Eli-Kart grew out of an interest of mine to create a simple, reliable, personal electric vehicle that would be practical off the racetrack. By using an electric motor and running everything off batteries, Eli-Kart doesn’t add directly to air pollution (so I don't feel bad using it indoors). Unlike most go-karts, it only has three wheels: two in the front and one in the back. At the expense of a little cornering speed, Eli-Kart has decent ground clearance and extra space for another passenger or extra cargo.
I began to design to formulate ideas for an electric go-kart around the beginning of my senior year in college. I was able to devote a good deal of time to the project in my last semester by working on the project as my undergrad thesis. In my design and analysis, I used computational tools to aid my calculations. These tools allow for realistic simulations of a variety of conditions. I used these to double-check things such as shaft yielding and aerodynamics, along with motor torque and magnetic flux for my motor.
Step 1: CAD
You may have noticed the motor in the renderings is different from the custom motor I designed. This is because I originally designed Eli-Kart to be used with a commercially available brushless motor. In the vein of similar EV power systems, it was about a 3kW peak hobby aircraft motor. However, it was relatively simple to devise a new mounting system for my new motor.
The motor design I came up with much later. I based everything off of motor parts I found online, which I'll get into later. I attached some pictures of the motor for the Solidworks file as well.