I considering doing an electric Go-Kart project with two direct drive rear 48v motors (considering two of these). I plan to control it using Arduino PWM pins. However, I am not sure of the route to go as far as motor controllers. Could I build a motor controller myself that will take Arduino PWM input? Or should I be looking into pre made motor controllers? Is there a particularly good IC for 48v motor control?


  • \$\begingroup\$ if the go-kart doesnt need to reverse, you could do some of your own high voltage/power MOSFET half-bridges, with Opto-isolated inputs for [low frequency] PWM speed control from your arduino, with nice big optical encoder feedback for speed/RPM readings! \$\endgroup\$
    – KyranF
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 9:33

1 Answer 1


You can do it yourself or buy it. It's your decision. We don't know how experienced you are, so nobody will tell you what to do.

If you have no experience with any PWM motor drivers - you should mess around with low power motors first.

PWM regulator for 1000W/48V motor needs good overload protection, because it has to be powered from very low impedance source (big battery with short-circuit current probably over 100A).

In addition - regulator for vehicle must be able to handle voltage (or power) coming from motors while slowing down, because motors work as generators.


I found something useful for you: How can I implement regenerative braking of a DC motor?

  • \$\begingroup\$ can you shunt reverse power (from motors acting as generators) into a power resistor and diode? \$\endgroup\$
    – KyranF
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 9:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KyranF you can, but thats a lot of power... It's better to return power to battery with at half bridge (or full H bridge for both rotation directions). \$\endgroup\$
    – Kamil
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 9:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's not good to feed batteries back with potentially very high voltages/currents though.. perhaps some crazy feedback capacitor + power resistor network to throttle the power back into the battery might help the battery life over time \$\endgroup\$
    – KyranF
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 10:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ I guess some investigations into regenerative braking systems should be done for this project of his! \$\endgroup\$
    – KyranF
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 10:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Would something like this work? \$\endgroup\$
    – Andrew
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 17:19

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