I got this from EVT regarding their Z-20. They seem to be doing a bang-up product development job. They show all the technical competence and atttention to detail that was so sorely lacking in that snake-oil gang behind the e-max. (advanced "silicone" batteries you wish!)
Unfortunately, with my investment sunk in two e-maxs, I may soon be withdrawing my waiting list spot ($1995 price) unless I get an interested party to "sublet" it to. Offers?
Here's their release - long, but lots of good information, when i read it my B.S. meter stayed in the green through nearly all of it...
FOR THE "Z-20 WAITING LIST" CLUB
December 2006 UPDATE
Miami, Florida - December 1, 2006 It?s been a better part of three months since the last
update that I wrote in August. Frankly, I never
intended that so many months would go by before
my writing another update, but why write an update
if I really didn?t have anything important to say,
other than ?we are still at it and hopefully soon we
will have something significant to announce?. Well,
the day has arrived and what better day than on the
first day of December 2006.
Today, after months of research and testing and
many ups and downs, we finally have what we
is a reliable controller. What this means is that we
now have a reliable scooter or motorcycle, since this
vehicle is capable of 45 MPH plus, regardless of the
drivers weight and that, according to the DOT, is
considered a Motorcycle. Yes, this means that if you
weigh 250 lbs you will still be able to reach 45 MPH,
but it may take you slightly longer to get there than
someone that weighs 180 lbs. The less you weigh the
faster you will reach maximum speed.
After I wrote the last update I received many, many
emails asking every question imaginable. I also
received many suggestions, complaints, and some
extremely encouraging comments referring to the
fact that we have put quality before expediency.
The question most asked is ?when is the Z-20 going
to be available? and the answer is that now that the
controller and overheating problem has been
resolved, we are almost ready to go into production.
Almost, because even though we have completed
the testing phase with the new prototype controller,
we still have to make some adjustments to the
scooter as this controller is slightly larger in size than
the previous one as well as some additional testing
with the first production controllers just to make sure
they work as well as the prototype. You may well ask
why the additional testing, but there is a good
reason for this as I am about to explain.
This new controller is made in Canada, but will be
installed in China along with various other
components made in at least three other countries.
This results in a complex importation procedure into
China (where usually everything is exported, and not
the other way around) and once we bring these
components into China they all have to perform
Our aim is to complete these final tests and changes
before the end of the year, no easy task during the
holidays, and start an initial limited production (100
to 200 Z-20 units) in China by January. If all works
out as expected, the first Z-20 scooters would be
available by the end of February or early March at
the latest. Please keep in mind that shipping from
China to the US takes at least two weeks to the
West Coast and about a month to the East Coast.
And then it will be spring, a perfect time for riding
the Z-20 scooter.
Some Questions Answered
Before I get into some of the specifics regarding the
controller and other innovations that we plan to
incorporate in the Z-20, let me answer some of the
questions that I was asked by various persons during
these last couple of months:
A few of you asked if we could offer a programmable
controller as these persons are either engineers or
persons who like or want to experiment with various
settings and the answer is yes. We have available a
highly sophisticated controller that is completely
programmable, but much more expensive and we
would require a disclaimer if purchased, as it can also
easily be inappropriately used resulting in irreparable
damage to the unit. We would also have to make
some structural changes on the scooter, as this
controller is much larger in size resulting in additional
Some of you expressed their like for the color
combinations that we are experimenting with, while
others expressed their displeasure. For those that
liked the colors as well as those that did not let me
say that we will have enough color combination to
please most if not everyone. I did have one person
that suggested we use bright colors for safety
reasons and on this we fully agree, so if you like the
somber, all black, sexy look, you will be out of luck.
Hopefully, soon we will have all the color
combinations available for all to see.
Can we incorporate a regenerating system that helps
recharge the batteries? Yes we can and the more
sophisticated controller already mentioned has this
added function as well as a reverse and multiple
other functions, but we decided to leave these out
and keep the system as simple as possible. The
regen function is certainly a good marketing tool,
but, at least for now, you?d have to drag the scooter
250 miles to make any difference. So while adding a
considerable expense to the scooter, the results
would be negligible at best. Unless we find a truly
advantageous item to add to the scooter, so that
the performance, safety or reliability is increased
substantially and without some radically increased
cost, then we would rather not include it as part of
the Z-20 package.
This holds true for the batteries, which many have
suggested using more sophisticated types or why not
use ones like the e-Max scooter (which I have heard
is now defunct) uses? The fact is that we are
actively looking for a better battery pack, but so far
have found only a couple of possible and promising
alternatives, but at a much higher cost.
Nevertheless, we hope to soon have alternative
battery packs that could be ordered as an optional
item, but they will be considerably more expensive.
Are the batteries easily removed, should you need to
replace one or all? The answer to this question is
regrettably no, it is not easy to remove the batteries
and will require either taking the scooter to a
Motorcycle service place or, for those that are do-it
yourself types, we will provide clear and detailed
instructions. We are working on an easier way to
remove batteries, but frankly, under most
circumstances, the batteries should not have to be
removed for months if not years and I will expand on
this subject when I discuss ?other innovations.?
Is there any room to store a helmet on the scooter?
Yes, the removable trunk on the back of the Z-20,
which is part of the package, easily hold a large
helmet under lock and key and can also easily be
removed from the scooter should the driver prefer to
carry it away like a suitcase.
Specifics and Innovations
With regards to specifics, in particular the controller,
which has been our biggest hurdle, the amount of
testing has been quite extensive and frankly, for a
while, we though we weren?t going to find a solution,
at least not one that would allow us to build a
reliable scooter within the price range that we had
planned for. As it is we ended up with a controller
that is twice as expensive, a few inches in length
larger and ten times more sophisticated. Can we
maintain our prices? Absolutely, the introductory
price will be honored. So, for now the answer is yes,
but only because we have not added the additional
cost to you, the buyer. We felt that this would not
be fair and we still feel this way. Let us say that
your patience for being on the "Z-20 Waiting List"
has been rewarded. However, the price will go up
after the Z-20 Waiting List is serviced.
EVTAMERICA 200 Amp Controller
This controller will be a 200 amp peak power
controller with a .05 second throttle response time
with a built in heat sensor that will lower the
amperage automatically should it reach a
temperature that may damage either the motor or
the controller and will not leave you stranded unless
you weigh 300 lbs and are driving full throttle
continuous in the Sahara Desert in the Summer or
try to climb a mountain where even a Harley has
problems climbing. It is also a potted, moisture proof
controller. What this all means is that in places like
South Florida, where the terrain is flat, but
temperatures reach 98 degrees F and 100 degrees F
and the pavement
can be as hot as 150 degrees F, a 200 lbs person
around all day at speeds averaging 40 MPH and
everything will work OK. It also means that if you live
in Vermont or Oregon where the temperatures are
quite temperate year-around and you are in a hilly
terrain, a 200 lbs person will also have no problem;
actually the Z-20 should work even better if the
ambient temperature is around 60 degrees F or so.
What happens if you weigh 160 lbs? You will get to
top speed faster, the motor will stay cooler and the
overall range will increase. What happens if you
weigh 180 lbs and you carry a passenger that weighs
110 lbs? The total weigh will be 290 lbs and the
scooter will still reach 45 MPH, but it will take longer
to reach top speed. Depending on the terrain,
temperature or both, after a while the controller?s
heat sensor may cut down the amperage and cause
the scooter to move more sluggishly, but it really
depends on various factors, including the state and
degree of charge on the batteries and this is were a
clean cut answer is hard to come by. The fact is
that for now, we have some limitations. If you want
a trail bike to ride through the woods, or a large ?hog?
type motorcycle that carries two large people over
hills like San Francisco, or even a scooter that has a
100 mile range, then the Z-20 is not for you.
However if you are looking for a totally clean
commuter type vehicle that has a 30 to 50 mile
range, can reach 45 mph top speed, is completely
quiet, has zero emissions, and is environmentally
friendly with practically no maintenance, then the Z-
20 scooter is your best choice.
We have now incorporated a battery equalizer, which
is also potted (moisture proof) and will keep all the
batteries, while charging and discharging, in perfect
equilibrium. The importance of this feature is
immense, as an unbalanced battery pack results in a
shortened life span for the batteries as well as a less
efficient power pack. The equalizer also has an LED
light (one per battery) that indicates whether any
battery or cell within the battery is malfunctioning
showing which one it is that is bad, thereby allowing
you to replace the battery and not have to replace
the entire group or all four batteries. This equalizer is
made in the USA developed by US engineers.
We are now testing a regenerating system for lead
acid batteries that if proven true, will increase the
deep cycle life span of the batteries from the usually
250 to 300 cycle range stated by the battery
manufacturer to 900 cycles or more. What this
means is that a battery which was expected to have
a life span that at most was 300 (deep cycle)
charges (and the last 100 or more at a greatly
reduced capacity) would now have at least 900
charges at almost full capacity. As I stated
previously when referring to removing the batteries
and how difficult might this be, here we have
situations were even if you recharged fully (from a
fully depleted to a fully charged battery) every day,
you could do this for approximately three years
without having to remove the batteries. This, of
course, is highly improbable as tires, brake pads, or
some other item will have to be replaced, but still,
But that isn?t all, this system will also decrease the
charging time by half and substantially increase the
overall range. You might say that this is too much to
expect? Perhaps, but we will find out for sure before
we go into production.
Like I said, we are still testing, but the best part is
that this added feature will also be included in our
present package and it too is made in the USA, so let
us hope it works as well as we have been promised.
Finally, let me add that once we actually are ready
to begin production we will be asking for deposits.
The exact amount has yet to be determined and is
now being studied by us to develop it as a workable
deposit will test the dependability of the "Z-20
Waiting List" which has now grown to close to 900
buyers. Again, the deposit will confirm that a buyer
on the Waiting List is serious, willing and able to
purchase a Z-20. This confirmation will allow us to
plan production, organize inventory, determine color
selection and plan shipping in accordance to the
geographic location of the individual buyer.
Strategically our business goal is to build in
accordance to demand, so ideally every Z-20 built
will have an owner waiting even before it is totally
assembled. This method rationalizes production and
lowers cost. Whatever we can save will be reflected
in the selling price of the Z-20.
Priority on the waiting list will be determined by two
factors: date of registration and deposit confirmation.
We plan to start with 100 to 200 Z-20 units and then
proceed with to an additional 200 or more while we
find out how
many we can manufacture while assuring optimum
quality control in a place where quality control is not
necessarily a priority. As we have explained before,
the production of the Z-20 will be realized under our
direct and personal supervision. I will personally be
step of the way.
That?s it for today?s update; I sincerely hope it was
worth the wait.
This update was written by Andres Pruna
and delivered for release on December 1, 2006
AND AWAY WE GO