LUDOVICO BINDA: Milano, Italy
College student builds an electric BMX bike
I took revenge by making an electric bike! It’s a BMX powered by a 5 kw electric brushless motor originally intended for R/C aircraft. I first fell in love with EVs after a ride on a Tesla, so I decided I needed something electric (but cheap!) too.
I took my brother’s old BMX, which was on its way to the trash, and completely rebuilt it and blessed it with electric power. Despite a decent knowledge about electric power systems coming mainly from my previous project of a solar powered automatic aircraft (known as LUSA), I still had a lot to learn before building a truly useable electric vehicle, so I began to search the Internet, which has been my first source of information since it is the meeting point of a worldwide community of DIY electrical vehicle enthusiasts.
Discussing my project with people from all over the world, representing almost every possible combination of age, profession, ethnicity and so on, felt amazing and gave me a sense of connection with the changing world. I was also surprised by the amount of extremely knowledgeable and skilled people, including a lot of retired engineers, who were extremely kind and willing to teach to a young person like me: this truly pleased me and made me feel like I “was on the right track” with this project.
I kept things rather simple in the conversion: power comes from a 24v 25 Ah lead acid battery and the customized motor is handled by a commercial ESC, but such simplicity hasn’t spoiled things at all, it just gave me more reliability. The bike has LED headlights and a homemade on-board computer as a system status monitor with an LCD. In the city it copes with the traffic far better than anything else, being fast and agile, plus it has basically no access restrictions. Oh, and it is also much fun to drive :-)
I am currently developing my very own brushless motor controller in order to improve its performance and to be driving something that I built almost from scratch. This project got me to know a small but fast growing world of start-up companies and ambitious projects, I got so motivated by all those people working hard on their dreams and beliefs that I started to develop some vehicle-related products with two college mates.
a home built vehicle is such a gigantic satisfaction that as soon as
I’ll be done with college I’ll home-convert my gas-eater Mini to