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EV Commuter Longboard

Zip around on your own custom deck at lightning speeds. Never miss class again.

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This project was created on 12/30/2013 and last updated a year ago.


Catching the bus to get across campus can be a hassle, and a bike's not a plausible solution for me, so I decided to give a longboard some extra power to kick me around. This board has a theoretical top speed of around 20mph and approximately 10 mile range. All built with easy-to-find hobby electronics.


Updated photos with progress on the new deck. Will be adding more information soon as I comb through a lot of additional progress pictures from the new build. Stay tuned!

  • 1 × 6S Lithium Battery Get the long and flat version. Links in the project blog post.
  • 1 × Some kind of microcontroller Arduino Uno works fine, but it's a little bulky.
  • 1 × Brushless Outrunner Motor One with a low kv value. Mine was 149kv. Bought from Hobbywing
  • 1 × Wireless Wii Nunchuck
  • 1 × Skateboard deck Longboards are, well, longer, which means you can fit more components easily.
  • 1 × ESC (Electronic Speed Controller)

Project logs
  • Gathering Components

    a year ago • 1 comment

    First, you're going to need a deck. If you're working on a budget, go to Walmart or Academy Sporting Goods or similar and pick up something cheap for around $20. The above deck is a bustin mini maestro, which I think I got for $80-90. The primary difference is quality of the build / size; this is a longboard deck (though a small one) and it gives me more room to work with. You can get away with using a cheapo $20 skateboard, though.

    Next get some trucks. These are inexpensive Paris trucks off Amazon.

    If you get a cheapo-skateboard, they'll come with wimpy plastic wheels. You need big, beefy ones if you're going to do some cruising. I recommend 70mm or so sized wheels, also off Amazon. They often come with bearings as featured above, but check out any online skateboarding / longboard resources if you're confused how to put all this stuff together.

    The heart of this (and most EV projects) build is the brushless outrunner motor. Hobbyking is probably still your best bet for finding these. You'll want something with a relatively low kv rating (low kv = more torque). I went for the lowest they had available, ​a 149kv motor. I actually don't recommend it—get something in the ~300 range—because this will easily yank the board out from under your feet.

    You're also going to need an ESC to run the brushless motor; I got ​mine from Hobbywing (no, that's not a typo. Hobbywing != Hobbyking). Don't worry, I'll go over how you figure out the correct values, etc. in a later post.

    I really dig these ​Turnigy "Long" LiPo batteries. They may be a bit too long to fit between the wheels on a cheapo $20 deck, but there's plenty of space on any longboard, and it allows for great ground clearance. 

    The rest of the components you probably have lying around: you'll need an Arduino or similar microcontroller and some kind of remote control option. A Wii Nunchuck works great for this, and ​XenonJohn's tutorial is probably the best explanation for how to get started with it.

    Assembly details coming up!

View project log


Daniel wrote 2 months ago point

Radical! Oh man ive been thinking about doing this for so long! Awesome to put it online dude!

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Hiro Protagonist wrote 7 months ago point
No smartwheels?

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Gregor wrote 9 months ago point
Very cool. Want to build one :D How did you attach the motor to the wheels?

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Lyon wrote 9 months ago point
Try to combine this with the Beamboarder. Check my projects ;).

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XenonJohn wrote 10 months ago point
Hi From XenonJohn. I am here also in this competition with a one-wheeler.
Anyway, regarding Nunchuck control; you can use a wired Wii Nunchuck or a wireless Chinese Wii Nunchuck (Nintendo do not actually make a wireless Nunchuck). When demonstrating your board in a public space with lots of mobile phones and so on in use, you find that, if using a wireless 'chuck to look as cool as possible, suddenly you lose connection and your board takes on a life of its own - very uncool. This happened to me during a public parade so I had to pretend I meant all along to go around in circles! Recommend a wired 'chuck.

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dencohe wrote a year ago point
What size DC resetable fuse are you using?

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jens.pesek wrote a year ago point
Looks like fun! :D
I wonder if you can dropmount the trucks. I find this adds a lot of stability.
(and you can push easier with a lowered deck, but I'll guess thats not so important with a motor)

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X_Zero wrote a year ago point
Would love to see your code and any 3D models.

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lawnica1 wrote a year ago 1 point
What method did you use to attach the drive wheels to the shaft?

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Marsh wrote a year ago point
I didn't have access to welding equipment, so I went for an easy route solution here:

It's expensive but very solidly built.

The alternative, super-cheap option is to just 3d-print the things:

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kopipejst wrote a year ago point
+1 for video : )

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Marsh wrote a year ago point
Videos incoming...

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Marsh wrote a year ago 1 point
Okay! Video(s) posted. Check out the external links on the left.

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kopipejst wrote 10 months ago point
really cool. you should make this commercial and start selling.

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samy kamkar wrote a year ago 1 point
Sick! Would love to see a vid!

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Mike Szczys wrote a year ago point
Oh now I've got to see a video of you zipping across campus on this thing!

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