System

For this part I thought I would first attatch a link to my website where it is more of a step by step thing with pictures

The pulleys can be obtained from belting online. I used a 36T to 14t T5 pulley reduction connected by a matching synconflec timing belt. The ratio is relatively important here, this works very well for my 213kv motor. For the smaller motor you might want to go for 36T to 12T.

I got the bore of the smaller pulley modified to match the shaft with two m4 grub scews. I ground corresponding flats on the motor shaft so that the pulley would lock onto it.

Motor mount: By mounting the motor directly onto the truck there is virtually no chance of the belt slipping off when turning. A mount can be made easily from aluminium and welded onto the truck. However this makes it more difficult to make fine adjustments and get correct tension on the belt.

To get around this the motor mount can be made in two parts with extended bolt holes to make these adjustments. I tried a few designs (that I may upload a cnc file up for so you can get it machined) but after some internet searching I found Richard from aliendrivesystems that had done just that! He offers this excellent solution for mounting these motors onto two different trucks that is actually cheaper than commissioning a cnc milling company to make your own. So I used his...

Step 4: The Enclosure

Picture of The Enclosure

To protect your batteries and other expensive parts you are going to need a solid enclosure. Key features of this should be good airflow, sturdy construction and a suitable way to hold the electronics securely.

Firstly, I laid out my components onto a piece of paper and drew a rough sketch around it. This was to help organise the components in the most compact way. Then I came up with a few designs until reaching my final part as shown above. Mesh at either end allows excellent airflow to cool the electronics and is held simply my the pressure of the bottom plate. The tapered ends hold each lipo battery securely in place and allows adequate routing of cables in the spare space. Then the esc, receiver and receiver pack are secured using double sided foam.

Unfortunately the main body of the case had to be screwed directly to the deck. For aesthetics I used brushed aluminium for the bottom plate and carbon fibre vinyl around the main body.

Alternatively you could use a simple project enclosure to save time.

Step 5: Improvements I Would Make

Firstly if I were to build another I would reduce the size of the board or manufacture with carbon fiber. The board is actually pretty heavy and bulky which makes it less ideal for jumping on and off public transport and storing it at work or school.

I would not use lipos again. Although there power to weight is excellent, I am always worrying about them and the whole board has to be taken apart to charge. I would go for a custom lifepo4 pack with plug in charger.

I'd spend more time developing a more compact remote control system for it. Ideally one that could fit into a pocket with a battery level indicator.

Larger wheels with plastic hubs would be a better option. I would also considerer pneumatic tyres and uk roads make the journeys a little less comfortable than the could be...

So yes, that is all for now. Thanks for reading and there is a video on my youtube if you would like to see the board working. If I get time in the future I will probably make one of these again as this was a very enjoyable project...


nidhinnandan2014 (author)2017-11-28

can i use

Turnigy Aerodrive SK3 - 5045-500kv motor instead of above mentioned one
PedroS62 (author)2016-06-05

can i use this battery?

DeepGames2211 (author)PedroS622017-10-04

i don't know if this helps but this website will help you with what ever calculations you might need.

Sohan Sunku (author)PedroS622016-07-15

It might be possible but a 4s lipo with high capacity and mah rating is better. The one from the link seems to be quite bulky, making it difficult to case as it might scrape the ground if bottom mounted. And its discharge rate is not specified so it might give too much speed. Also, the cables used on it are not traditionally used with RC electronics, meaning that you would have to solder everything causing quite a hassle.

Jonatan2012 (author)PedroS622016-06-14


the maximum outbound current is 25A, which is not enough to supply most motors. I don't really think that is suitable for this type of project.. Even the outbound connector is not made for great power draws, but more of a tiny flimsy connector.

AvrohomB (author)2016-10-05

Dose anyone know a motor mount for an electric long board?

MohamedE172 (author)AvrohomB2017-05-19

You'll find it on Ali express

RaďaZ (author)AvrohomB2017-01-31

Here you go:

If you scroll just a bit, It's down there. Also If you want more parts, this shop has it all !

KristiánF9 (author)2017-02-13

Hi, my motor is trambling, here is video can you help me ? :)

Is this a longboard or a skateboard


Royale LindseyM (author)2016-07-31

Je voudrais construire un skateboard électrique mais je ne sais pas ou payer les pièces

Dans le canada, tu pouvait utiliser home depot.

AceA17 (author)2016-07-26

Can you give us a link to where you bought the pulleys and timing belt?

NIKHIL SINGH BAGHEL (author)2016-07-11

Can I use sevo motor for better torque

Servo motors provide torque but not speed so a brushless motor would be best.

NIKHIL SINGH BAGHEL (author)2016-07-11

Can I use 12v lead acid batteries

They could work, but they tend to be quite bulky and generally provide less power than lipos do.

PedroS62 (author)2016-06-05

If i should use a custom lifepo4 pack with plug in charger where can i get one?

PedroS62 (author)2016-06-05

So we should use a custom lifepo4 pack with plug in charger? if so where can I get one

swisspyropower (author)2016-05-24

Hey any chance you could post some more detailed pictures/drawings of the motor mount? Can't quite tell from your pictures on the instructable and your website. Really like what you did though!


AlexS361 (author)2016-04-26

Although somewhat impractical, could I use a 12volt 18Ah lead acid deep cycle motorcycle battery as power just recharge it using my trickle charger?

MasonR11 (author)AlexS3612016-05-18

there's probably some kind of converter/inverter you could use in conjunction with a lead acid battery that would allow you to get the amps and volts within target range. and then you'd probably have hella battery life.

AlexS361 (author)AlexS3612016-04-27

Nvm, too high amperage

masonh5 (author)2016-03-18

how would i increase the run time to about 15km and lower the speed to about 20mph. dont need explicit instructions just a basic explanation, thanks.

MasonR11 (author)masonh52016-05-18

change sprocket size of your pulley to adjust gearing ratio. will turn with more torque and fewer rpm. i also think it would reduce the load on the batteries since this would allow them to turn the motor more freely.

KarimS27 (author)masonh52016-05-07

If you want lower speed and more run time you would connect the batteries in parallel and if you want more speed but less run time you connect the batteries in series.. Just search online how to connect lipo batteries in either of these ways.

JaisonD1 (author)masonh52016-04-13

You could buy batteries with a lower c (discharge) rating like 20c which would lower your top speed and then purchase batteries that have a higher amp capacity.

SyariK (author)masonh52016-04-06

Less throttle and larger batteries

Cravent216 (author)2016-05-07

If I'm going to spend that much money I'm better off buying one that I know is well made

Classybro (author)2016-02-03

can i use 2 power banks of 11000 mah instead of lipo battery

Justinvent (author)Classybro 2016-05-02

Those are low discharge batteries so they won't work.

Yipavenger123 (author)2016-04-21

how would i add the controller for the board?

eco design (author)2016-04-11

how can you make it self-charging (renewable energy)?

JaisonD1 (author)eco design2016-04-13

You can purchase speed controllers that have regenerative braking built in, which will charge the battery.

Classybro (author)2016-02-03

can i use 2 power banks of 11000 mah instead of lipo battery

SyariK (author)Classybro 2016-04-06

No, they will not provide enough amperage to run the motor. RC batteries are designed to put out lots of amps quickly vs power banks which are trickle chargers.

Fredbutler1 (author)Classybro 2016-03-13

you mean those USB power banks?

Dun_neo (author)2015-11-06

How much did all of this cost in the end?

Evwon (author)Dun_neo2016-03-09

This is what I want to know... Why do so few project authors give average price it cost them to make it and/or the cost range it should take someone to make? :(

CoolRextreme (author)Evwon2016-04-01

This one shows the price for everything, as well as the final price c:

Fredbutler1 (author)2016-03-11

hey, nice instrucable! i recently but a lead acid power brick of an electronic mountain board and am considering filling this to build a lightweight urban modle. For recharging though, why not stick to LiPo batteries but get an extra lead out the side so you can charge without removing the batteries.. this could be done with a pre-made splitter Y shape harness from you batteries. only a few Bob on eBay/HK :)

Fredbutler1 (author)Fredbutler12016-03-11

just ignore all the grammar/typos above

Ben999 (author)2016-02-28

Really struggling to get the electrics to work. got it all wired and bound the esc to the receiver but nothing. Can anyone help?

tejasb11 (author)2016-02-08

is a 2000W, 295 kV motor with max current 68A, 9 poles, max V 55V motor viable? or is 295kV too high? Turns (poles ) is 9. It is the Tacon Bigfoot 110

tejasb11 (author)tejasb112016-02-08

with 70mm wheels

Classybro (author)2016-02-03

is 900 rpm 12 v Dc motor with 12kgcm torque right for my eskateboard and which battery should I use with it and what will be the speed and how much whieght it can hold

Classybro (author)2016-02-03

is 900 rpm 12 v Dc motor with 12kgcm torque right for my eskateboard and which battery should I use with it and what will be the speed and how much whieght it can hold

Aerosmith31 (author)2016-01-30

Sweet Post.

Has anyone used Abec 11 Flywheels? I have a set which have good holes for mounting but I haven't got a pulley for it yet.

I tried getting a pulley from Metroboard but they rejected my purchase because they don't sell to non-Metroboard customers.

Now I'm looking at an ABS printed pulley which will fit from ebay but I'm not sure if it will wear out or not. Has anyone tried a printed pulley before?

noeen01 (author)2015-12-19

Hey, i think you have put an incredible diy instructable here, and just wanted to thank you for all the info and tips!

I am making my own all terrain long board after making my first one. i have a longboard and i attached 4 pneumatic 6" wheels to it. I was just finalizing on the motor or motor(s) and the battery to use. I want the board to be able to carry my weight (160) and all the weight of the board and travel at around 22mph. I have done a lot of research and the main company "evolve" makes all terrain boards and uses one (350w (700 watt max output) 5,500 RPM High Performance Brushless) motor. And then there is also boosted board which uses two brushless motors and gets a super high speed. I am planning to use either one or two turnigy motors or if i can find one bigger better motor i will use that.

I just want your input on which outrunner motor to buy and what design to go with? Also with which ever motor which battery do you suggest?


About This Instructable




Bio: Facebook: Youtube:
More by PracticalProjects:DIY Electric Skateboard
Add instructable to: