How to Build an Electric Scooter

by Chris Moore

Electric engine scooters can be as simple as the small, collapsible toy scooters, or they can be full street versions like electric cars. If you're looking for something that you can just ride around the neighborhood on, you can equip your toy scooter with an electric engine that will let you ride along without all that kicking.

Get a kick-powered scooter. Any small, two-wheeled model can work, since the speeds you will travel at won't be very fast. If you want a little extra safety, find a scooter that has two wheels in the back or uses inflatable wheels (they handle rough roads better).

Find a small, battery-powered DC electric engine. The engine needs enough torque to make the scooter go, so at least 50 volts of power is needed. It should need at least four 12-volt lead-acid batteries. An electronics or surplus shop should have an engine that can work.

Locate the crankshaft on the engine--it should be a metal rod sticking out that turns when the engine runs--and bolt a sprocket onto it. A 10- to 25-tooth sprocket should do. Attach another sprocket onto the axle of the scooter's rear wheel.

Place the engine on the scooter's riding platform, making sure both sprockets are on the same side. Find a way to secure the engine onto the platform. Velcro straps can work if you find some long enough and glue them to the engine housing and platform underside. You can bolt the engine to the platform if you drill a hole in the housing somewhere that won't damage the engine.

Attach the engine to the rear wheel by wrapping a bicycle chain or equivalent around the sprockets you attached. The chain may need to be shortened with an extractor tool to make it fit on the sprockets. You may also need to remove or alter the housing above the rear wheel so the chain will freely rotate across the sprockets without rubbing against anything.

Connect the engine to a switch that will turn it on and off. Plug the engine into a power controller, then wire the controller to a lever switch. Route the wiring all the way up to the scooter's handlebars and attach the switch in that area so you can easily turn the engine on and off.

Tip

  • check Depending on the type of scooter and engine you use, you may need to make more adjustments, like extending the rear wheel axle to fit a sprocket or finding a way to hook up a stronger battery to the engine.

Warning

  • close Since the scooter will only stop when you cut off the engine, a scooter with hand brakes will help you slow it down before shutting it off. You shouldn't hold down on the brakes very long with the engine running, or you'll risk draining the battery and damaging the engine.

Items you will need

About the Author

Chris Moore has been contributing to eHow since 2007 and is a member of the DFW Writers' Workshop. He received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Texas-Arlington.