Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

29 replies [Last post]
Andrea
Offline
Joined: 04/10/2012
Points: 34

I am the proud owner of a 2007 Zapino. The range of the batteries is now only 8 miles round trip. I am at the point where I think I need to start saving up for new batteries. With the scooter being 5 years old its recent decrepitude corresponds with the owner’s manual. I called Jeff at Voltage Vehicles (anyone notice ZAP no longer answers their phone) and he said that an upgrade of the older model scooters is not being offered. I have been searching online for suitable LiFePO4 options with a BMS (Battery Management System) and have not found success. Has anyone out there already made this conversion? I am scared to spend a lot of money on batteries that I may inadvertently destroy with my poor shop skills. Any input is valuable. Thanks, Andrea

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
sgmdudley
Offline
Joined: 12/22/2007
Points: 211
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

I work at Small Planet E-Vehicles.I have replaced batteries on a few Zapino's.
We have 2 more to do and also the smaller AER (4 batteries).

A few years ago a Calif company had a conversion. Including the BMS, it was
almost $2000. I was checking for that company but they appear to be out of
business..

The two affordable options are standard Lead/Acid batteries. We get them from
a Battery company here in Longmont, CO.

The other is Green Saver Silicone. Current price on their website is $79.

The job takes me 2 hours.

__________________

Robert Dudley
E-Scoot Tech

Andrea
Offline
Joined: 04/10/2012
Points: 34
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

sgmdudley,

Do you have any you tube videos or straight forward instructions about changing out the old batteries with the new batteries? Someone in an older post gave the instructions on exposing the batteries so I can physically get to them, but I am a little worried about safety and proper installation. Any input you may have is appreciated.

Andrea

sgmdudley
Offline
Joined: 12/22/2007
Points: 211
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

I posted the instructions for removing all the plastic pieces to get to the batteries
in a previous post.
.
There are five batteries in Series. This means there is a plus and minus cable connected
to every battery. In addition, there are two extra wires from the the 60VDC to 12VDC
converter. One wire to first battery in the string, 2nd wire to the last battery in the
string. Since the batteries are not installed in a logical layout due to space problems,
make a diagram of the batteries and the way the cables are connected. All battery bolts
are 10mm. Usually when you are dealing with only one battery as in a car, you always
remove the minus cable first. Do the same here. Find the plus and minus leads from the
controller and the circuit breaker. They go the the 1st and last batteries. They would
be the same ones as the DC converter. Remove the minus cables first, then the plus cables.
Now you can remove the rest of the cables. I used masking tape to label each end of each
cable to match the battery number and + or -. This is because the cables are all different
lengths. One all the cables have been removed, you can now remove the battery hold down
straps & brackets. Then just lift out all the batteries and install the new ones.

__________________

Robert Dudley
E-Scoot Tech

sgmdudley
Offline
Joined: 12/22/2007
Points: 211
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

PS. You can wrap your 10mm wrench with electrical tape so only the ends are exposed to minimize
shorting the battery posts to the frame.

__________________

Robert Dudley
E-Scoot Tech

Andrea
Offline
Joined: 04/10/2012
Points: 34
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

This is very helpful information. I am going to print this off and keep in with the owner's manual. I will follow the safety tip as well. Thanks again, Andrea

sgmdudley
Offline
Joined: 12/22/2007
Points: 211
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

I just did a battery replacment yesterday on a Zapino.
.
Forgot that ZAP used double sided sticky tape to hold the batteries down.
Took two of us to break loose the two batteries that are side by side. In
the past when I replaced the batteries, I used alcohol to soften the sticky
tape. The only problem is the battery box has holes so the alcohol runs out.
I used duct tape to try to seal the holes to hold the alcohol in. Yesterday
we used a couple of large flat blade scewdrivers as pry bars. Used a block
of wood to pry against. The left side battery should come out first (left as
you are sitting on the scooter). The right side is under the frame a bit so
has to come out 2nd.

__________________

Robert Dudley
E-Scoot Tech

Andrea
Offline
Joined: 04/10/2012
Points: 34
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

Sgmdudley,

I'm sure that my batteries will be really stuck down because of thier age. Thanks for the tip. It will likely save me time trying to figure out the quirks.

What battery suplier did you use? What brand of battery did you decide to replace the old ones with?

Thanks for sharing.

Andrea

IBScootn
Offline
Joined: 01/03/2011
Points: 233
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

If you are still interested in doing a lithium conversion, you can purchase a complete solution from: www.elitepowersolutions.com. They're not cheap, but you do get a matching set of cells, BMS, LCD SOC display, charger, etc.

I link to their 60V packages is: http://elitepowersolutions.com/products/index.php?cPath=27_45

__________________

Motorcycles:
2011 ZEV Trail 7100, 84V, 60AH, 75+mph, Cycle Analyst, TNC throttle, modified charger. 800 miles so far.
2010 ZEV 6100, 72V, 40AH, 60+mph; Cycle Analyst, LED head lights, 3 Cell Log interfaces, TNC throttle and faster charger added. 8100 miles so far.

Big EV Grin. :)

sgmdudley
Offline
Joined: 12/22/2007
Points: 211
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

We used Werker AGM SLA WKA12-35C. Weight is 27.3 lbs, price $81 each.
You need 5. Purchased from a local "Batteries Plus".

__________________

Robert Dudley
E-Scoot Tech

Andrea
Offline
Joined: 04/10/2012
Points: 34
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

DSC_0856.JPG

I just completed the changing the batteries. I opted to not do the LiFePO4 conversion secondary to cost and lack of information/other success stories. I used the werker brand batteries that were suggested by this forum. They work great! Thanks to everyone on this form that helped by providing information.

CHL lithium battery
CHL lithium battery's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/23/2011
Points: 305
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

You may change into 20 cell of CHL battery 40AH LFP,Usd1450 including BMS and freight !

Range 120kms ...........

CHL lithium battery
CHL lithium battery's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/23/2011
Points: 305
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

Voltage Reading_(09-04-00-01-26).jpg

Andrea
Offline
Joined: 04/10/2012
Points: 34
Losing Power while in motion intermittantly

I would be very appreciative for anyone's input regarding what may be wrong with my 2007 Zapino scooter. When I ride my scooter with the throttle turned I loose power and then it just comes back. I am usually not moving very fast 20/mi/hr or less. Once I was on a busy street and I could feel myself decelerate despite no change in my throttle or break postition and luckily the power returned so I did not become a traffic hazard. Another time I was moving 10mi/hr on a residential street and the power cut out and I coasted over to the curb and waited a few seconds, twisted the throttle again and behold the scooter was working again. The third time the power cut out and I glided to a 4 way stop and could not get the power to come back on. I tried truning the ignition on and off, then I opened the seat to flip the curcuit breaker, and finally I pushed the scooter through the intersection to the curb. I sat back in the seat for a few seconds and suddenly the scooter was back to its usual self and I made it home. I'm hesitant to get it out again before finding out what is wrong. Any ideas? So far I have ruled out a kickstand being floppy and any break issues. Thanks.

ookba
Offline
Joined: 09/06/2013
Points: 37
Re: Losing Power while in motion intermittantly

Andrea wrote:

I would be very appreciative for anyone's input regarding what may be wrong with my 2007 Zapino scooter. When I ride my scooter with the throttle turned I loose power and then it just comes back. I am usually not moving very fast 20/mi/hr or less. Once I was on a busy street and I could feel myself decelerate despite no change in my throttle or break postition and luckily the power returned so I did not become a traffic hazard. Another time I was moving 10mi/hr on a residential street and the power cut out and I coasted over to the curb and waited a few seconds, twisted the throttle again and behold the scooter was working again. The third time the power cut out and I glided to a 4 way stop and could not get the power to come back on. I tried truning the ignition on and off, then I opened the seat to flip the curcuit breaker, and finally I pushed the scooter through the intersection to the curb. I sat back in the seat for a few seconds and suddenly the scooter was back to its usual self and I made it home. I'm hesitant to get it out again before finding out what is wrong. Any ideas? So far I have ruled out a kickstand being floppy and any break issues. Thanks.

Sounds like you have a loose battery cable or ground somewhere. When you get the motor turning fast enough and creating enough load, it's asking for more current but your power source cannot provide it so it's cutting out. I'd check all the wiring to all batteries, breaker, motor, etc.

__________________

72V 54MPH 2008 Zoomin' Zapino - Sold
48V 40MPH 2011 Vectrix VX-2 flyin'

CC
Offline
Joined: 02/08/2014
Points: 23
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

Andrea I have a 2008 Zapino which had the same problem of losing power you described. Traced the problem to the interlock circuit. There are two cutout interlocks connected together - one for the kickstand and the other connected to the rear brake which activates when braking and resets when you release the throttle. The brake interlock has two very small wires that pass through the hub along with the motor wiring. The wires take a sharp bend coming out of the hub. Turned out the two small wires were shorted out at the bend so I found the connector for them and simply unplugged it. All is fine now. I also did a successful conversion to Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries. Source was Electric Vehicle Enterprises out of Palm Springs CA. Contact Bill Schlanger 928-600-3925. Bought 20 cells at $37 each, 20 balancers at $8.95 each and a 15 amp charger specifically designed for Lithium batteries. Did a lot of research on the best cells and determined GB Systems were my best bet. Did require some scooter mods to fit everything in, but it works fine.

__________________

Charles A Case

Randy W
Offline
Joined: 04/19/2011
Points: 63
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

Hi CHL,
Sounds good! Some questions:
Will these packs fit the Zapino without modifying the battery boxes?
Connectors included?
Any Warranty?
Any problems with shipping or customs to USA?
Cost of shipping to 95405?
Thanks very much,
Randy W
Santa Rosa

__________________

Randy W
Santa Rosa, CA
2 ZAP! Zapinos

CC
Offline
Joined: 02/08/2014
Points: 23
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

Randy- Had to modify the lowest battery box, otherwise no problem. Yes connectors are included. Shipping was from Palm Springs California where everything is in stock.

__________________

Charles A Case

M.Chen
Offline
Joined: 07/19/2012
Points: 89
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

Old ZAPINO need Winston battery 19cell to fill in the battery tunk,CHL 50AH is too big !

Send mail to lithiumscooter@gmail.com for more details

Lithium battery pack.jpg

MRider
Offline
Joined: 01/08/2014
Points: 17
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

Hi

I have successfully installed 20 40Ah cells in my first electric scooter ( to you is zapino ) In Portugal is other name.

Randy W
Offline
Joined: 04/19/2011
Points: 63
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

Hi fellow Zapino-istas
I finally did it!
This may be the most rewarding project/investment I've done in quite a while! Following CC's lead, I e-chatted with Bill Schlanger of Electric Vehicle Enterprises. $1847.00, including shipping, got me 20 NEW, GUARANTEED cells (not the cheaper , un-guaranteed "pulls" they sell), 20 balancers and the nifty 15-amp smart charger. The equipment came extremely well-packed, directly from Elite Power Solutions, in Tempe. Same price if you bought it from them.
Installation was pretty smooth. I chose not to modify the lowest battery box, at this time. Opted to stow the lower battery in the under-seat storage area, with a suitable hold-down bracket. Had to saw-off the plastic and aluminium corner of the right battery so it would clear the frame member, and also cut off a chunk of plastic on the rear-most battery to clear the seat-latch mechanism. The Hex-wrench screws on the cells didn't seem to fit either 'Merican OR metric properly. Is there a third standard? Firm connections are important! The charger comes with the most uninformative generic Chinglish manual I've ever read.
On the PLUS side, I cannot believe the increased low-end torque, hill-climbing ability, quicker braking and improved handling afforded by the lower impedance (internal resistance, really) of the batteries ("stiffer" power supply) and losing 80 lbs doesn't hurt, either.
Bear in mind that my "new" Zapino had 3-year-old B&B SLAs in it when I purchased it, so my "before" picture may be a bit tainted. Anyway, I am REALLY enjoying the performance! Haven't done the endurance run, yet. Stay tuned! So far, on a 40 kM run, including some hefty hills, I detect NO degradation in performance, and only a slight drop in voltage.
Because I am EXTERMELY tired of R&R-ing the plastic body panels, I used this opportunity to bring a tap from each battery (+) to a computer-style female DB-9 connector for battery monitoring with (1) 5 individual LED voltmeters on a box, (2) a 60-volt digital voltmeter and (3) the port on the smart charger. Incidentally, I found the (-) is NOT grounded to the frame, so that needs to appear on the connector, as well. Total 6 wires.
Am presently using the Zapino's original IEC (computer-style) charger port, but that runs a bit warm with the 15-amp charger, so will wire the (supplied) Anderson connector directly to the batteries on the next tear-down. (Sigh...)
In summary, if you're on the edge about doing the conversion, let me give you a little push! Smiles from ear-to-ear!
PS: Still have a ton of Zapino plastic. What do you need? Now or in future?
Cheers!

__________________

Randy W
Santa Rosa, CA
2 ZAP! Zapinos

MEroller
MEroller's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/26/2011
Points: 663
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

Randy W wrote:

Incidentally, I found the (-) is NOT grounded to the frame, ...

Just for info, traction battery minus should never, ever be connected to the frame of the vehicle - period. Much too dangerous!

__________________

My rides:
E-Sprit Fury (basis is the ZAP/Erider Thunder 5000) since May 03, 2011. Mods: Battery temp. gauge and battery heating (off the grid and off the battery), Kelly KEB72801X, reverse activated, luggage rack with topcase, HC Cycle Analyst, Emsiso BMS2405, 35mm² battery cables - repaired again :-)

QvR vR one: a Swiss package of pure understatement - innocent and to some eyes (from some angles) exceedingly ugly looks, but with raw and hardly containable electron power up to real 95 to 100km/h! And a literally rock-hard suspension due to a carrying capacity of twice it's unladen weight...

Randy W
Offline
Joined: 04/19/2011
Points: 63
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

Hey, MEroller...
Dangerous in terms of steel tools being used while changing batteries or accidents causing battery-to-frame contact?
Curious...
Randy

__________________

Randy W
Santa Rosa, CA
2 ZAP! Zapinos

uws101
Offline
Joined: 06/16/2014
Points: 30
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

Hi All,

I have been reading these posts and I just got a Zapino.
It has not been used and the battery does not charge and gets hot - meter is showing very low too. But the indicator light is working but not the horn.

Is LiFePO4 replacement is the one for me - how can I confirm where the issue is?

Any way to get cheap Li-Ion batteries that easily fit the space w/o modifications? I am in California and not sure if there are any incentives?

Thanks

MEroller
MEroller's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/26/2011
Points: 663
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

Randy W wrote:

Hey, MEroller...
Dangerous in terms of steel tools being used while changing batteries or accidents causing battery-to-frame contact?
Curious...
Randy

Either of the two. Plus possibly being DC-electrocuted by accidentally touching the frame and one battery terminal.

__________________

My rides:
E-Sprit Fury (basis is the ZAP/Erider Thunder 5000) since May 03, 2011. Mods: Battery temp. gauge and battery heating (off the grid and off the battery), Kelly KEB72801X, reverse activated, luggage rack with topcase, HC Cycle Analyst, Emsiso BMS2405, 35mm² battery cables - repaired again :-)

QvR vR one: a Swiss package of pure understatement - innocent and to some eyes (from some angles) exceedingly ugly looks, but with raw and hardly containable electron power up to real 95 to 100km/h! And a literally rock-hard suspension due to a carrying capacity of twice it's unladen weight...

mcaskey
mcaskey's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/27/2014
Points: 21
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

INTRO:

Hi all - I'm new to the forum and to electric scooters. I decided I'd like to get an electric ride this summer for my daily commute to the office and back. It's about 10 miles, one way. I've been looking at a lot of options and searching for maybe a used e scooter. I found a cheap one on craigslist, but it needs new batteries.

QUESTION:

Would it be better to get a used Zapino for $300 + buy replacement batteries, or should I get something else?

If you think I should get the used Zapino, can you recommend decent, inexpensive, modern batteries?

Thanks!

Randy W
Offline
Joined: 04/19/2011
Points: 63
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

Hi MCasken,
Welcome to the forum.
If you are SURE that all it needs is a set of batteries, it sounds like a good deal. It should be able to run (for a short ride), steer, stop with freshly-charged but bad batteries. If it doesn't run at all, you can't know WHAT you're in for.
The next step is to decide if you're going with conventional SLA batteries for around $600.00+, or the LiFePo4 conversion for $1850.00.
Either way, you're money ahead with the used Zapino. BUT you have to be a bit of a mechanic & electrician to rely on this (or just about any other Chinese scooter).
Hope it works well for you! Keep us posted.
Maybe others can chime-in here with other scooters that are currently in production?

__________________

Randy W
Santa Rosa, CA
2 ZAP! Zapinos

Randy W
Offline
Joined: 04/19/2011
Points: 63
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

Deleted double-post.

__________________

Randy W
Santa Rosa, CA
2 ZAP! Zapinos

uws101
Offline
Joined: 06/16/2014
Points: 30
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

1) LiFePo4 - what is this catchy name? Why not they call it Li-Ion? What is so special about it?
2) How about some of these Canadian scooters?
http://emmo.ca/emmo-s6/
http://emmo.ca/the-new-emmo/
http://www.ecoped.com/en/
http://motorino.ca/motorinoxpd.php

3) True hybrid bike IMHO
http://www.shadowebike.com/

Copenham bike at
https://www.superpedestrian.com/

antiscab
Offline
Joined: 07/07/2007
Points: 1603
Re: Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino

uws101 wrote:

1) LiFePo4 - what is this catchy name? Why not they call it Li-Ion? What is so special about it?

It's a different chemistry - 3.2v nominal
LiMn02 is 3.8v nominal
LiCo is 3.6v nominal
LiTi is 2.2v nominal
LiS is 1.7V nominal

they're all Li-Ion, but Li-Ion is not a chemistry but covers a rather large variety of chemistries

__________________

Daily Ride:
2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah
Vectrix 60Ah Lithium Tyres Fuel Registration Insurance cycle analyst replacement TC Charger
conversion
Spent so far: $5800 + $7000 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost to do it again: $2500 + $5600 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost for a Petrol bike:$6000 + + $1440 + $6000 + $800 + $1400 + $3200 servicing
Total spent: $17260
Total to do again: $12560
Total to have used a petrol bike: $18840
Total distance travelled so far: 79'120km

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Build Your Own Electric Vehicle You need this book if you want to build your own EV
Customize This