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Street-legal electric 4-wheeler build

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MalibuMan Cas Tuyn
Weert, Limburg, Netherlands   NLD
Today I received the wheels for my cyclekart, so I think I should call this the beginning of my build.

My inspiration vehicle is an Austin Seven, of which I like the lines very much. I will not be very true to the CK specs, adapt where needed for lightness, practicality, usability, the limits to my craftmanship, and legal reasons as it will be street legal.

Below a picture of my inspiration car, a polystyrene scale model I made, and the 2 front wheels.

The wheels are Ryde heavy-duty bike wheels ment for dutch transport bikes. The hub is a Cannondale Lefty hub which you may know from mountain bikes. Tyres are Schwalbe Big Ben 622-50 ment for e-bikes so max speed is 75 km/h. Weight of each complete wheel with tire is 2100 gram. Does anybody know the weight of the CK-advised wheel?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-04-14 05:42 AM by MalibuMan.

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chrisenamels Avatar
chrisenamels Silver Member Chris Brown
Llangadog, Carmarthenshire, UK   GBR
I don't know what the weight of the 17" wheels are, but I've just weighed the 14" wheels I'm going to use and they're 4,400 grams complete with tyres. So much heavier, and with 2.50 tyres at a maximum of 45psi the rolling resistance will also be considerably higher. I like your choice of car, an Austin 7 special is one of the options for my second kart, assuming I don't get distracted by the Post War enthusiasts.

Chris



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-04-13 11:41 AM by chrisenamels.

Maigret Luc L
Senlisse, Yvelines, France   FRA
Hi Cas,
Last time I checked the weight of a 17" pit bike cum tire wheel it came in at slightly over 5kg.
But I found out that there are fairly important differences between "identical" wheels of the same source.

Question : what's the diameter of the axle of the wheels you show ?

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MalibuMan Cas Tuyn
Weert, Limburg, Netherlands   NLD
Luc,

The Cannondale axle is tapered. On the vehicle side it is 25 mm and on the outside 15 mm. Those are the insides of the two bearings on either side of the hub. The formula CK axle is the same diameter (1" =~ 25 mm).

My reasoning for choosing them were that me (100 kg) on a mountain bike (20 kg) puts a load of 60 kg on each wheel, under very dynamic driving circumstances.

My CK is going to weigh around 50 kg, and it will have 50 kg of batteries. Together with my weight that's 200 kg, but now it will be spread over 4 wheels, so 50 kg per wheel. That's 17% less load, and I will not do any wheelies, jumps or off-road driving. Therefor I think I am safe with this design choice.

I will have a lot more side load because my CK does not lean into corners like a mountain bike. But the rim manufacturer assured me these rims are good for my CK as they sell them a lot to the three-wheeler transport bike manufacturers.

Maigret Luc L
Senlisse, Yvelines, France   FRA
Merci, Cas !
Most front axles on the french karts are 15mm, I believe.
I have the English Gemini front end with 25mm stub axle.
At the rear, "french" axles are mostly 25mm although some use 30mm ones.

Interesting wheels, by the way.

BLMac Brian MacLeod
Dingwall, Scotland, UK   GBR
If you're looking for another singlesided bicycle hub, take a look at the Sturmey-Archer drum brake (eg XL-SD [Q]THH90 L90mm LeftDrum Brake HubQ QR Axle Type)

MalibuMan Cas Tuyn
Weert, Limburg, Netherlands   NLD
Brian,

Thanks for your suggestion.

I currently have drum-brakes on my Sinner Mango velomobile. Sinner offer drum brakes as the light setup for flat land like The Netherlands. For mountainous areas they recommend disk brakes.

The velomobile is only 30 kg and with me inside 130 kg, and has just my human power and 170 W electric motor. This new CK will have a 3000 W electric motor and no pedal power, and be heavier due to the large battery pack and stronger construction, about 200 kg with me in it.

And since my velomobile's braking keeps slowly degrading, I would like more stopping power anyway.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-04-13 08:00 PM by MalibuMan.

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chrisenamels Avatar
chrisenamels Silver Member Chris Brown
Llangadog, Carmarthenshire, UK   GBR
Are you going to use a speed controller with regenerative braking Cas? That would not only reduce the load on your brakes, but extend your range by charging your battery during braking.

Chris

MalibuMan Cas Tuyn
Weert, Limburg, Netherlands   NLD
In principle I would like regenerative braking, but I read some reports that it does not help much for very light vehicles at low speeds. Albert Einstein explains this in his famous law:

E = mc2

The Energy in a moving object is equal to its mass multiplied by the square of its speed. So with low mass and low speed, and an average regeneration efficiency of 70% it may not be worth it.

I'll have to see if my motor allows it. It's on my wish list but on on my must-have list.

I will be building the CK from the wheels up, solving the problems when they arise. I focus now on the front end, then the rear end including the motor and reduction, then the passenger cell and battery compartment in the middle. That gives me a driving chassis which I can show unpainted to the RDW (Rijks Dienst voor het Wegverkeer) for chassis papers. After that I 'only' need to add a body and lighting. Then visit the RDW again to become streetlegal where they will check if I am still using the chassis registered earlier and adhere to all their rules.

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chrisenamels Avatar
chrisenamels Silver Member Chris Brown
Llangadog, Carmarthenshire, UK   GBR
I see your point regarding the energy you would be able to recover from regenerative braking Cas. There's another reason for the differing thoughts on regenerative braking, where I am gravity also comes into play, it's not flat in Wales. In the second photo the car that can be just made out in the distance, between the lamp post and tree is on the road in the valley bottom.

Chris


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MalibuMan Cas Tuyn
Weert, Limburg, Netherlands   NLD
For hilly terrain it does make a lot more sense/cents ;-)

Imagine a road going up and down like a sinus function. Downhill you are burning up your brakes and uphill you are eating away at your battery capacity.

I live in Limburg, the most hilly part of the Netherlands, so that regenerative braking is advantageous to me too. I'll move it up to the must-have section. Thanks.

moto-klasika Avatar
moto-klasika Zoran R. Pualic
Bern, Bern, Switzerland   CHE
Hello, Cas!
I am really glad that you started your project of electric-powered "light quadricycle" (road-legal according to European Union Directives?), and I will follow your topic with great interest!

The first reason is that I shall learn something new and especially realisation in practice of my old plan/dream.
The second reason is that I will be glad that somebody else built "almost as mine" quadricycle if I never built one!

Good to choose electric-power, it is more socially and legally acceptable! Gasoline engines up to 50 cc or diesel up to 5 KW should be cheaper and simpler, ut... Always BUT - the question is should any on the market be legally acceptable, mostly built by Asain companies, with questionable attest in Europe for road vehicles...
--- ---
So, electric motor(s) up to 4 Kilowatts and speed restriction to 45 km/hour? From experience of a few other DIY designers, for heavier two-seater vehicles it is almost enough propulsion of two 600-800 Watts electric motors. Mostly, they were used in a pair to avoid the necessity of differential or power to one wheel only. sometimes they used both motors for starts, acceleration and hills, and only one for cruising on level ground.

My choice would be a permanent use of both motors, but at half power for cruising. They could be regulated by one controller or by two controllers (two parallel systems for everything). I would prefer regenerative braking, forward-neutral-revers and parking brake (at neutral) - that could be easily obtained by most of the motors and proper controllers. Take a look at this website:

http://www.electricscooterparts.com/
https://support.electricscooterparts.com/support/solutions
https://support.electricscooterparts.com/support/discussions

They have anything for complete electric propulsion of light road vehicles and could make for you full project with everything included, including wires and connections, 12-volt installation and complete of lights too!

About regenerative braking, some builders are delighted, some not so much. Probably that truth is something between. For heavier vehicles and crew, over hilly terrain - probably that there is more regenerative charging of batteries than braking? For light vehicles and crew on flat ground - more braking than charging? In any case, regular brakes are a necessity, but regenerative braking could be helpful, without too many complications or higher price. Of course, no free-wheeling - which isn't necessary when there is no combination with pedalling.

I would prefer a system with regenerative braking, forward-neutral-reverse, parking bake - as quadricycle would be used mostly across town with a lot of stop-and-go, over asphalt only, mostly on flat roads... Problems should be our big total weight - more than 300 kg. With lead-acid batteries and something stronger construction, there should be a lot of weight at the start. Anyway, just long-time plans for me.

All the best for entire process!

Regards,
Zoran



Zoran R. Pualić
(mostly living in Bern, Swiss & happy in my Belgrade, Serbia)


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MalibuMan Cas Tuyn
Weert, Limburg, Netherlands   NLD
Hi Zoran,

I looked all over that website and they only have up to 1600 W engines, focusing exclusively on the ~25 km/h speeds and US road-legal. But for me the 3000-4000 W is a must.

Speeddemon Avatar
Speeddemon Louis Poleet (Suspended)
Roslindale, MA, USA   USA
1970 CycleKart Custom "Rose"
Hi cas... check out www.monsterscooterparts.com they have a nice selection of electric motors including a 48 volt 5000 watt dc brushless electric motor . Gdluck on your street legal electric ck build. Pce .cheers



Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 2018-04-16 06:02 AM by Speeddemon.

moto-klasika Avatar
moto-klasika Zoran R. Pualic
Bern, Bern, Switzerland   CHE
Hello, Cas!
For me - a pair of 1600 Wats electric-motors should be fine, in spite of something heavier quadricycle than yours and heavier freight than you alone are...
You will fly with 3200 Watts having an ultralight single-seat quad and easily hit a limit of 45 km/hour...

For speed - I think that USA limits for "pedelec-system" is 25 mph, and in Europe is 25 km/hour. That is for bicycles with assistance: no attesting, no registration, no insurance - but must have and use pedals!
Everything above that specification is mopeds, on two, three or four wheels...

I think that most of their motors and controllers are not limited in such a way, at least for the motors above 400-500 Wats.
However, the best is to ask them directly if you think that their systems are valuable and practical.

Whoever could build one system from scratch by himself, of components bought here-and-there - maybe would find better solutions.
For me - only everything bought at one place, with all components - should be only possible way.

Ciao,
Zoran



Zoran R. Pualić
(mostly living in Bern, Swiss & happy in my Belgrade, Serbia)

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