Introduction: DIY Electric Skateboard

Picture of DIY Electric Skateboard
This is a VERY basic approach to making a cheep skateboard without having to know ALL of the mechanics involved.  I.e. mounting the motor, the chain linkage, frame, brakes, etc; all of that is pre-made into the scooter you will use.  The only additional parts I bought were: 2-9" MBS front wheels, MBS front truck, aluminum for the deck, new batteries, some cheep acrylic for the battery box, scratch tape, and misc nuts and bolts from Home Depot.

Here's a video of my buddy riding the finished skateboard down the street.  

Top speed is approx: 15-21mph

Step 1: Find an Old Scooter

Picture of Find an Old Scooter

This is not a picture of the actual scooter I used, but it's close.  I found mine on craigslist for about $50 and amazingly the only problem was the batteries were shot.

Step 2: Strip It Bare

Picture of Strip It Bare

The materials you will salvage from the previous scooter are: the steel frame and shocks, the back wheel and chain linkage, the motor(mine was 1000W), the motor controller, the disc brake system, & throttle control from the handlebar. You can test the batteries, but usually they're bad and should be replaced. This picture shows the remaining frame after I stripped everything off. Nothing was more difficult than unscrewing several screws, except the vertical steel piece welded to the frame.(it supported the handle bars and LED display) I took a sawzall to it and it came off very easy.

Step 3: Find a Suitable Deck Material

Picture of Find a Suitable Deck Material

I found four or five aluminum sheets at the local recycling scrap metal yard; they were almost the perfect size for the deck. The metal yard charged me around $20 for the material. Next, I took them to a local company that builds cotton gins and they were nice enough to offer me the service of their awesome laser cutter. I fastened it to the scooter frame with 3 bolts on each side and two in the front.

Step 4: Order New Batteries

Picture of Order New Batteries

The initial batteries were shot (3 total), so I went to Ebay and found a lot of different providers. The best price I could find at the time was around $22. 

Step 5: Custom Battery Box

Picture of Custom Battery Box

The initial battery box was too shallow with my new deck. So I removed the old battery box and replaced it with a custom acrylic box that I shaped into a trapezoid-ish shape. The acrylic is not the most durable material you can use. I only use it because it was easy to shape with a blow torch and extremely cheep. A metal box would probably be better.

Step 6:

Picture of

Almost finished.........

To mount the acrylic box, I found some simple hinges from home depot and some nuts and bolts. This allows me to access the batteries for whatever reason in the future. You can't see it, but I bound the 3 batteries together with duct-tape to hopefully minimize them moving. I used the model number underneath the motor controller to find its data sheet online(didn't take long). I also found 4 screws to fasten the truck to the frame. I used about an inch thick rectangle shape block of extra aluminum underneath the front of the frame to increase the height. The trucks are the cheapest I could find for 9" wheels, there are much better and more expensive ones available. The deck design is simple, so there may be a better design to help with the wheels not bite while turning. Not pictured is the black scape tape on top of the deck. I went to a local skateboard shop and they applied it for a small cost.

Step 7: Pictures of Separate Components

Picture of Pictures of Separate Components

Here's the link for my motor controller:

You can also change out the bushing that comes with the truck for a more/less stiff one, whichever you prefer(I went one size more stiff).

Step 8:

Here's the link for my motor controller:


TheKitMurkit. (author)2016-06-24

Very nice!

PanchoP2 (author)2016-06-05

How much did this cost u

PanchoP2 (author)2016-06-05

How much did this cost u

yishaisilver8 (author)2016-01-18

Does this have regenerative breaking?

Yonatan24 (author)2016-01-13

Hi, I've added your project to the "A Collection of Homemade Electric Motorized Skateboards (That You Must Make!)" Collection

This is the link If you are interested:

AllenInventions (author)2015-10-22

way easier electric skateboard

muskychd (author)2015-08-03

I could go around 15-18mph for about 45min holding it full throttle the time. The most travel distance I ever measured was 5 miles around campus

Indio9344 (author)2015-08-02

How far were you able to get on one charge?

astrong0 (author)2013-05-12

I am doing this. no doubt. except i have looked around and the closest advertised electric scooter that isn't store bought is 75 miles away... so i was walking home one day and i found a chainsaw that someone had obviously dumped with other trash (for shame.). needless to say that will be my motor when i get it working!!! i shall post pics.

Phoghat (author)astrong02014-06-02

Dumpster diving is the key to success !

gluvit (author)2014-01-19

Nice job

TexomaEV (author)2013-04-19

Awesome, Thank You for getting back to me with that info! Here you can see we are really into EV's, and this skateboard project will be one of the coolest!

TexomaEV (author)2013-04-11

Where is your source for the Front Wheels/Axle ?

muskychd (author)TexomaEV2013-04-19

Front Wheels - MBS T2 Tires - 9" - Black - $35

Front Truck - MBS ATS Truck - $29.95

ssiron (author)2013-04-11

Did you leave the drive with just a single wheel?

muskychd (author)ssiron2013-04-19

I did, which was one of the primary reasons for doing this project. I didn't have to build a support frame for the motor, setup the drive chain, and it came with all the accessories to operate it. haha

paumora (author)2013-04-15

Hello. Thank you very much for your instructable. Have data of autonomy?

yukimoko (author)2013-04-13

wow nice concept, I want to build this for my son :)

justgps (author)2013-04-11

I was fail at Step 1. ....>"<

annarosesc (author)2013-04-11

You need to put some gyroscopes on it so we don't fall off

jdmeaux (author)2013-04-11

Great idea to recycle an old scooter. But now you can't sit down.

stevenrterry (author)2013-04-11

I like your end design, but the instructable leave so much detail out that I need to ask a lot of questions. Feel free to PM me. I'm going to build this, but need help.
1) What are you using for the motor?
2) What is the transmission device? Did you use the one from the scooter?
3) Where did you get the wheels and trucks?
4) What is the length?
5) I am presuming that this is a 3 wheel skateboard. Is that correct?

Sorry for all the questions. Thanks for putting this in Instructables

notcranium (author)2013-04-11

I really like the concept and the short video results....but you are right, there is a LOT left out which does not make this an Instructable. It is more just a 'look at what I did'.

moebuspcgold (author)2013-04-11

That is one mean machine, good work!

muskychd (author)2013-04-09

I realize my "DIY Electric Skateboard" intructable is very bleak and leaves out A LOT of info, so if you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at:

Kiteman (author)muskychd2013-04-09

You could start by embedding the YouTube video in the project.

Excellent job, by the way.

About This Instructable



Bio: I'm a mechanical engineering student attending Texas Tech. I love building anything mechanical or electrical. When I'm not going to school, I work ... More »
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