Here's a project that can let Mom, Dad, & Jr. or Princess all play together in the back yar by improving a Power Wheels electric car and upgrading it to green technology and renewable energy.

A while back, I had gotten a PowerWheels Jeep, but it didn't have a battery or charger. And it always seems that these toy cars end up getting left outside anyways, AND it's a little bit of a pain to pull out the battery to recharge.

Since I already built a full-size electric car AND I am interested in renewable energy, this was the perfect chance for me to build my own low-voltage SOLAR-POWERED ELECTRIC CAR!

The project integrates the PowerWheels with a battery, PV Solar Panels on a custom rack, and a solar charge controller, to design a child's solar-electric car.

Let's get started!

Step 1: Tools and Materials

For this project you are going to need some fairly typical tools, but you may or may not have worked with solar-electric components before. That's OK, the whole system is low voltage, and pretty easy to work on.

Here's the Materials:
  • Fisher-Price POWER WHEELS ride-on toy or similar
  • 20AH, 12V sealed lead-acid battery
  • 2 ten-foot sections of 1/2" electrical conduit (for the solar rack)
  • Harbor Freight 45 watt Solar Panel kit or equivalent ( http://www.harborfreight.com/45-watt-solar-panel-kit-68751.html )
  • 8 x 1.5" stainless steel 1/4-20 machine screws, with matching washers and lock-nuts
  • 2 x 5/16" x 5" bolts with matching fender washers and lock-nuts
  • 2'x1' of plexiglass, plastic, or other sturdy, waterproof material
  • Scrap tubing to make spacers
  • Self-tapping sheet-metal screws
  • 4 x mending plates
  • Assorted electrical connectors, ring and spade terminals
  • 30-amp in-line fuse
  • Zip-Ties
  • Spray paint

  • Tape measure
  • Drill & assorted bits, including screw-driving bit
  • Pipe cutter
  • Angle grinder and vise
  • Wire strippers and crimpers
  • Welder
  • Wrenches and Sockets (7/16" and 1/2")
  • Typical safety equipment and PPE (work gloves, safety glasses, hearing projecting, etc.)
<p>Hello Ben I came across you video while researching an idea for an agriculture project. Great build first of all!! I know this was three years ago but the Lord just recently gave me an idea for a project using a solar powered Power wheels motor and frame for our youth agriculture program. I would like to know if everything worked out for the long haul like you wanted and what would you do differently. Man this is a fantastic idea did you ever consider patenting it and selling to Hasbro as an add on? or doing retro fits?</p><p>with the panels and frame charge controller etc what was you total cost? Its a blessing you were able to weld it and do all the work your self. Once again great job very innovative!</p><p> I would love to hear from you thanks Minister Drew from Camp CARVER <a href="mailto:themightymen@hotmail.com" rel="nofollow">themightymen@hotmail.com</a></p>
That is sick!!!! Although it would be even more awesome if you made it gas powered!!!
Hi everyone, <br> <br>After thinking about it for a while, I think I could build a version of this entirely out of plywood and stock electronic parts from scratch. <br> <br>It could be sold as a kit. (Precut wood parts flat-packed, with with electric motor, and a few other required parts.) <br> <br>What would you think of that?
Awesome! And I love the sheep in the jeep, so cute :)
Excellent build as ever ben!
this is a FANTASTIC idea !
Isn't it good when you can combine your hobbies with things your kids like to do? I find it's a lot easier to get build time when &quot;it's for the kids&quot;. Really nice build - reminds me that I need to learn how to weld.
Great job!! What is the top speed/ range? <br>
5 miles per hour<br>One backyard ( I guess that generally Power Wheels are considered an hour or so run-time )<br><br>My little girl usually plays with the car for up to 20 minutes, and the battery is fine for the whole time she's playing.
I LOVE IT! Very well done. <br> <br>I'm not sure what I loved more in the video... You riding it, or the comment about you having to teach her about the brakes! lol ;-)

About This Instructable


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Bio: Ordinary guy with no special skills, just trying to change the world one backyard invention at a time. See more at: http://300mpg.org/ On ... More »
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