Some time ago I bought a BoardUp Lite skateboard (https://goboardup.com/shop/boardup_lite/) and I found it to be a fanstastic skateboard! It's light and small but it also feels like a normal longboard while riding it. But just like any skateboard, it can be tiring to use them when you have to travel 4-5 km. The best solution to this problem would be an electric version of this skateboard, and this already exists! BoardUp makes the BoardUp Bolt+ (https://goboardup.com/shop/boardup-e-dual-longboard/) which has many of the benefits that I was looking for, but it is not that good on some other aspects:
- It's quite expensive, at 700 USD, and I had a budget of around 400 euros (including the 150 euros that I spend to buy the skateboard in the first place)
- It's heavy (7.6 kg) due to the dual hub motors.
Therefore I took my BoardUp Lite skateboard and built my customized electric version. To keep it light I decided to make it belt driven, this way I could use a smaller motor. I also used a single motor instead of two and I increased the battery size slightly, from 160 Wh to 194 Wh. From my esitmations, this should be equivalent to a range of 18 km, for my current weight. I managed all of this while keeping the weight at 5.9 kg.
To keep the cost low I decided to build my own battery. This meant buying a spot welder, but I see that as an investment rather than an extra cost. Spot welder excluded, the battery (18 cells + BMS) cost me only 50 euros. The rest of the components were:
- VESC (open source electronic speed controller)
- 5065 brushless engine
- 3D printed case
- Some old skateboard trucks that I has from an old longboard
- Pulleys, belt and motor bracket
- The BoardUp Lite skateboard
All of that cost me 450 euros, just over my budget but still acceptable.
I tested the range and it seems to be way better than my prediction, at about 23 km! There is plenty of torque to go uphill, but the belt tends to skip if I brake very hard. The top speed is 23 km/h, which is ok for me as I consider it a safe speed.