skip to Main Content

DIY mini electric battery car

Project Time: 30-45 minutes

Using everyday and recycled materials, you can create this battery powered car.

Learn how to create a simple circuit using a DC motor, AA batteries and a switch.

DIY mini electric battery car

Materials Needed

You can use almost any container for the body of this car.  From boxes to bottles, this is a project that makes recycling fun.

DIY mini electric battery car stem science fair project

You will need the following materials to make this car:

  • Bottle Caps
  • Wooden Skewers/Dowels
  • Straws
  • AA Battery Holder
  • DC Motor
  • Switch
  • Plastic Pulleys (shown in white)
  • Rubber Band

DIY mini electric battery car stem science fair project materials

Tools Needed

You don’t need a lot of tools for this project but you will need a few essentials.

  • Tin Snips
  • Razor Blade or Craft Knife
  • Wire Strippers
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue Gun or Super Glue

simple electric propeller car tools

Using a hot glue gun is recommended but you can also use Super Glue if you choose.

simple electric propeller car hot glue gun

Step 1 – Add Straws

Flip the box over and glue two straws to the bottom.  Make sure they are as straight as possible.

DIY mini electric battery car stem science fair project

Step 2 – Cut The Axles

Next, you need to insert your wooden skewers or dowel rods into the straws.  Leave about an inch sticking out on all sides.

DIY mini electric battery car stem science fair project

Step 3 – Prep The Wheels

Just like with the car body, you can use a wide variety of items for the wheels.  If it’s round it probably will work just fine.  For this project we are using a sports drink bottle and will be cutting off the bottom.  Bottle caps would work equally well.

DIY mini electric battery car stem science fair project

Once you have the wheels ready, you will need to drill a hole in the center.  Determine the diameter of your skewers or dowel rods and drill the hole the same size.

DIY mini electric battery car stem science fair project

Step 4 – Attach The Wheels

Attach (3) wheels to the axles and then use hot glue to secure.  Make sure you hold the wheels straight and vertical while the hot glue cools down.  Leave the last wheel off until step 6.

Trim the excess axle using tin snips or other cutter.  Make sure to wear eye protection as these small pieces tend to fly when they’re cut.

DIY mini electric battery car stem science fair project

Step 5 – Prep The Pulley

You will need 2 plastic pulleys and a rubber band to make this car move.  The size of the pulleys aren’t extremely important.  We used a 1/2 inch pulley for the motor and a 2 inch pulley for the axle.

Try doing experiments and see what happens when you use different size pulleys.

DIY mini electric battery car stem science fair project

Determine the diameter of your axle (wooden skewer) and drill a hole the same size into the middle of the large pulley.

science makerspace project pulley car

Step 6 – Attach The Pulley

Slide the large pulley onto the axle where the fourth wheel will be located.

DIY mini electric battery car stem science fair project

Use hot glue and secure the pulley to the axle making sure it stays straight and vertical while drying.

DIY mini electric battery car stem science fair project

Step 7 – Attach The Final Wheel

Just like with the pulley and other 3 wheels, slide the last wheel onto the axle and use hot glue to secure.

DIY mini electric battery car stem science fair project

Step 8 – Attach The Battery Holder

Flip the car over and make sure it rolls without any issues.  Glue the battery holder to the side of the box that has no pulley on the axle.

DIY mini electric battery car stem science fair project

Step 9 – Mount The Motor

Place the small pulley onto the shaft of the motor.

science makerspace project pulley car motor

Connect the rubber band to the axle and motor pulley.  Make sure the motor pulley is lined up straight above the axle pulley and then glue the motor in place.

Be sure to have the terminals of the motor facing up.

DIY mini electric battery car stem science fair project

Step 10 – Wire The Motor

Connect the black wire from the battery holder to one of the terminals on the motor.

DIY mini electric battery car stem science fair project

Step 11 – Add The Switch

Connect the red wire from the battery holder to the other terminal on the motor.  Twist the wire to secure it.

Cut the red wire in half and strip both ends.

Connect the red wire from the battery holder to the middle hole on the switch.

Connect the red wire from the motor to the hole on the end of the switch.

DIY mini electric battery car stem science fair project

Glue the switch and any loose wires to the box.  If you want a more permanent connection, you can solder the wires in place.

Complete !

All that’s left to do is add batteries, flip the switch and race your friends.  Have fun !

DIY mini electric battery car

Try experimenting with new car designs using different materials.  See what you can do to make the car go faster and straighter.

DIY mini electric battery car

Show us your project

Tweet us at @Makerspaces_com and show us how your car turned out.  We love seeing your projects.

Makerspaces.com

Makerspaces.com was built to help schools and libraries start and run their own makerspaces. We truly believe that adding a makerspace to a school or library can help students acquire the skills needed for the 21st century.