We decided to build an electric cargo tricycle to create an efficient and reliable way of transportation between local areas without the use of a car. Also, we wanted a way to carry groceries, other goods, and possibly small children on a bicycle with ease.
Step 1: CAD
We modeled the entire frame and basket in SolidWorks and 3D printed a small-scale model. It was important to adequately model the bike to get a good idea of what the final project would look like.
Step 2: Collect Materials
1. Donated Diamondback Topanga Bicycle
2. Donated 26in wheel (from another Topanga)
3. Luna Cycles 1000 Watt Hub Motor (approx $420)
4. 16 gauge 3/4 inch steel tubing
5. 48Volt lead acid battery
6. Free wheel gear (20t)
Machinery will also be needed to complete this project which will include a welding machine of course. Other machines that we used included an angle grinder, cutting wheel, cold saw, band saw, a hydraulic tubing bender, and a coping saw.
Step 3: Construct
We cut metal to desired length for the straight bars of the basket, adding 1 inch to both ends. We cut metal for bending, adding 4 inch for the corners. We then had to cope all the straight bars and bend the necessary tubes. We then welded the frame of basket together. It was important to make sure all necessary tubes were perpendicular and parallel to each other as needed. We used a MIG welder but better results can be had if you're good with a TIG. We designed and cut 4 drop outs for the quick-release wheels and mounted it onto the bent tubes of our basket. After, we cut out a 3/4 inch diameter steel tube that is used to connect the basket to the bike We also cut out 1 inch diameter steel tube that fits the outside diameter of connecting piece. We cut out another 1 inch diameter steel tube that is about 4 inch long to fit the connecting piece and will be welded onto the bottom plate. Next, we cut out triangle that will be welded onto the bottom plate to support our 1 inch diameter steel tube. We cut out the top plate with a hole through it to fit the diameter of the threads that is welded on the connecting piece. Lastly, we welded 16 gauge spread sheet metal to bottom, back, and sides of basket to hold our battery and support other objects that will be in the basket.
Step 4: Wiring
1.) We placed our 48 V lead acid battery (with protection) in the basket but it depends on what you use.
2.) Place controller pad on to bike frame closest to basket
3.) Add throttle, power switch, and brakes controller to handle bars
4.) Wire it all together (FYI: If you are using the same wheel as us refer to the wiring diagram that we found, located above!)