Hill limitations for Zapino

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dgw
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Joined: 10/14/2008
Points: 3

New member here. I bought a Zapino based on its most powerful motor in its class and I need lots of power to get up the brutal hill I live on. This hill is about a 1/2 mile long and averages 16 to 20%. Anyway, the dealers I visited and the ZAP's website all reassured me that the Zapino could handle this hill, but so far it hasn't been up to the task. It has about 30km on the odo, is always fully charged and has been charged/partially discharged 5 times now. It slows to a crawl on the steepest bits and barely makes it up (I weigh about 200 and my daughter weighs 145 - it seems to make little difference which one of us is on it). The diagnostic LED blinks 3 times fast, then pauses, then repeats the 3 fast blinks. According to the owner's manual this means the motor is overloaded and to lighten the load. The controller gets between warm and a little bit hot to the touch.
So here are my questions: Is this hill too much for this scooter? If my scooter is underperforming, then what might be the problem? Battery, controller, or something else?.
The ZAP office in Santa Rosa said to charge/discharge at least 8 times before deciding if it was capable. But he also said the controller would likely fail if it is pushed so hard on a regular basis.
I will have to sell it if it turns out to be unsuited for this situation.
Thanks for any advice.

Doug

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Mountain chen
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Joined: 09/05/2007
Points: 318
Re: Hill limitations for Zapino

dgw wrote:

New member here. I bought a Zapino based on its most powerful motor in its class and I need lots of power to get up the brutal hill I live on. This hill is about a 1/2 mile long and averages 16 to 20%. Anyway, the dealers I visited and the ZAP's website all reassured me that the Zapino could handle this hill, but so far it hasn't been up to the task. It has about 30km on the odo, is always fully charged and has been charged/partially discharged 5 times now. It slows to a crawl on the steepest bits and barely makes it up (I weigh about 200 and my daughter weighs 145 - it seems to make little difference which one of us is on it). The diagnostic LED blinks 3 times fast, then pauses, then repeats the 3 fast blinks. According to the owner's manual this means the motor is overloaded and to lighten the load. The controller gets between warm and a little bit hot to the touch.
So here are my questions: Is this hill too much for this scooter? If my scooter is underperforming, then what might be the problem? Battery, controller, or something else?.
The ZAP office in Santa Rosa said to charge/discharge at least 8 times before deciding if it was capable. But he also said the controller would likely fail if it is pushed so hard on a regular basis.
I will have to sell it if it turns out to be unsuited for this situation.
Thanks for any advice.

Doug
------------
n/a

Come to XM3500li,it has better climbing ability.

reikiman
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Joined: 11/19/2006
Points: 8454
Re: Hill limitations for Zapino

Are you trying to do full throttle up the hill? My experience with hill climbing is it is best to get a running start and then use half throttle while on the hill. But I've never tried climbing such a long hill and I don't have a Zapino.

Other question is are you attempting this with a full charge or a depleted charge? e.g. on your return trip home if it's at the end of your charge then the depleted pack might not be up to it while a fully charged pack would.

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sgmdudley
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Joined: 12/22/2007
Points: 211
Re: Hill limitations for Zapino

If you have the 2008 Zapino, it only comes in one motor configuration.
Another manufacturer says he builds motors for ether speed or hills.

I have the same year Zapino, but my commute only has a few slight hills.
The scooter takes them without much effort. Unfortunately there aren't
any hills within my range that I could do a test for you.

I don't think it is a function of battery charge as much as motor torque.
3000W is the sales rating, but doesn't correspond to any torque or hill
climbing ability. I talked to Todd at Electric Motorsport and he said
they sell the Oxygen Lepton for the hills of San Francisco as it is a
better hill climber. However, it is not as fast as the Zapino on the flat.

The only other suggestion is a scooter(motorcycle) with more power. But
then it would be registered as a motorcycle instead of a MOPED.

Someone that used to post here suggested increasing tire size for more speed
or decreasing the tire size for more torque. The Zapino has a 3.50 X 10" tire.
I don't know how much smaller you could go to get any improvement. If this
is a possibility for you here is the information i have:

Scooter Tires
100/80-10------1269.2 mm circumference
90/90-10-------1275.5 mm circ (Pulling trailer)
120/70-10------1294.3 mm circ
3.5x10 KENDA-1300.6 mm circ XM and Z STOCK tire size
110/80-10------1319.5 mm circ
100/90-10------1332 mm circ
130/70-10------1338.3 mm circ (may be too wide for rim and/or width to frame)
120/80-10------1369.7 mm circ
110/90-10------1388.6 mm circ (Made for front wheel only)
120/90-10------1445 mm (Front only, rubs on rear wheel, motor gets hot)

There is NO 110/90-10 available for the REAR wheel anywhere, except cheap China tires.
Keep in mind when doing your math, both the actual measured or mathematical circumference (circ above) are going to be MORE than you really will get when loaded and riding, for example, using the 90/90-10 tire I only get 91.5% of the ACTUAL MEASURED circumference which is within 2 mm of the mathematical circ above. This will occur on these other tires as well, how much depends on a lot of unknown variables. It is because the tire flattens on the bottom when loaded and is closer to the axle than when measured unloaded or figured mathematically from the metric tire size calcs.
Here are options for tires by brand, depending on the size you want you may have to hunt for them as not all tire sizes are avaliable from all dealers unless you special order ($$$).
Michelin S1100/80-10 53J
90/90-10 (in stock motorcycle superstore)
110/80-10 58J
100/90-10 56J (in stock motorcycle superstore)
130/70-10
Pirelli SL-26
100/80-10 53J TL
90/90-10 (in stock motorcycle superstore)
110/80-10 58J TL
100/90-10 56J TL (in stock motorcycle superstore)
Michelin VM100
100/80-10 53L TL/TT
120/70-10 54L TL/TT REINF
Michelin VM100S100/80-10 53L
120/70-10 REINF 54L
Michelin Pilot City
120/70-10 54L TL REINF
Pirelli SL 38 UNICO (stock on some Vespa's 2002 to 2004)
May be biggest tire that will fit
Have not found any suppliers yet listing this size
120/80-10

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eped
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Joined: 06/13/2008
Points: 126
Re: Hill limitations for Zapino

I have the XM-3500LI and have a few 25% slopes in my neighborhood. If you approach the slope moving you can do about 22MPH on the 20% and 15MPH on the 25% (this is from 100% down to about 60% SOC). You can get started from a stop going up the 25% from 100% SOC but barely (this is probably extreme). However, top end is only 45-49MPH depending on who you talk you, state of charge, etc...

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reikiman
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Re: Hill limitations for Zapino

Quote:

I don't think it is a function of battery charge as much as motor torque.

The reason I mentioned battery charge is that towards the end of the charge batteries deliver a lower voltage and limited amps and even if the controller/motor is capable of more there's Scotty down in the engine room shouting The Batteries They Canna Take No More!!

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- David Herron, Green Transportation Examiner, Green Transportation Info, The Long Tail Pipe, Electric Race News, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
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sgmdudley
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Joined: 12/22/2007
Points: 211
Re: Hill limitations for Zapino

I was talking about the motor itself not the battery charge. Obviously weak batteries
won't make it up a steep hill. This would be a function of the way the motor is created.
Just like a 27 speed bike. You can try to muscle up a hill in high gear, but it is much
easier and less effort when you switch to the granny gears.

Maybe for certain flat/hill situations a two speed motor or a transmission would be the
way to go. But then you start adding expense and complications to the scooter. I think
the only solution at present is to go for the scooter that is designed to go slower but
has great hill climbing ability.

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Robert Dudley
E-Scoot Tech

alandf
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Joined: 01/29/2008
Points: 15
Re: Hill limitations for Zapino

How fast can you go on the flats? If you are going 30 mph then you are in moped mode. If you can 40+ mph then you are in motorcycle mode. There is a toggle switch underneath the seat (behind the holed panel that looks like an air vent) that sets the scooter in the moped mode versus a motorcycle mode. Motorcycle mode gives you a higher top end speed. Not sure if this would translate into climbing ability.

sgmdudley
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Joined: 12/22/2007
Points: 211
Re: Hill limitations for Zapino

Zapino two speed switch.

High Speed: Direct connection to the controller. With throttle @ MAX = 4.3VDC. MAX Speed about 38-40MPH true.

Low Speed: Connection via 12K resistance. Limits voltage to controller to approx 3.8vdc. Max speed about 26mph true.

The switch is hidden (but loose) behind the small access plate behind your feet. It is marked with a I and a II with
the center position = off. You can't go by the markings as some are backwards.

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dgw
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Joined: 10/14/2008
Points: 3
Re: Hill limitations for Zapino

Aplogies for disappearing for a while, I didn't have access to my computer and the new account password and couldn't log in.

Thanks to all for the suggestions, here are my responses:

I have been going up the hill with a fully charged battery (according to the battery level indicator and the charger's green light), full throttle and with a running start of about 15 mph (which lasts maybe 100m).

The gearing/torque for the Zapino sounds like it is more tuned to speed on the flats than hill climbing. That's an intriguing suggestion to put on smaller diameter tires to increase torque, but I imagine they would have to be a LOT smaller to make any difference, but thank you, sgmdudley, for all your research.

The XM3500 sounds much more suited to hill riding, but I have not seen these for sale anywhere. Price might be an issue too.

I got it up to about 38mph (indicated) on the flats in the I position of the switch. Haven't tried the II position yet.

I think that maybe this scooter is just geared wrong for this type of application. I used to race bicycles and after every ride would have to come up this hill, so I know just what is required powerwise. When I was fit and not fat, I could put out 350W continuous power for the 5 minutes it would take to climb the hill at 5 or 6mph. That was 200lbs for rider and bike. So my intuition was that a 3000W scooter weighing 495lbs all up, should kick the crap out of me and bicycle. ie) 1.5x the weight, but 8.6x the power sounds pretty favourable. In fact though, the speeds are pretty close except at the bottom before the scooter bogs down. But if I attempted to come up the hill in my bicycle's top gear (53-12 which would allow me to blast along at 40mph on the flats OK with a tailwind), I certainly wouldn't be doing the same speed as in my climbing gear (39-27)! So maybe that is the problem with the Zapino?

Thank you again for your help.

Tanner
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Joined: 04/24/2008
Points: 94
Re: Hill limitations for Zapino

I own a 2008 Zapino with about 500 miles on it. I have a similar situation where I live on a hill about as steep as the one you mentioned. The length of the climb is about a 1/3 mile and of course I have to climb the hill when returning home, when the batteries are not fully charged. Some have suggested a running start which of course will improve speed and not put as much of a load on the batteries. But there is a stop sign at the bottom of my hill so I can't charge through the intersection at 25 mph. I try to make a "California stop" but that only helps a little. Near the top of the hill the speed drops to about 6 mph. I weigh about 165 and have not tried this with a passenger. Fortunately, there is an alternate route up my hill with only half the steepness but the detour results in 3 extra miles. I normally take the detour to avoid putting so much much of a load on the batteries.

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Mountain chen
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Joined: 09/05/2007
Points: 318
Re: Hill limitations for Zapino

XM3500li is Usd3999/pc , almost the same price as ZAPINO at Usd3450/pc

And it use much lighter Lithium battery.

ChateauV10
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Joined: 09/23/2008
Points: 1
Re: Hill limitations for Zapino

I *think* the hub motor in the Zapino is a fairly simple direct-drive machine, so torque is function of forces generated between the rotor and stator, multiplied by the circumference of the tire. If this is the case, there is no "gearing" as such. You have the torque you have when max voltage/current is applied to the motor. Changing the torque-speed response of the motor would require more applied voltage or rewinding the motor for more power....

It would be great to see some dynamometer curves for the motor in the Zapino and the one in the 3500 scooter...

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