Updated your operating or non operating status

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thecomish
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Updated your operating or non operating status

Please everybody who has received one of EVT America's 3 container shipments.
We need a new and accurate account of who is operational and who is non operational.

I will start:
R-20 37 kilometers charged one time for 5 hours did not work after that charge

Shayler
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

Rerouted wire and brake cable in the nose, bank charging batteries, and unplugged the kick stand switch. Also, slow twist on the throttle to go. Currently running good, but only had it for a few weeks.
I am currently range testing my scooter.
http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2910-z20a-range-test

mikejuv
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

Z20A - Glenwood, MN
Haven't test driven yet. Working on bank charging/wire upgrade today. Waiting till batteries broke in before riding. Will update when done with the upgrades and I get a chance to ride it.

astar
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

I've spent a lot more time working on it than riding. Installed PakTrakr, upgraded wiring, installed bank charging, installed contactor, installed sidestand bypass and alarm on/off switches. Set screw installed on side stand sensor. Details here.
Controller is fried and waiting for a new one from EVTA. odo = 3.3

ZEV 7100 Alpine
Fort Collins, CO

gowens
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

My R-20 is working very well.
Have installed bank charging.
So far so good.

thecomish
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Re: Update your operating or non operating status

Come on z-20a z-20b r-20 owners let's get some feedback as to whose scooters are running and whose are down with what suspected problem or what are your symptoms.
r-20 throttle does not do anything now after charge it is not the side kickstand shut off switch. So my guess is that controller if defective.

pchilds
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Re: Update your operating or non operating status

Z20b, I have a bad charger, fried batteries and a possible bad controller. After charging the batteries only 5 times, turning off the charger as soon as the green light came on, there is battery acid all over the outside of the batteries. I last time I drove it, it took 6 times turning the throttle very slowly to get it to start going. EVTA has not responded to my emails of 1/23/08, 2/7/08, 2/8/08 and 2/13/08. Has anyone heard from them? Did they close their doors?

Philip

Philip
2011 Nissan Leaf SL

DonCristobal
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Re: Update your operating or non operating status

I'm living life dangerously, I am doing everything exactly as EVTA recommended. Well, almost. I did do a halfass breaking in of the batteries procedure where I went 1.5, 3, 3, 5 miles, and then stopped worrying about it. I have been on the bike something like 24 days for a total of close to 200 miles (real miles, not crap EVTA speedo miles). The bike usually goes 4 miles in the morning, sits outside for 8-10 hours without being plugged in, and then I usually ride another 5-10 miles in the evening. The bike charges overnight. I've had the bike sit on the charger two days without touching it. It has now been on the charger for 5 days straight. This is not outside of EVTA recommendations. Green light does not mean take it off the charger. I have not taken the Z-20 apart in any way.

Although I have done so much riding USAtracy says that I am not out of the dark yet. Somewhere around 400 miles I am to expect total battery failure. We'll see.

Don Cristobal
EVTA Z-20b
---
Ohm is where the heart is.

ihope2
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Re: Update your operating or non operating status

Well... so far mine works great. Uncrated it Friday night, let my much more scooter-experienced friend Adam ride it 1.5 miles from my work place to another friend's garage. He was incredibly impressed with it.

Then I took a 2-day basic motorcycle educ & safety course because I have zero scooter or motorcycle experience and need the MC endorsement on my license as well as practice and all that. Didn't want to wreck my new R-20. I didn't get to use the R-20 in the class because I didn't have the time to get it registered or break it in.

So Sunday night I drove it around a residential block and in empty parking lots for a few rides, with and without passengers. I also ran it into the bumper of my friend's parked car in her driveway and dropped it as I got off. So it has its first tiny scratches but nothing else. And it's much heavier than I expected, but all the weight is at the bottom so it's easy to pick back up.

I didn't take it over 15 mph according to its speedometer for two reasons: trying to break it in slowly as recommended here and that was quite fast enough for me since I'm still not very confidant on it.

All the lights work, the charger works, alarm works, and no problems yet except the charger cap needs to be replaced and I need more practice.

But the good news, my best friends parents were around and checked it out too. They own a very successful electric golf cart company in a nearby town and when I first told them about the bike and batteries they were giving somewhat similar battery maintenance advice as is often given on this forum. But after they looked at the bike and the batteries, they said that the batteries are most likely gel AGM batteries and will need nearly no maintenance and do not need an equalizer and should be fine to plug them in as often as practical and leave the charger on. So it looks like EVT America's battery recommendations are correct. They have golf carts that work like this and seemed to think this should be a very maintenance free battery setup that should easily last 2-3 years if not longer. If it doesn't, at least they offered to help me get good prices on new batteries or chargers. They're also going to do more research on the batteries and see if there's any thing else I need to know.

So I took lots of pictures of my BEAUTIFUL silver R-20, but I don't have the camera USB cable with me today so you'll all have to wait a little longer.

I'm excited, and sure any new product is a risk that may not meet all of your original expectations, but I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with this one, and I do feel good about the investment.
Thanks to everyone here for the time and advice, and discussion. I will be posting more later.

Best,
ihope2

ihope2
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Re: Update your operating or non operating status

Don,

I forgot to ask, how are you tracking your miles? And how did you determine that the EVT odometer was off?

Mine says 5.6 miles now, and matches pretty well with checking distances on google maps. But I'm sure there's some cheap additional gadget I could get, right?

My friend Andy has a speedometer on his bicycle and as he was riding next to me on his bicycle and me on the scooter, I think the speeds matched up, or were at least really close.

Thanks in advance!
ihope2

fcherny
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

I received my z20b (blue) the day before New Years. Rode it 12 "miles". It quit working that Saturday. The controller seems to be out. Andy at EVTA is getting more controllers. He will test them when they come in (give each about a 100 mile run).

Given that he needs to ship out a ton of controllers and given he hasn't gotten them yet and given he needs to test them all, I'd say I've got a good 2-3 week wait. Probably longer.

solarjdp
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

OPERATING

My experience with the Z20b - Runs good. Received it last Monday Feb 11th. I've driven it 3 times for a total of 92 miles. First day I drove it 28 miles with 2 bars remaining. I am having one trouble - starts, then rolls about a foot then dead. I am suspecting the kick stand switch mentioned in this forum. This happened twice so far. Handling and speed is good. I have not clocked it with another vehicle but easily pegs at "50mph". Ability to stay with traffic is good.

Dislikes:

Cheap ignition switch, glove box switch and panel - panel should be steel to give a "modicum" of security. Why even have a lock?

Annoying beep on turn signal mechanism - will be de-soldering the noise maker soon.

Mirrors seem to have a "return to zero" sensor and don't want to stay how I set them.

Trunk and seat hinge are weak. Like to see a better hinge pin for seat.

I also have one of the EGO-2 electric bikes and use it a lot for grocery shopping. This Z20 needs some sort of collapsible baskets or saddlebags to make it more useful.

I would buy another one so far.

John Palys
Chico, CA

ggggarret
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

i got my replacement z20a a couple weeks ago, unpacked it and have put about 25 miles on it. this one seems to be working fine aside from the same issue of the motor cutting out if i accelerate too fast either from a standstill or while moving slowly. i am told there will be a new controller sent out in about a week. as is i can drive it around the hood but would like to resolve the cutting out issue before jumping into traffic.

garret

DonCristobal
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

I know the cutting out issue that you are talking about. I was told by EVTA that it is expected functionality and as a consequence I have adjusted the way I ride.

I think of it like a clutch, you've got to engage it a little bit otherwise it stalls. When a light is about to turn I give the bike just enough throttle where I can hear it start to go forward and then from there I can go full throttle.

I don't consider it to be a problem, but I am curious if the new controller will change the functionality.

Don Cristobal
EVTA Z-20b
---
Ohm is where the heart is.

nathanladd
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

Z-20b. Worked for about 4 miles, now I can't get it to go anywhere. Don't know where the issue is.

Mountain chen
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

i got my replacement z20a a couple weeks ago, unpacked it and have put about 25 miles on it. this one seems to be working fine aside from the same issue of the motor cutting out if i accelerate too fast either from a standstill or while moving slowly. i am told there will be a new controller sent out in about a week. as is i can drive it around the hood but would like to resolve the cutting out issue before jumping into traffic.

garret

Another factor might be the battery don't have capacity to be big current discharged.

Accelerate fast or start from a standstill will need peak AMP and the battery don't have enough capacity to bear it.

pchilds
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

I remember one member said that, the motor cutting out problem went away, when he went to bank charging, this would seem to confirm a possible battery capacity issue, batteries not getting fully charged with the string charger.

Philip

Philip
2011 Nissan Leaf SL

Brock
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

I hadn't thought of that but I wonder if when you fully load the motor the battery voltage falls enough to momentarily shut down the controller due to low voltage on it’s own control side??

ggggarret
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

i know this has been covered but can someone give me a link to somewhere selling a bankcharger/otheroption that would be correct for the z-20 setup?

thanks.
garret

mikejuv
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

can someone give me a link to somewhere selling a bankcharger/other option that would be correct for the z-20 setup?

I don't think anyone has recommended an off the shelf, 5-battery, bank charger and not had it get shot down. I think the biggest objection folks have raised with existing models, is that if 1 part goes bad the whole thing might be shot and you could be out $400+.

I went the do-it-yourself approach and would actually recommend it. It looks complicated but it isn't. I have no skills and didn't screw anything up. The process is more tedious than it is difficult.

No matter whether you go off-the-shelf or do-it-yourself, you will still have to wire the batteries so that you can connect the batteries to the charger. And if you go that far, you might as well hack a bank charger together for less or the same $ and more flexibility.

I used the Vector 1086B chargers, as was recommended by others on the forum. It was also mentioned on on a previous post, that some places offer a Black & Decker version that is the exact same charger but with a logo on it for a couple dollars more. Check local automotive departments before buying online as shipping will bump the price up quite a bit.

The bank charger setup that I used as a guide can be found here.

The only component I couldn’t find locally was the bank charger connector set

solarjdp
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

Z20b speed and range update. I almost always go about 25-35 miles (AS INDICATED ON THE INNACCURATE SPEDO) b4 I get to the lowest 2 bars on battery charge indicator. I always max it out except where traffic won't permit. I had a friend with a honda accord check my speed at various points and my actual top speed is 37-38mph with the Z20 saying 50! I now have 286 miles racked up on it (z20 miles), so maybe 80-90% of that is real.

1. I have disconected the squeeker for turn signal.

2. I removed covers and checked for loose bolts, found two and tightened.

3. Batteries don't appear to be venting any apreciable iquids. Looked them all over and they seem ok.

4. Throttle problem. SOmetimes (seems to depend on state of charge of batteries) if I crack the throttle for full accel, it just stops. Found by experimentation that using a slower twist of the wrist eliminates the trouble. don't know yet if it's thethrottle mechanism itself, or if he controller has some glitch at high current discharge at startup.

John Palys
Chico, CA

ihope2
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

Well...

the R-20 is non-operational now.

took the scooter for a ride with the boyfriend a couple of weeks ago. lots of fun for a little while.

had my first experience with the throttle stalling out problem at a red light that has been described here by others.

kept going a few more miles to our destination. parked (i always use the centerstand).

came back a few hours later and nothing on the bike responded. no lights, no alarm, no throttle, nothing.

the battery discharge light had barely moved and it had only been a 8 mile ride with two adults on a full charge. charged it anyway and although the charger shut off, it didn't change anything.

the fuse was fine. the circuit breaker wires were all connected. the sidestand didn't have any dangling wires. batteries seemed to all be connected. even took the front cover off and didn't see any concerns.

andy's latest theory is a broken dc to dc converter. with a part supposedly on its way from china.

what i want more than anything is a detailed owner's manual telling me what everything does and how it is supposed to be connected and work, even a youtube video would be great.

dissappointed. and now thinking this was a mistake.

anyone have similar problems where absolutely nothing on the bike responded?

i just got a voltmeter and we've had colder than usual weather as well as elections here lately so haven't had the motivation to tear it all down again to check currents yet.

but that should happen soon... just wish i had an owners manual so i could understand what i'm looking at...

and the car is gone now... so i'd like to make this thing work.

peace,
stacy

astar
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

just wish i had an owners manual so i could understand what i'm looking at...

Don't hold your breath for a manual. There are wiring diagrams posted here on V for the R-20.

the fuse was fine. the circuit breaker wires were all connected. the sidestand didn't have any dangling wires.

One possibliity other than the DC-DC converter: check to make sure the small pink wire coming out of the breaker is still in place. The breaker wires are not held in place very well, and if that wire comes off, nothing will work. There should be two wires on each side of the breaker. The smaller red wire on the battery side of the breaker goes to the charge port. Did you check the voltage at the breaker?

When the side stand sensor fails, there are no dangling wires. It just get's pushed up where the side stand doesn't activate it. But that won't affect the lights, horn, alarm, etc. so it's not your main problem.

ZEV 7100 Alpine
Fort Collins, CO

dangerDav
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

I should update my status, as I stopped coming to the forum obsessively as I did right up to when I received my R-20.

DangerDav in Los Angeles.
Blk R-20
Didn't work out of the crate, however undamaged.
We think the controller doesn't work, and my bike may have been tested as it has 1.5 miles on the Odometer.
I got my bike the end of January, and been patiently and optimistically waiting for the parts.
They told me last week the parts would arrive end of last week, and I am guessing not yet.

grrrr...

Weee
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

Well, I have begun poking around my dormant bike with the new controller in hand. As I've been checking for loose nuts and bolts, I've noticed that the back tire has begun to squeak when I rotate it. The squeak seems to be coming from the left side of the tire/wheel if I am facing the same direction the bike is facing. It's not rubbing against the fender as there is plenty of clearance. Any other ideas? I'm scared that when it's running again, I'll be starting friction fires down there.

Thanks in advance.

mikejuv
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

The weather was finally warm enough, so I took out my Z20A for its inaugural ride today - and everything went fine.

The only problem was my high beam headlight was out. It turns out that its ground wire had worked loose from its U connector that attaches it to the light. It's likely it came loose when I removed the front end plastic as it wasn't crimped very well to its connector. Not a big deal and easily fixed.

Went 1 mile at 15mph (GPS). The speedo/odo are way off. I'll have to wait till Monday to take it for a real ride, since I haven't gotten it registered yet. I wasn't expecting it to actually work when I finished all the upgrades and tinkering.

Things to do:
- Figure out a solution to the speedo/odo issue. (probably just use a Cycle Analyst)
- Do something about that darn turn signal noise. What could have been wrong with a simple little "click click" sound - why the annoying "eeeeeeeeeeeee" sound?
- My trunk will not latch/lock closed. It seems the top lid's latch mechanism doesn't quite reach the base's locking mechanism - so there is no contact between the lid and lock. The trunk closes properly - but the mechanisms don't reach each other. I'll need to figuring something else out to keep it from rattling. Probably just a couple plastic clamp/latch thingers.
- The wires behind the headlights hit the headlights when turning. Only solution is to add more wire to those lines so they can be routed behind things.
- Add switch to bypass kickstand switch, in case it ever goes bad. Currently it is fine - but I plan on doing something to ensure it doesn't become a problem when away from home.

All that tinkering with bank charging, PakTrakr, and battery break-in has been a great way to get familiar with the bike.

Now I'm just hoping my controller and motor will last. (finger crossed)

PJD
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

"My trunk will not latch/lock closed. It seems the top lid's latch mechanism doesn't quite reach the base's locking mechanism - so there is no contact between the lid and lock. The trunk closes properly - but the mechanisms don't reach each other."

Are you sure you are operating the latch properly? Chinese Givi-style top cases have a latch with a very peculiar action until you are familiar with it.

If it is one of these kind of top cases, and the latch (over the red release button) is in the unlatched position, it will resemble a car door latch, but you do not operate it anything like a car door latch. Instead, place the thumbs up in the recess over the latch. then push inward and downward (toward the trunk), until the whole latch snaps down flush with the recess. The trunk will now be latched.

rksparks
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

I have had my Z20a for about a month now. Tail fender was broken during shipping. Haven't worried about it yet. Had to rethread one of the mirror mount rods. It had been cross threaded at the factory.

Other than that, I jumped on it and rode it. It was delivered to me in snow and ice. I have ridden it just about every day that it was above 40 Fahrenheit. Yeah, the speedo and odo are very innacurate. Speedo reads about 20% high. Odo reads something even less than kilometers. I have about 250 miles actual on it. Have achieved actual (GPS) top speed of 40.6 mph. This is all in temps below 50F. I have two eGo cycle2's and I won't even try to ride them in temps below 50F due to decreased performance from cold batteries. My Z sits in a cold garage overnight and gets to temps around 30F. I am sure batteries are less than 40F when I start my ride and yet performance is still fine for around town traffic. I am usually first off the light for the first 40 feet or so. Acceleration is a bit anemic above 30mph though.

I am not bank charging. I have spent 45 years of my life around electric golf cars. They string charge, they work fine. Your 12v batteries are just a string of 6 2v cells. They have been string charged since they were invented. Been working for a hundred years. Bank charging is a small improvement for a significant cost in money and effort. Introduces even more cheap chinese parts which can fail, as the fellow who bank charged his 3000w eFun found out. Lead acid batteries are a consumable. Replace them when they fail. Save your money for Firefly batteries when they come available.

Main gripes: speedo, speedo, speedo in that order. I will open up cover and put in a new template sheet soon (take digital photo of existing template, doctor it on computer to get correct readings, place inside over existing meter template)

Safety issue: Throttle cutout on fast acceleration. Inability to accelerate away from danger is not good. This must be reprogrammed and a retrofit ROM chip put in all existing controllers. The cpu in the controller can simply limit the current in software rather than expecting us to do it manually. Fine touch on the throttle is a bit difficult if someone is in your rearview mirror and is failing to brake. EVTA, fix this first and fast.

This bike is good enough for what its good for. It can reduce my gasoline consumption by about 50%. which is what a Prius would do, but at ten times the price.

Summarize me happy, but not totally ecstatic. Though I have caught myself singing inside my helmet while happily going places without emitting greenhouse gases, subsidizing Osama bin Laden, or further burdening the trade deficit.

Randy,
Boise, Idaho

jdh2550_1
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

I am not bank charging. I have spent 45 years of my life around electric golf cars. They string charge, they work fine. Your 12v batteries are just a string of 6 2v cells. They have been string charged since they were invented. Been working for a hundred years. Bank charging is a small improvement for a significant cost in money and effort. Introduces even more cheap chinese parts which can fail, as the fellow who bank charged his 3000w eFun found out. Lead acid batteries are a consumable. Replace them when they fail. Save your money for Firefly batteries when they come available.

Ah, where's usatracy when you need him? ;-)

Have to disagree about not needing to balance your batteries - there's lots of evidence that speaks to the contrary. How deep a depth of discharge do you take your golf carts to? Do you SLA's or flooded batteries? How long do the batteries last - number of cycles and miles driven? What's the peak amp draw and what's the size of the battery? All these things come in to play - and it might be that your golf carts put less demand on their batteries...

The 6 2V cells in series are all in a much tighter controlled environment than two 12V batteries connected in series.

Yes, batteries are a consumable - however at $500 for a cheap set (Greensavers! yeah I love Greensavers!) then wouldn't you rather 500 cycles out of them than 100? How is Firefly doing these days? I fear that the increasing price of lead and the falling price of LiFePO4 will make their product obsolete before it even sees wide distribution...

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.

PJD
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

rksparks,

The difference between golf carts and our electric scooters is that the golf carts use conventional flooded batteries. Flooded batteries can be equalization-charged by holding the pack at a high enough voltage so the water in the excess-voltage batteries (and cells within each battery) "boil off" (actually electrolyses) until the specific gravities, charging resistance, and state of charge are all equal. Every once in a while, water can then be added to the cells.

This cannot be done with sealed AGM batteries as the amount of liquid electrolyte is very small, so the batteries are much more susceptible to damage from overcharging. Consequently, such equalization cannot be done without leaving some batteries overcharged and ruined, so the chargers are designed with a "compromise" charging protocol, which leaves some a bit overcharged and others undercharged. This imbalance gets worse with each cycle. The result is early failure of at least one or two batteries in the pack.

A replacement pack of good quality SLA batteries on the Z-20 will probably cost about $700, so I'd try to make them last.

I'm not a fan of bank charging because of the all the added complexity and trouble. We are supposed to be promoting a product that people will not need to go through a lot of trouble to use, remember? But I strongly recommend that you add battery balancer units to your scooter.

check here:
http://www.powerdesigners.com/powercheq.htm

or here:
http://www.smartsparkenergy.com/products/BattEQ.aspx

Aerowhatt
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

I am not bank charging. I have spent 45 years of my life around electric golf cars. They string charge, they work fine. Your 12v batteries are just a string of 6 2v cells. They have been string charged since they were invented. Been working for a hundred years. Bank charging is a small improvement for a significant cost in money and effort. Introduces even more cheap chinese parts which can fail, as the fellow who bank charged his 3000w eFun found out. Lead acid batteries are a consumable. Replace them when they fail. Save your money for Firefly batteries when they come available.

Randy,
Boise, Idaho

You are talking apples and oranges when comparing flooded golf car batteries, or flooded automotive starting batteries to the high output deep cycle AGM's in your Z. AGM's are fragile by comparison when it comes to overcharging tolerance. Overcharging is how golf cars and your Z are balanced by a string charger. You will learn,

I've got extensive experience with apples and oranges. You can't treat them the same way period.

Aerowhatt

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