Trick Out Your Kid’s Power Wheels Car with an ESC for Better Throttle Control

A Power Wheels car—or BPRO (battery-powered ride-on) if you want to be brand agnostic—is a dream toy for most kids. It’s the closest thing they can have to a real car like their parents’ until they’re 16. Surprisingly, they’re fairly affordable, but that affordability comes with some sacrifices in the vehicle’s drivetrain.

A standard Power Wheels vehicle, along with most competitors’ offerings, runs on 12V batteries. But, if you’ve got a budding hot-rodder, you can upgrade that to 24V for even more oomph. The problem is that the drivetrain really isn’t designed to handle that kind of power, and it can result it a damaged gear system.

As PoppaFixIt explains in his tutorial, the primary reason for that is that the standard throttle is really just an on/off switch. Power is delivered instantly, and puts a lot of strain on the motor’s gears with the upgraded batteries. The solution is to add an ESC (electronic speed controller) that provides smooth, variable throttle control.

PoppaFixIt got his ESC in a kit from BPRO specialist retailer Eastcoast PowerUp. The kit comes with the ESC itself and a replacement heavy-gauge wiring harness designed to handle the higher voltage. It even includes gauges to monitor the batteries. Installation isn’t exactly plug-and-play, but it should be easy enough for anyone experienced with electronics.