Go Kart Re-Model
gas-powered to battery-powered

March 11, 2008

The annual Personal Project is an open-ended project in which each 10th grader at my high school participates. Because I have always enjoyed designing products which potentially have value in the market, I chose to convert a gasoline-powered go kart into a battery electric vehicle (BEV) through the creative use and assembly of recycled parts.

If you hover over each image you'll see the original go kart I purchased on Craigslist.

I stripped the engine from the chassis and welded a base onto the chassis to support the parts I purchased at a junk yard: battery, solenoid, and starter engine. Additionally, I repainted the chassis and rims, installed an accelerator pedal and an emergency brake, and placed a more comfortable seat in place. In the end, I was able to sell the vehicle to a Mercedes-Benz car mechanic for a profit.

The ergonomics of the seat were difficult to significantly alter due to the welded chassis that came with the purchased go kart. However, I was able to attach two sheets of plywood and a cushion to form a car seat. I also added a emergency kill switch within arms reach of the user in order to give the driver more control and to prevent the battery from draining.

The images above show the go-kart's progression through the process, while the image below shows the welding that I took part in to adjust the vehicle's chassis in order to accomodate a battery and a starter motor.