I'm new to electric scooters and don't own one. I'd like to buy a scooter that I can ride within 10 mile radius of my home. The area is residential with occasional round abouts and plenty of car traffic. I'd like it to be capable of 25-30mph and carry a passenger sometimes. The xm-3000 sounds like a good choice. Advice would be appreciated.
other brands and/or models I should look at?
essential accessories or mods?
reasonable prices and/or dealers?
Yes, a lead acid based XM-3000 would likely be acceptable. If I remember right with a healthy pack it has about a 20 mile range (so your 10 mile radius would be on the limit - assuming 10 out and 10 back). I'm not sure about carrying a passenger - both vehicle capability and from local laws. Here in Michigan if you register it as a moped then you can't carry a passenger.
If you do go with an XM-3000 or any other lead acid based bike I *strongly* recommend you invest in small separate chargers for each battery. This has proven to be the most cost-effective and simple to implement battery balancing solution. Without it I wouldn't expect you to get more than a season out of your batteries. With it you may get 3+ seasons (others out there can no doubt give you more advice on this).
BTW, I still have my XM-2000 and XM-3000. I have converted my XM-3000 to LiFePO4 and use it for scooter racing! I'm just about to update it from 60V to 72V - because in my last race I got lapped by Terry (an employee at my company) - and I can't be allowing that!!!! ;-)
Good luck - I really do hope you find an EV scooter that fits your needs - welcome to the club!
I'm selling either my Oxygen lepton or my XM3000. The latter scooter should meet your needs nicely. I've already had it sorted out (it came with a bad hub motor and messed up accessory wiring) and have been riding it for almost a year. Surprisingly fast ride for a Chinese scooter, but I need to sell one of them to help pay for my new ZEV5000LA. If you live anywhere near Upstate NY email me or reply here. You can find the ad on the albany craigslist site. Here's a link: http://albany.craigslist.org/mcy/2477453258.html
I think the XM-3000 will sell first. (30,43) vs 30 mph. (Comma is due to the speed switch.) Easy choice.
I've read a lot about equalizing charge on battery banks, and you know what? I think that most of the present approaches do more harm than good. There was one equalizer on the market that actually caught fire, and people doing it with separate chargers aren't getting as much life from their packs as I get by just using the charger to equalize. How do you do that? Two ways: leave it connected for a few hours after it shows the charge is completed, and before you ride, connect the charger and let it run until it either switches out of bulk charge mode (XM series) or for 15-30 minutes (Lepton). I'm still on the original battery pack on my 2001 Lepton, and it still has about 60% capacity left after ten years. I'm not doing daily commutes, but I've still put over 1600 miles on it, none of them in rides more than 18 miles long. I'd say the average would be about 10-12 miles per ride. As for the XM, I still have what appears to be full capacity after a year. It's *much* more important to recharge immediately after each use, and not to run the pack below 75 or 80% discharge, than it is to equalize the charge. Even the primitive series-wired system on the XM seems able to do that, just by leaving the charger on a few extra hours.
Jason, I'd say you are right, but the Lepton has a much better reputation than the X-Treme. If you don't have to ride outside of city streets, the Lepton is probably the better choice.
Did your lepton come with the balancer? What is the exact model of the balancer?
Blast it, this message board is BUGGY. It's hard to reply to a comment. Anyway, I'll try to get in all my out of order replies here, wherever here is...
I never owned a battery charge balancer. I read about this great new model that had come out, then soon afterwards read that maybe it was a better firestarter than battery life extender. The lead-acid Lepton came with a Zantrex charger, and it does a great job of keeping the batteries alive. It revived the battery bank the first time I used it, after they had sat unrecharged for over a year. It's a three stage charger that lacks only a power switch.
I believe you asked if the XM3000 can carry passengers? Yes, It has somewhat cheap passenger footpegs and the awful seat (you should NOT sit on a Lepton - you will never be comfortable on your X-Treme again!) slides your passenger up tight against you, but it's rated for 350lbs so two normally-weighted people should be fine. (The Lepton is rated for 300lbs and will also carry a passenger if you are under that limit).
Oh, and range for the X-Treme is a lot more than 20 miles if you use the low power mode. I took one ride of about 20 miles using mainly that (with a few sections where I used the high power mode) and I still had at least half my charge left. I'd say it can do 35 miles, real world riding, if you use the low power mode alone. It's better than the Lepton's Eco mode because the coasting lets you get it to at least 40mph on downhills while using virtually no juice...
FWIW (probably not very much) I agree with 86.3% of what Leftie says. OK, obviously not that accurate but here's what I agree with:
- Not over discharging and charging immediately are far more important to lead acid battery health than pack balancing. So, the most important two things for lead-acid battery life you can do with simple self-discipline (I was always good at charging immediately but not so good at not stopping soon enough).
- The XM-3000 can functionally carry a passenger just fine. My comment was only on the legalities.
I don't doubt that Leftie is getting great life out of his pack. Or more miles out of the XM-3000 by carefully monitoring his power usage and using low power. However, a couple of "counter points"
- I think what Leftie is referring to is doing balancing by overcharging the batteries. This works just fine on flooded lead acid because it works by the full cells "boiling off electrolyte" while the weaker cells come up to charge. However, the issue is that with sealed lead acids (like the ones in the XM-3000) there's no way to replace the electrolyte (because it's a sealed system). What I've no idea about is how much damage is done and how soon. It may well be that for all practical purposes the damage is limited ad doesn't have an adverse affect. However, individual chargers *DO* solve that problem *COMPLETELY*.
- I know the automatic balancer solution that Leftie is referring to. That's why I recommend individual chargers. Although Leftie states that "people doing it with separate chargers aren't getting as much life from their packs as I get by just using the charger to equalize" that's far more likely to be because Leftie is more self disciplined about not over-discharging and always recharging immediately than the people he's comparing himself too.
- Around here "real world usage" necessitates using "high power" because you'll get run over if you leave it in "low power". So, I still say for purchase planning you may want to consider 20 miles as the limit. Obviously only you know how you'll ride it and use it.
Anyways I think our advice was pretty much the same - the XM-3000 may well work for you just fine.
All the best. JH.
We do largely agree, Jdh. I do disagree that I'm damaging the batteries by balancing them with the charger, and I think the Lepton's 10 year (and still going) battery life is proof of that. That scooter's charger gives it a much higher 'pre-charge' than the one on the XM, which goes into Float mode after only about 10-45 seconds. IOW, if I've been pre-charging the batteries on the Lepton for 30 minutes, much of it in high charge mode, I don't think there is anything to worry about with the X-Treme's batteries getting a modest pre- and post- charge. I think the batteries aren't being forced to vent gas and vapor, so the electrolyte isn't being rapidly depleted.
You may well be right about the number of cycles and depth of discharge being the reason that people balancing their batteries aren't getting longer battery life...
On a tangential note, I visited one of my favorite (NY) State Parks today, to swim and walk a bit. They use GEMs there, so I thought I'd ask if I could recharge my new electric motorcycle there once I got it. They were supportive at first, because for some reason they heard "electric motorcycle" as "mobility scooter." Once they realized I meant an actual vehicle, the answer was, basically, "Hell no." I looked around before I left, and there are outlets here and there, but I don't know if I want to risk arrest for trying to burn less gas.
I'd like to try to help organize a network of people who will let other EV riders and drivers recharge at their houses, but frankly I doubt there are enough of us here in Upstate NY... If there are groups of you with EVs elsewhere, I suggest you do the same, because this change won't be coming from the Top down, that's for sure.