I’ve picked up a pair of electric scooters for free. I’m not quite sure how I’ll use them, but they have motors, drive belts and wheels. I should be able to get some sort of reverse gear out of the parts. One scooter has a fried controller and a motor that got wet, but the other scooter is in much better shape.
I’ve been thinking of gearing arrangement with the drive shaft to get a reverse gear, but am thinking that it might work to have a supplemental wheel that is lowered to the ground just for reversing. A separate system would be easier to execute, but will take up space and add weight, and the scooter wheel might not have the grip to move the car except on the flattest of terrain.
I’ve been wanting to experiment with electric vehicles for a while, and getting these for free will let me have some hands on experience for little money. They need batteries, and perhaps a new controller board, but those are easy. The other drawback is that electric power here is 38 cents a Kw hour, one of the highest in the nation. That works out to the equivalent of paying $3.80 for gas so electric vehicles don’t save you much money here.
I got my cut list together for the 1″ x 1″ 16 gauge square tube need for the frame and looked up the price on a mainland website. $140 for the quoted length of 140 feet. Ok, but what about shipping? This site didn’t offer shipping but at least I had a start. I called a local shop that carries steel to see what their price might be. Total before tax was $970! Ouch. I didn’t order and went back to looking online for possibilities. I did find one that offered shipping. Their price for the steel was a bit higher, $170 and shipping for my zip code was $308. Ok, not cheap, but way less than the local shop.
I did some more searching for local places that might have steel so I could get more quotes. I found one in Lahaina, a 40 minute drive, and he said that while he was currently out of stock, he had a shipment coming in next week. He’ll give me a call with the price when the steel arrives.
I suspect that the dealers in Honolulu might have much more competition and I could possibly find an acceptable price there and have Young Brothers bring it over on the next barge. At least I have a top end price and I know what the base cost is. The rest is shipping, markup and taxes. Now I have to find the best deal out there before continuing on with the build. But steel is heavy and not so much in demand so it will be an expensive part of this build no matter what.