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My new E-bike
Submitted by Tupo on Fri, 12/18/2009 - 23:48
I got my new ZEV 3600 on November 6th from DWG, here is their web site http://www.environmentfriendlystore.com/. I haven't had time to post any thing till now. I had it shipped to were I work because we have a warehouse with a loading dock. The bike arrived in a large wooden crate. I actual was the one that unloaded it from the truck. I then began to uncreated the the bike. The crate was put together very well. It took me about a hour to uncreated it using a electric screwdriver. I probably could have done it in half the time but I was being very cautious. The bike did not even shift during shipping. At least far I could tell. After inspecting the bike thoroughly there wasn't even a scratch anywhere. The bike came fully assembled and ready to drive after charging. I was surprised as from what I read about a lot of other bikes there are some assembly required. Like having to put the wind faring on or the front wheel having to be reinstalled.
Next thing I did was open up the boxes that were shipped with it. They contained the charger and a inverter box. The instruction manual for the charger was all in Chinese. No problem ill just Google it and find a translation I thought. Well it seems there is no listing for this charger. It may be a new series of the king pan chargers. The model is KP-M series Li-ion battery charger. Now what I was confused about was why a inverter was shipped. The cable that plugged into the charger itself was the same kind of connector that plugs into a lot of power supplies like computers flat screen TV's etc. The other end was a standard three prong connector (U.S.A.). It had 220v written on it. Now I have never seen a 220v connector like that. Mainly there odd shaped to keep people from plugging in a 110v device to 220v. I think there are like 15 different types of 220v connectors here in the U.S. , again being cautious I contacted ZEV to be sure that I understood correctly. That the charger was 220v and the inverter was so that you could use any 110v outlet and charge the bike. The last thing I wanted to do was damage anything from ignorance. I sent a email to ZEV with my question I got my response back in 30 min. I was correct so Then charged the bike,it was fully charged when it was time for me to leave work. So I drove it home.
I am going to back up just a bit. Many at work new I was getting a new E-bike. I had talked about it a lot. Now what I had before was a razor 300-es which I used to commute to work with. I only live like 6 blocks from my work. It served me well and liked not having to buy gas and the very low maintenance. So that got me hooked on E-bikes. So I decided to get a real E-bike. My coworkers were expecting just slightly larger version of what I had. Despite me telling them other wise,even after showing them the web site. After I first opens the crate they all gathered around and they were surprised at its actual size. It is a full sized motor cycle. It actually does have room for two standard size Americans to ride comfortably. When it was time to go home I had friend take the charger and inverter to my house since it wouldn't fit under the seat. He used to honk at me as he passed me up the hill on the road just outside of work. When he got to my house he said “I tried to catch you on that hill, but damn that bike is fast!”.
Believe it or not I have had four offers to buy my old razor from coworkers. But I am going to keep it,mainly since it was my very first E.V.
November 7th I take the bike to work and back and it being a sat. I actual got off a little early, for once. I have put about 3 km on it. There is still plenty of day lite left so get out my tools and decide to check all the bolts and screws to be sure everything it tight. My wife watched me as was doing this. She asked me what I was doing so I told her. Everything was tight no loose bolts or screws. So I put my helmet on and get ready for my first real ride on the bike. I am just about to pull out of the drive way and my wife stops me. “I found what you were looking for.” she said. I raise my visor and look at her puzzled. “What ?” I asked. “The loose nut, its sitting on the seat and holding the handle bars!” we both laughed and I gave her a kiss and off I went. I drove it around the neighborhood for about two hours. The bike did fine climbed all the hills with out any issue. There was one hill I didn't attempt because its very steep and curvy and wanted a little more experience driving this bike before going up it. A lot of cars cross the lane going down it and have caused fatal accidents.
November 9th the start of a bad week. I went to register my bike with the DMV. I got there before they opened and was 6th in line. I had all the paper work and expected to get out of there fairly quick. Well first they said I had to have the bike inspected because it was from out of state. So they gave me the inspection form. Which had to be filled out by any police officer municipal,county or state. So I took the bike to my cities police department. I figured I would have them inspected it since that is were I will be driving it mostly. They looked it over making sure all the lights worked etc. They wanted me to drive around the parking lot so they could hear it run. Well they were surprised when there was just tire noise. They filled out the paper work and back to the DMV I went.
Now the line is fairly long so it took me about 1 ½ hrs to get back to a representative. So again I hand over all the paper work and they enter all the information in. But the system keeps kicking it out. After repeated attempts she goes to the supervisor and they try. The system keeps kicking it out. So finally the head of the DMV gets involved, and says “Well he has all the proper documentation we have to register it.” . She calls the states main office. They want a state inspector to look at it do a etching of the vin and take pictures of it. I end up having to come back the next day for the state inspector to look at it. He looks over it does the etching and photographs the vin. He said “I have inspected 1'000's of vehicles, this is the very first all electric I have seen.”. Another 3 hrs later I finally get it registered and a tag. With multiple calls from the inspector and head of county DMV. Apparently this was the very first all electric vehicle ever registered in the county, perhaps the state. So they had to modify there system to take it. Now if some one goes in to register a e bike they wont have to go through this.
November 11th I was on my way to work as I headed up a small hill the bike shut down on excelaration. Ice put about 55km on the bike now. I watched the voltage meter and it goes quickly into the red under full throttle. OK time to recharge it. After work I get it home being sure it never goes into full red for the shut off. I put it on charge.
November 12th- - 15th Bike fully charged headed to work and kept getting shut downs. Even on level ground, so I contacted Zev during lunch. They replied again very fast but didn't receive the response till I got home. I received request for voltage readings and a reassurance that they have all parts in stock to resolve any issue. I did the voltage readings on the batteries while siting still,under charge, and while the motor was running. There was a constant low voltage on one battery. We figured that the battery was the issue but want to be sure it wasn't a charger issue. So I received the pin outs of the charger which was paired with which to do the voltage test. But with out any load the charger didn't show any output. So I figured I would swap the batteries around and then eliminate the charger issue. When doing so the battery that had the constant low voltage was swelled. So we found the issue. Another issue popped up though. After swapping the batteries the lights no longer worked. We decided to to see if it was the low battery that caused that. I requested that the battery was sent overnight which I would pay the shipping. This was totally optional and at my request.
November 17th - 20th I revived the battery on the 17th and installed it. How ever the lights still did not work. I contacted Zev again and received the complete wiring diagram for the bike. After studying the diagram I checked various voltages and found that the DCD (direct current divider) in the diagram was receiving the proper voltage but was not outputting the 12 volts to the system which supplied all the power for the lights,horn and turn signals. I once again requested that it be shipped overnight and pay shipping. I received it on the 20th installed it and everything worked.
November 22nd after recharging the bike I drove it around for about a hour then took it up the big steep hill. It being a Sunday no traffic at all, It went up it with no trouble and even excelirated on that hill.
I am very pleased with my bike despite some of the inconveniences that did a cure. Some may wonder why I requested the parts overnight. The answer is that I wanted it fixed as fast as possible. Many companies will promise things and not follow through. Zev told me they had all the parts in stock and not to worry. Well by having them send it overnight they have proved to me that they do. I have driven the bike daily, its my main source of transportation. I get from 70km to 75km from a single charge which is roughly 40-43 miles. About 10 of those miles is with lights on, due to the time of year. Top speed of the bike is really just above 40mph. But that has a lot do with terrain and my weight as with any e bike. After the holidays ill get a gps to validate the speed and range along with a helmet camera to show the terrain.