Zapino Owner Feedback

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sgmdudley
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Zapino Owner Feedback

I am expecting delivery of my Zapino this week or next. It is snowing outside here in Longmont, Colorado and I will have very little opportunity to ride for the next 3-4
months. I know it sounds crazy to buy one now, but it was a unique situation.

I am looking for feedback from Owners of the Zapino. I read the report on MAX's Blog which is great information, including pictures.

I will be rewiring the scooter (seems like it will void the warranty, but must be done).
1st thing to do is verify the batteries to be GS SP27.
2nd thing is to see if the battery cables are addequate or need to be upgraded
3rd thing is to add the wiring for bank charging (5 Vector 2/4/6 chargers on the way)
4th thing to do is wire in the Paktrakr which is also on the way
5th thing to do is order and install a BATTEQ for 5 batteries. I plan on connecting via
the molex connector for bank charging but will have the switch USATRACY recommends on the ground wire to prevent sparks when dis/re-connecting BATTEQ.

I need a windshield for the debris thrown up by cars (here in Colorado it is a problem).
Any suggestions?

ZAP has a SOLAR panel option but no information on it. Anyone know anything about it?

I printed the owners manual from the ZAP site, but it does not show how to remove the
batteries. Anyone have documentation that has more info? How about a schematic of the electrical system?

I would lke to add the wiring for my Gerbings electric jacket, pants and gloves (increases the riding season in Colorado) Where to connect the harness?

Appreciate any real world experience/feedback.

jdh2550_1
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

Robert - good luck waiting for the white stuff to go away... :-)

I wouldn't bother with a BATTEQ id you're going to do bank charging.

Good luck.

John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

Mountain chen
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

Congratulation,see attached ZAPINO battery location.
Any more help needed,take free to share with me

60V_battery_0.jpg
DSC09811.jpg

jdh2550_1
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

A couple of points to note about Mountain's pictures:

1) The pictures show two different brands. Electier's and Greensaver's. I have Electier's which are believed to be an inferior product (usatracy has real world side by side testing to support this). Furthermore, Electier's may be being made in violation of Greensaver's patents (or they may just be re-badged Greensavers - I've not seen clear information on the source of Electier batteries).

2) The batteries shown are thin-plate designed for low C draw for UPS's (per Greensaver). These types of batteries are most often distinguished by their terminals with screw in threads. You need thick-plate batteries designed for high C draw (normally distinguished by a terminal with a hole to bolt through) - so called "power cells". The thin plate batteries are going to have a short cycle life unless you are very careful and avoid deep depth of discharge (again, see usatracy's extensive real world testing).

I'm afraid to say that these pictures don't bode well for battery life for the stock Zapino. However, when these batteries die you can always buy better ones! ;-)

Seeing these pictures, and knowing the source of the bike, if I had to guess I'd say that the wiring needs to be upgraded to a thicker gauge.

On the upside - although these things could be better implemented at the factory at least they are all relatively easy fixes to make yourself. Furthermore - with snow on the ground you'll have time to address them before you ride...

All the best.

I'm hoping that future bikes from this manufacturer will use better batteries and better wiring...

p.s. the battery layout appears to be "nicer" than in my XM-2000 - all the terminals are easily accessible in your Zapino's layout and they seemed better placed in terms of saving underseat storage capacity.

John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

sgmdudley
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

Yes, the GS battery shown is 12V 38ah. That must be the SU-38. What we should have are the GS SP-27. That is one of the 1st things to check. I read all the forum replys about the XM2000 that were shipped with the wrong batteries installed. I hope to avoid this problem.

Robert Dudley
E-Scoot Tech

vinnie
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

Robert,

Good luck with this! Let's us know if your Zapino is speed governed. Zap says they are strickly governed at 30 mph but there are some reports of a switch near the throttle that turns it off? Also, I did note that the owner's manual available for download was an older version and the person I spoke to over the phone this summer told me that manual was outdated. I asked him why it wasn't updated or why the outdated version was still available for download. He told me he would look into it...

I am in Broomfield and Dave is near you in the Boulder area as well. We are close to having enough e-scoots for a coffee shop gathering!

Cheers!

Vinnie
Broomfield, CO

ArcticFox
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

Mujin: 2006/6/30 -> 2007/12/19

So they updated the scooter by downgrading the batteries?

<table border="0" style="border:1px solid #999999; padding:10px;"><tr><td>
<a href="http://www.BaseStationZero.com">[img]http://visforvoltage.org/files/u419...
[size=1][color=black]www.[/color][color=#337799]BaseStationZero[/color][co

sgmdudley
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

I am the 1st Zapino customer for my Dealer Tom Wilson in Longmont, CO. He called ZAP to ask about the speed and was told 40+.

http://www.smallplanetearth.com/

USATRACY gave me some great information, including a device called "Cycle Analyst". He
said the 38ah batteries might be OK if treated right. My main concern is it is 10 miles to work and there is NO PLACE to plug in @ IBM Boulder. Then 10 miles home. Will be sitting at work for 10-11 hours in a partially discharged state.

Still looking for information on getting a windshield for the Zapino. I saw USATRACY's Honda 250 on one of his scooters. Needs alot of tinkering on a brand new scooter to make it work. Are all of these scooter handlebar/mirror systems basically the same so that any Mirror mounted windshield will work? I haven't seen any closeup pictures of the various scooters to be able to tell. Some, like EVT and OXYGEN advertise a windshield option.

Robert Dudley
E-Scoot Tech

jdh2550_1
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

there is NO PLACE to plug in @ IBM Boulder

Shame on them! I guess I'm lucky - when I asked our building facilities manager she graciously let me run an extension cord out the corner of the loading dock. Now, they've rebuilt the deck out back and guess what? They've included a socket right next to the bike parking - as she put it "it's there for you freaks" ;-)

John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

Mountain chen
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

There is speed switch on throttle,economical mode is 50km/H and quicker mode is 65km/H.

speed_switch.jpg

Mountain chen
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

Robert...

Did you get ZAPINO finally ? What's the impression ?

Happy new year !

sgmdudley
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

The truck was held up by a lot of snow. Should be delivered to my dealer today.
I am working the Holiday today so will have to wait to see it. I am off the next
two days so will have something to report by Thursday.+

Robert Dudley
E-Scoot Tech

sgmdudley
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

It is 01:45am, Tinnitus (ringing in ears) is keeping me awake, so I'll post some info.
Scooter arrived at dealer today. After work I went over to unpack. The shipping is similiar to EVT. Metal frame with cardboard. Main difference is bottom frame is not mounted on wood. It is on six small casters. The two rear uprights are not bolted to the bottom frame, they are welded. So getting the scooter off the frame required pushing it forward off the frame which tried to roll. Took three of us. Taped to the bubble wrap is a sign that says to check the battery connectors to make sure they are tight. When I found the owners manual under the seat it is newer then the one on the ZAP website but still no instructions for getting to the batteries. The scooter is all assembled except for the mirrors so is ready to go as received. There are two pieces of plastic molding that look like decorator items for under the rear to sort of hide brakes, etc. No bolts shipped to install them. I was an A&E licensed Aircraft Mechanic, Certified Electronic Technician and have been working for IBM for 31 years so dissasembly of plastic to get to the batteries is not a real problem, only finding the right sequence. Since the scooter is still in the dealer's shop I quit after getting to only the four upper batteries. The lower/front battery required taking off more plastic then I wanted to do, but I was able to check the battery bolts and they were all tight. I could only see the sticker on the top rear battery. The name is in Chinese but the model is SP27-12 which is GreenSaver. Voltages for the 5 batteries is 12.92 to 12.96. Will put charger on later today. I ran the motor on the maint stand and there is a clicking noise from the brake rotor being a little warped. It will have to be replaced before I will drive it. This scooter has Hydraulic Disk brakes front and rear. The tires are 8PR, 3.50X10". I was thinking about the MAX Speed rated for this model as 30MPH. Seems to me that since the 3000W motor is rated at 900 RPM, then MAX speed is simply a function of RPM times the circumference of the tire. Since my 2nd car is a Honda GL1500 motorcycle with trike conversion, I am not familiar such small tires. I will have to measure the circumference later today and multiple times 900 X 60 to get MAX speed (under ideal conditions). I have the Paktrakr parts and most of what I need to wire for bank charging. Will also install Cycle Analyst and BATTeq, but I don't want to void the warranty so will have to wait a while before doing any modifications.

Robert Dudley
E-Scoot Tech

davew
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

Scooter arrived at dealer today. After work I went over to unpack.

Congratulations! I'm glad you and Tom Wilson were able to pull this off. (My wife is still contemplating buying a Tres Terra from him.) I was not impressed with the first crop of no-name scooters he bought. Zapino is a large step in the right direction.

I am in Broomfield and Dave is near you in the Boulder area as well. We are close to having enough e-scoots for a coffee shop gathering!

Right you are. Actually sgmdudley and I are just a couple of miles apart in Longmont. We also have an ebiker in the hills above Boulder whose name escapes me now. I agree with Mr. Dudley, though. Waiting for the spring is a good idea. He'll have an operational scooter and the place will be melted off a bit. I still can make it to work and the store now, but just barely.

"we must be the change we wish to see in the world"

Mountain chen
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

3000W is peak power,not rate power,torque and efficiency is more important than power

900RPM is unloaded rpm....with mid stand on....

What's the production date on plate ? June,Aug or Oct ?

sgmdudley
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

The date on the plate is 26/09/2007

Robert Dudley
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sgmdudley
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

After working on my new Zapino a few days (in the shop, not on the road yet) I make this observation. This is strickly an opinion based on seeing a lot of vehicles and Aircraft over the years.
There is the GOOD and the BAD.
The GOOD: the Zapino is a cheap (read inexpensive) machine. Fit my budget. The only scooter that is better is a $12,000 Vectrix.
The BAD: the Zapino is a Cheap (read poor quality) machine. Poor quality control. I have already experienced several problems and have not even had it out the dealer's shop yet. 1)The Charger has an ON/OFF swith, which no longer turns off. 2)Vibration when running the motor. 3)A bracket is welded at the rear frame to attach a bracket to mount the rear fender. It was welded on crooked and cannot be straightened. I am trying to shim one side of the attached bracket to get the fender straighter. The two studs sticking out of the welded bracket where very rusty. 4)All sheetmetal screws should be the same length. I have two different lengths of #10. In one place where a long #10 should be was a #6. Had to buy some more screws. 5)The top/rear battery has two hold down brackets for a strap over the top of the battery. No strap. Instead there is a large industrial strength doublesided sticky pad under the battery. I cannot get the battery loose. 6)I have removed a lot of screws and panels and have not been able to get to the forward bottom battery. 7)Absolutely no Owner instructions for removing batteries. Or any other removals ether. 8) Possibly worst problem is the VIN number stamped on the downtube below the instrument panel and the VIN plate attached to the frame starts with a 1. On the shipping box and the packing list, the VIN number starts with an I. Suttle difference, but if the MCO comes in with the wrong VIN number I won't be able to register the scooter. 9) If and when I can register the scooter and actually drive it on the street, I will be investing in Michelin S-1 tires.
I will also be rewiring for Bank charging, Paktrakr, Cycle Analyst & BATTeq.
So my friends, this for me is an experiment to see if I can actually start getting to work and back without using any gas.
I want to thank everyone for ideas and suggestions on this Thread and also the one about balancing tires.
I also don't want anyone to think I am complaining about the quality of the Zapino and think I made a bad decision. I knew in advance that quality control would not be great.

Robert Dudley
E-Scoot Tech

Mountain chen
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

Thanks for Robert's positive feeback on all details,could you show me the VIN problem on plate ? Scooter is made in china,but MCO and VIN information is provided by ZAP.

Don't need to buy Michelin S-1 tires now,just try to leak out the tyre and do some adjustment before inflator it again.I think it won't be Vibration anymore if tyre fit with rim correctly.

This ZAPINO is built in Sep when we move to Xiamen in a hurry and new ZAPINO have more improvement...I will send you more than 20points improvement detail by E-mail.

nacnud
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

Hey all-

I bought a Zapino last week (hasn't shipped yet), and just found this site today.. I really hope my situation is better because I purchased direct from ZAP. There was no dealer involved. So, Robert, I hope you don't mind if I ask you some questions if I run into any issues.

I hope to continue with the spirit of this thread by posting my comments, experiences, feedback and issues! Wish me luck!!

-Jeremy

-----------------
Jeremy Duncan

New Zapino owner as of 23 Jan 08

nacnud
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

FYI, I live in the Northern Virginia area, and plan to use it for my 13 mile commute to work. I have access to an outside 110V outlet while there.

-----------------
Jeremy Duncan

New Zapino owner as of 23 Jan 08

PanamaMike
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

Based on your assessment of the ZAP, do you think it's a good product? Would you buy one again?

Secondly, I see lots of folks on the board buy one of these scooters with the intention to modify them right off the bat. Is this a scooter only really for those who are enthusiasts that are really buying it more for experimenting and playing with the "technology", or can someone buy one of these with little knowledge, experience, and just use it as is?

That being said, you mention the ZAP is cheap, for a quality stand point, how well can I expect one of these to hold up?

Regards,

Mike

sgmdudley
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

Please remember that the ZAP is a scooter in the Less Then $3000 catagory. At this time there is a major leap to the next best scooter, the Vectrix @ $12,000. Hopefully, Electric Vehicle Company of Boulder, Colorado will get the VOLTA out this summer. Starting price around $8,000. Until then the under $3000 is about it. I have seen recent advertisements for some new scooters with bigger motors with prices now going up over $4,000. They would not be registered as a MOPED thus need a motorcycle endorsement to drive them. These newer scooters are basically the same frame as the ZAP but with larger motor and controller. There is another scooter with 13" wheels and bigger motor also for sale. The ZAP seems to be the best of the bunch for the motor size and still be registered as a MOPED. So far I am still breaking in the batteries but have gone 30mph for 10 miles. I have had it to 35 and was not at max speed.

The key response to you is regarding the modifications we have been making. The simple answer is nothing really needs to be done for the novice user/owner. The only thing I would recommend is to not jump on the scooter right out of the dealers door and open it up full speed. You should condition the batteries by taking a short 1 - 2 mile run at low speed the first day, then charge and let sit overnight. The next day go 2-3 miles, charge and let sit overnight. Do this for 5 days, increasing the range each day. By the end of 5 days your run should be 10-15 miles at low speed. Then gradually increase speed and range each day you ride it. Most of these scooters get the best RANGE at low speed (20MPH). High speeds reduce available range. Keep it charged and enjoy it.

Robert Dudley
E-Scoot Tech

jdh2550_1
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

Mike,

Robert nailed it. However, the one thing I'd suggest in addition to what Robert says is adding either bank charging (5 seperate chargers - one for each battery) or battery balancing (like BattEQ). The ZAP uses SLA batteries and most folks agree that to get the best life out of them you need to keep them balanced - replacement batteries will likely cost you anywhere from $500 to $1000 for this bike. If you're not comfortable doing this sort of mod yourself - ask the vendor if they'd do it. If they won't then ask around and see if anyone in the area can help you out.

Either mod I mention shouldn't add more than $300 to the price of your purchase (that's just a guess - you can probably do it for less or pay more if you get a licensed mechanic to install it and warranty his work).

After that - I think that with appropriate expectations it should be a reasonably maintenance free experience.

John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

sgmdudley
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

I wanted to mention Bank Charging but this is not a task for the novice.

It involves removing enough plastic panels to see all five batteries (the ZAP as well as a lot of other newer scooters uses a 60V motor which requires 5 12v batteries). During normal use and normal String charging (the battery charger supplied with the scooter charges all 5 batteries in a single string) the charge in each battery will change over time. Some high and some low. The ideal is to have all 5 batteries at the same voltage after charging. Bank Charging is the process of adding wires to each battery then to a connector. You get 5 battery chargers and wire them up to a connector. Then to charge the batteries, you connect the chargers to the scooter connector and each charger will charge each battery independent of the others. If all the chargers are equal in specifications, then the batteries will be chagred to approximately the same levels. Another device called the battery equalizer (BatEQ) is another option. It is also connected to all the batteries and shuttles current from the high bateries to the low batteries. At the present time, the device for five batteries is not available yet. One caustionwith this device is not have it connected when charging as it will try to move current at the same time the charger is trying to load current into the batteries. I set up my Bank Charging Coonector so when the BatEQ is avail for 5 bbatteries, I can connect to my batteries thru this connector. That way I can't mess up and have two things plugged in at the same time. I hope I have explained all this properly.

Robert Dudley
E-Scoot Tech

jdh2550_1
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

Robert,

Right, it might not be a task for a novice but it is a task that should be done. Which is why someone like Mike (who wants a trouble free life with his Zapino) should budget for getting it done by someone else. If he's lucky that someone else might be an EV enthusiast who'd be happy to help for a gratuity - or it might be an EV professional who will want $80 per hour (or whatever). Nothing wrong with the latter - it will just cost more.

From your experience how long do you think it would take an "expert" to install the wiring for a bank charging solution? And what would the material cost be?

However, I think Mike would be ill advised not to do bank charging or BattEQ. He'd end up unhappy having to replace his batteries sooner than he'd like.

Personally I'd do bank charging and not BattEQ - I think you will get better results that way.

John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

strawhistle
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

To Panima mike , Now your talking always the basic s sounds like a resistance ( like bad conection , deliberate resister , check voltage at power source then follow it till it drops !! These guys don't just fidle , they have to fix ???? Later

thank GOD I wake up above ground !!!!

jdh2550_1
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

To Panima mike , Now your talking always the basic s sounds like a resistance ( like bad conection , deliberate resister , check voltage at power source then follow it till it drops !! These guys don't just fidle , they have to fix ???? Later

Huh? Can anyone decipher this?

John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

strawhistle
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

John , Hopefully , He will stay with US and enjoy his ride for a long time !! Some one said 13" wheels ?? I am looking at a motorcycle from china , 3000-4000 W 13 wheels Suposed to go 68Km lifepo4 erider.com Any one know about this ride ????

thank GOD I wake up above ground !!!!

sgmdudley
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

5 Battery chargers (Vector 2/4/6) delivered = $165.00 (my cost + shipping 2 months ago)
http://www.boatandrvaccessories.com/BATTERY-CHARGERS.htm

Wire(16awg should do OK, I used 12awg) plus the appropiate solder type battery terminals.

Male and Female connectors. Initally I went with 10 wires so used 12 pin molex. Now I am down to 6 wires using the simple Bank Charging wiring. The molex connectors were not designed for daily connect/disconnect so I am looking for a suitable 6 pin connector that is designed for daily connections. There are several pictures of completed Bank Charging systems in the forum section for chargers.

Time? The plastic takes awhile to get off. For the Zapino, now that I have done it a few times, I could get it ready for wiring in about an hour. Soldering the terminals on the wires will take 15 - 20 minutes. Depends on if you go with 6 wires or 10 wires. I use a terminal block on the scooter for making a connection point from the batteries and to the connector. The connector is routed thru a hole in the storage box under the seat, so to charge, I lift the seat and plug in the charger system. The chargers are mounted on a board I cut to fit the chargers plus a terminal block and a timer with 5 AC ports (from ACE Hardware) it shuts off the chargers at whatever interval I need. All together it could take 3-4 hours to complete the wiring, make up the bank charger board and reinstall the plastic.
http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2345-xm2000-major-rewiring-project
http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2969-simplified-bank-charger-wiring

the first picture was posted by someone else. the other two pictures are my first Zapino

Bank_Charger.jpg

Bank_chgr.jpg

wiring.jpg

Robert Dudley
E-Scoot Tech

jdh2550_1
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

Thanks Robert.

Chargers $165
Other materials $50 Just a guess
Labor 4 hours $320  Used an arbitrary $80 an hour - plug in your own number
TOTAL $535

So, Mike - for a novice to make a Zapino '08 maintenance free I'd budget at least an extra $535 on top of the purchase price. This would be the same additional cost regardless of scooter. I don't know of any scooter offering a bank charging option. As a comparison, Nova Scooters offers a BattEQ installed on their scooter for $364.23 (a rather "exact" price!) - at least I assume that's installed. So, a saving of almost $200 over a bank charge set up - but I think you'd be happier with bank charging.

BTW - I also got 5 Vectors for the same price delivered. And I'm waiting for my new Greensaver batteries from siliconebatteriesusa.com ($500 delivered). At that point I'm going to do bank charging plus a wiring upgrade (like usatracy posted & that robert refers to). I haven't decided on 10 wires vs. 6 wires. Most likely I'll go with 6. This is for my XM-2000.

On my CB-750 - I'm going for 7 little 2A chargers ($20 each) mounted on the bike (likely under the old gas tank and with a fan for cooling). I'll use a higher amp (10A or higher) 84V charger capable of being set at a constant float value voltage - depending on the charger I will carry this with me or leave it at home. This is for charging 75Ah batteries. This is Aerowhatt's suggestion - http://visforvoltage.org/forum/3069-better-bank-or-pack-charging-both

John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

sgmdudley
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Re: Zapino Owner Feedback

The BatEQ for five batteries is not available yet even though it is advertised.

http://www.smartsparkenergy.com/BattEQ_for_Lead_Acid_Batteries.aspx

Robert Dudley
E-Scoot Tech

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