Convert SLA to LiFePO4 in 2007 Zapino
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
We used Werker AGM SLA WKA12-35C. Weight is 27.3 lbs, price $81 each.
You need 5. Purchased from a local "Batteries Plus".
You may change into 20 cell of CHL battery 40AH LFP,Usd1450 including BMS and freight !
Range 120kms ...........