I am making a PVC electric go-cart. I want to know which is better: a 12V motor or a 24V motor?

I want good speed and good torque, because I don't want it to struggle with my weight (I weigh around 210 lb). So what's better for this project?

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    From your text I’m not quite sure what you want to accomplish. 12V and 24V are not the correct design parameter for speed and torque spec. You can accomplish equal performance with both. – PDuarte Aug 10 at 12:44
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    Take both, one for left wheels, one for right ones. See which side goes better – Gregory Kornblum Aug 10 at 13:16
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    @GregoryKornblum This calles for the Myth Busters! – Alexander von Wernherr Aug 10 at 13:35
  • Then what do I Need to look Up for, when searching for torque, gears, RPM, wats or amps? – Maicol Rivera Aug 10 at 13:50
  • @MaicolRivera Check out rudys answer – Alexander von Wernherr Aug 10 at 13:53
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The voltage of the motor does not determine the torque. A motor manufacture can produce a motor that operates on 12 volts, another one on 24 volts, and the mechanical output can be the same.

But if I were to have the option of selecting between two identical motors, one being 12 volts and the other 24 volts, I would pic the 24 volt motor. For the same power the current will be half. This will allow for thinner wire to be used and control electronics that will not have to switch as high a current. Or the same size of wire can be used and there would be less power loss in the wiring if 24 volts was used.

But another consideration is the available battery. Getting a single 12 volt battery is easy and relatively less expensive. For 24 volt there would be either two 12 volt batteries in series. It adds some complexity but that might be acceptable. Or for example, if a lithium battery pack were available in 24 volts (approximately) with the required capacity, then that might be a good solution.

Basically there are a lot of considerations and tradeoffs that can be made. The whole design needs to be considered. All the pieces. And as I said, the actual motor voltage is not relevant as far as output power delivered. Look at what someone else has done and see if it makes sense, if you can find the equivalent components you need.

  • Thank you Rudy, this has helped me a lot. But What do I need to look for when I'm searching for more torque? Is it the gears, RPM, wats or Amps? – Maicol Rivera Aug 10 at 13:47
  • Yes that is a good question and difficult to answer. That is why I suggest looking at what other people have done. Will the motor be direct drive to the wheels or will there be gears, a transmission, cogged belt? The gearing will have an impact of the torgue you will need. So you need to know the whole drivetrain. The diameter of the wheels. Find similar examples then work back from there. – Rudy Aug 10 at 14:02
  • Google "electric go cart" youtube.com/watch?v=ZDW6k__ms6M&vl=en and more. – Rudy Aug 10 at 14:14
  • In a toy you need to keep voltage low to save on batteries. – Gregory Kornblum Aug 10 at 14:20
  • "In a toy you need to keep voltage low to save on batteries." It is not a "toy". And keeping voltage low has nothing to do with saving batteries. Battery power will be consumed depending on how much load there is and the expectations of the user. Drive it hard and with lots of acceleration and it will consume more power, but will be more fun. And with a go-cart, fun is the primary goal. – Rudy Aug 10 at 15:55

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