Author Options:

Treadmill DC Motor For Electric Vehicle Project? Answered

I am going to start a small EV project. I have seen that most treadmill motors are 3 to 4hp powerful. I wanted to know weather these motors will be suitable for my project. I am building a small kart capable of carrying maximum 2 persons. Also if they are suitable for my project please can someone suggest me 3 or 4hp treadmill motors on eBay or other sites below 150$. Also I saw a formula on a site related to power for a vehicle   HP = W(V/234)^3 where HP=horsepower, W=weight in pounds and V=required velocity in MPH. I found this formula on this site (http://www.ajdesigner.com/phphorsepower/horsepower_equation_trap_speed_method_horsepower.php). Is this formula correct.



Best Answer 5 years ago


The formulae may well be right. Putting in the figures for my electric car - here -

I get roughly the HP we used - the motor was quoted as 250 watts continuous  at 20 amps 3000 RPM

We ran them at up to 60 amps giving us nominally 500 watts - this would propel a 100 KG car at around 30 MPH (50KMh) - No gearing used just a 14:1 step down from the motor to wheel.


In electric vehicles WEIGHT is everything. It affects acceleration, range, top speed.

The bigger the motor the more electricity it will consume and the shorter your range.

Look up the spec for some of the available commercial electric cars around. You will find BIG motors, Huge expensive battery packs, often L-ion, BUt also you will find they are quite heavy to comply with the build rules which apply to petrol driven cars.

You could use more than 1 motor BUT again it is a trade off with range and battery costs.


5 years ago

You want to consider the voltage you want to run. All the treadmill motors ive seen are high voltage 180volts or more you struggle to find a cheap controller at that voltage.
I'm not sure how small or fast you want to go, think electric bike kit, Mobility scooter, golf buggy or electric fork lift.

well I don't need to worry about volts most motors tat I hav seen are 130volts . I will be able to attain that voltage. wat I am worrying about is weather these treadmill motors will be suitable for kart.


Answer 5 years ago

As I said a lot depends:

How fast you expect to go

How far you expect to go

How light you can make the vehicle.

With suitable gearing the motor will move the kart BUT possibly not at the speed you want or expect.

Your not going to carry 130 volts worth of batteries.

If your looking to spend that sort of cash buy a real traction motor intended for the task - Ideally one intended for an electric car - most likely around 800+ watts. Ebay may help you. Golf buggies are an often used source.