Picture of Electric Snowcat Pico
This electric tracked vehicle will turn all your winter trails into "downhill" fun. The intention was to build an electric snow vehicle that would allow me to zoom around on the network of trails around my house without getting sneered at (walking trails) or licensed (snowmobile trails). The initial design was a board driven by tracks with a ski in the front (photo in step 2). While researching for a solution for steering I stumbled upon a video for a skizee. http://skizee.ca/. This innovative design not only solved my steering and suspension worries, but it looks like a ton of fun. The advantages of my scrapyard EV version described herein include the relative silence of the setup (less sneering on paths) and is too slow to worry about it slamming into you if you wipe out... A second motivation for this project was to learn the skills needed for an eventual micro car EV conversion (BMW Isetta?). 

UPDATE: It gets pretty rough back there... I was able to take a few trips before I had a major breakdown. A connection was broken at the switch in the battery pack. I successfully soldered it back together; however I am not willing to risk further damaging my 500$ LiPo battery. I cant really add any suspension to cushion the blows, so I have elected to retire the Pico for now. I can only guess the speed at 10k/h and range at 10km (1 hour) given how long the battery lasts on my similarly powered ebike motor. I had a blast building it so there are absolutely no regrets. 

Jump to the last step to see a video of the PICO in action.

joey.heider.19 months ago
Cool, now seeing this I want to build one, except gas powered
Renard_Bleu (author)  joey.heider.19 months ago

Thanks. Check out what these guys did. I am not sure they are still in business, the "order" link is broken. http://skizee.ca/video.html

Let me know how it went.

Tex Arcana1 year ago
lead acid battery for the win?? and larger tracks with more ground clearance.
Renard_Bleu (author)  Tex Arcana1 year ago

Thanks for the comment. The skizee still seems like the ultimate: Lots of track, nothing to drag and the energy density of gasoline:


espdp22 years ago
Very nice idea and execution! Since you say it's geared a little low, how we'll does it climb?
Renard_Bleu (author)  espdp22 years ago
Thanks for the comment. Sorry for the late reply:

It doesn't climb at all anymore :( I had battery issues and decided to scrap the project. Climbing was mainly limited by a lack of traction: it would get hung up pretty easily due to low clearance.
That is awesome. I'm curious as to what you are getting for speed and distance out of the battery and system? Any ideas yet?
Renard_Bleu (author)  stevemoseley2 years ago
Thanks for the comment, sorry for the late reply.
I didn't have much luck after posting. The key switch inside the LiPO battery broke off completely. I was able to fix it but I gave up the project for fear of having to replace the 500$ ebike battery. I figure I would have gotten 10km at 10km/h though.
TheMainMan2 years ago
It kinda looks like Wall-E is following you around. Cool project!
Renard_Bleu (author) 2 years ago
Thanks for all the comments. After another ride (and more troubleshooting) over the weekend I have elected to keep the current gearing/speed. It has enough power to climb inclines (not hills). The main issue is traction, the undercarriage is low and the tracks tend to slip. I help the little pico along with some skating when she bogs down.
tritian2 years ago
awesome!, very cool. thanks a lot for the link to the skizee as well, would have never known about that awesome thing!!
Cool! Good job.
Renard_Bleu (author) 2 years ago
I wouldn't need a cooler... However, it gets quite bumpy back there, sounds like a recipe for a face full of beer-spray.
jackthursby2 years ago
sweet! looks like fun. have you put a 12 pack carrier on it yet? sleet nor snow will keep me from beer
agis682 years ago