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Using a Chinese Motor for an E-ATV Build

3066 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  onegreenev
First of all, this is my first build and though I understand the basics of circuitry and electricity, I am certainly no Electrical Engineering genius. About a year ago I saw a cheap undersized ATV on craigslist practically for free and figured it would be a fun project to convert it to Electric. First, I got it into working condition as I had to fix the engine and transmission (which was quite a hassle but also very informative). Once I finally got it running, I gutted it down to the chassis and the bare minimum. Then began the research for how to convert it and the search for components. The ATV is a Kazuma Falcon (Spec sheet linked) and with all of the goodies removed weighs about 200 lbs or so. I intend on taking it up to the mountains where I have a cabin to move wood around and to tow my snowboarders to the top of the mountain. This being said, under load, the maximum weight will probably be around ~550 lbs. I have considered several options for motors including: forklift motors, old low voltage industrial motors, GEM car motors, AC Motors, and now Chinese manufactured motors. The main criteria that I have been evaluating my motor selection on has been: 48V, 60-100 Amps Continuous, ~3,000 RPM, and DC series wound. I am not sure if this is overkill for my application or maybe not enough power. It seems like the Chinese are leading the "inexpensive motor" industry at the moment and I am curious if a motor such as the ones linked below are capable of getting my tasks done.
Here are some other build related questions that I would appreciate if some of you guys have answers for:
  • Is it feasible to use Lithium Ion Batteries at the moment or are they too expensive to be practical (I am trying to keep costs as low as possible)
  • For my purposes it seems reasonable to implement some differential or multiple gearings, any insights on how I might best do this?
  • What kind of motor controller should I be looking at?
  • I have a Google Docs of some notes, are these conclusions reasonable?
  • How difficult is it to use a splined motor?
Thank you so much for any help that you can provide. Drive Safe! :)
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I can't answer many of your questions. I can however vouch for the motor:

632980764.html the 48v motor.

I have the 96v version in my car. Since installing it in 2010 I have had no problems. I have also been gradually increasing the battery voltage up to currently 120v and the motor still handles everything well.

My guess is that 48v will do the job for you as I don't think highway speeds are what you will be seeking. I don't think lithiums would be necessary as they are roughly 4 times the price of lead acid. A curtis controller may also be a bit of overkill. There are some controllers of good quality which handle voltages up to 72v.

Just my 20c worth!
I have been gradually increasing the number of cells in my battery pack. I was advised, and subsequent experience showed, the controller could handle up to 120v dc even though it was 96v nominal.

Once the pack voltage got up to 112v, I had one instance of thermal cutback due to the controller overheating on a very hot day (39 centigrade).

When I added another two cells to get pack voltage to 121v I bought a 120v controller.

I had been advised that controllers can handle marginal over-voltage whereas motors can handle somewhat more over-voltage.

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