Updated your operating or non operating status

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chas_stevenson
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

John - I agree with you, but I think this guy has lots of experience with larger AH batteries and they can tolerate string charging much better than the size we are using. Give him a set of 12 AH batteries and he will learn this information very quickly. He just needs to learn to think outside the golf cart box.

Grandpa Chas S.

rksparks
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

PJD has relevant comments. There is little in the battery world as abuse resistant as a flooded Trojan. Boil some water off. Add a little distilled. Go back about your business. However, I have two eGo cycle2s with 34 Ah SLA U1 just like in the Z. Both of them had the batteries last over 4 years. They were in a 2 battery string not a 5 batt string, which can make a difference. The one that "failed" was because the charger broke before the batteries failed. Replaced charger, recharged batts (yeah, I removed them and charged them separately the first time with 12v charger) and by gosh got another season out of her. The other eGo needed towing capacity, so I bought new batts to replace the 4yr old ones that were still charging to equal and correct voltage and working great except for reduced range. These batts were CSB(China Storage Battery) EVX12340. They seem to be an excellent battery. Mouser Electronics price currently 96.58 unit one. BatteryWeb.com wants 77.95 No way you need 700 clams for new batts for a Z. The pregnant bump on the top of the Z batts is just a spacer so you can stack them on top of one another. Buy your favorite U1 sized AGM. Make a wood or plastic spacer. Glue it on. Go ride. Sing in your helmet.

By the way, the golf carts I am familiar with were in heavily used rental fleets at golf courses managed by my father. These were commercial money makers, not pampered personal carts. If someone hands you a 20 spot, you send the cart around again. These batteries were hammered 200 days a year. Often 36, sometimes 54 holes a day with a little boost charge. Definitely severe service.

AGM batts may not be as tough as flooded Trojans, but they are not total wimps. Gel cells are what has given sealed batteries a bad name in terms of recharging issues. Stay away from them like the plague. Little bubbles form in the gel on overcharging and these bubbles "never" go away, progressively and dramatically lowering your performance. Gels must always be recharged very slowly.

Simplicity is the beauty of electric vehicles. I will screw that up only when real world experience forces me to. I hate rebuilding internal combustion engines, reaming ridges, torqueing head bolts, sealing gaskets, etc. etc. etc. ......... We my soon have a whole new generation of kids who don't even what those words mean, and mothers who won't be screaming about having to clean grease up off the carpet. World changing.

Randy

Aerowhatt
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

However, I have two eGo cycle2s with 34 Ah SLA U1 just like in the Z. Both of them had the batteries last over 4 years. They were in a 2 battery string not a 5 batt string, which can make a difference.

Randy

The length of the string definately does make a big difference. I'm an eGO dealer and service rep so I know the eGO batts well. They are pretty tough as AGM's go. Still I've found a 50% to 100% increase in miles per pack when using a powercheq unit to keep the two units even during finish charging. Figure about $200 average for an eGO pack with shipping. A $70 BMS pays for itself, and then some, on the first pack.

The Z on the other hand doesn't have all the batteries snuggled up against each other like the eGO. Keeping them close to the same temperatures etc. A longer string (250% longer) and larger variation in battery temperatures equals far more imbalance and premature battery failure due to it. You should see what happens to AGM's on a 144 volt system if no BMS is employed!

Like most people, only our own real world experience seems to count. So by all means disreguard ours, it costs us nothing.

Aerowhatt

rksparks
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

Didn't intend to imply that only my own practical experience applied. I will listen to actual experience. But I have also heard a lot of sales pitches for fancy gee whiz unnecessaries in my life. What are your experinces with 144 volt systems? Lots of EV conversion cars have 10 to 20 batteries in them and should be a pretty severe case. Most of the problems I have personally seen are due to use of cheap (general purpose instead of ev/deep cycle) batteries and or cheap chargers. I have seen a lot of good batteries destroyed by cheap chargers. Most ebikes cheap out on both counts.

Randy

Aerowhatt
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

I agree that the wrong batteries, chargers, or simply charger profile is often the problem.

With trojans or US battery flooded units there are few problems at 144 volts without a BMS. Basically you put in ~15% more energy than you took out and once a month run an extra equalizing charge. You can replace the water lost and the plates are thick so positive plate corrosion from overcharging is well tolerated. Even so sometimes imbalance requires that some batteries get an individual boost charge to bring them into line.

With AGM's like Exide Orbitals, Optima deep cycle, or Hawker energy batteries it's a different story. If you overcharge enough to keep them equalized in a long string then you gas them enough to dry them out. No less important is that these batteries have much thinner plates with more surface area. They suffer quickly from positive plate corrosion from the equalizing overcharges. These are all high end batteries with high vent pressure compared to run of the mill AGM's, and still they simply won't hold up under the same treatment that floodeds have for decades. If you build a 144 volt string out of top notch AGM's that have been eqaulized at 12 volts while all connected in parallel (perfectly balanced when assembled together into the 144 volt string). You will find with the absolute perfect compromise charge profile that the pack will start to go significantly out of balance well before the 50th cycle. The AGM packs of this voltage range that I have worked with are all, on road EV conversions. If they aren't bank charged or balanced by a accurate BMS instead of overcharging they just don't last. A couple of 120 volt cars with US battery flooded packs and chargers from manzanito micro do just fine with regular watering and a close watch on the charger parameters set. The two types simply can't be treated the same way.

Getting back down to voltages more common on this site and on your Z. I have a 36 volt motorcycle which runs AGM's. When I first got it, I charged it as the manufacturer intended. It came with three Hawker energy batteries. Having previous experience with them I know there is no better designed and built AGM on the market. I'm on my fourth pack of batteries for this bike. The last three packs were all bank charged or string charged on occasion with powercheqs as a BMS. Consistently I have seen and average of ~70% more miles out of those last three packs. This matches my and my customers experiences with powercheq units installed on the 24 volt system of an eGO 2 as well. We offer wireless alarm systems as an option on the eGO's. The alarms run on 12 volts so we tap off one battery and use the powercheq unit to keep them balanced (it's part of the alarm system package). It's easy to see looking at service records that the bikes with the alarms get significantly more miles per battery pack consistently (they also don't get stolen). For your Z at 5 batteries instead of 2 or 3 like an eGO or my motorcycle it becomes more important. For a 120 or 144 volt AGM system it's critical!

If given a choice between powecheqs or bank charging for a 5 battery string of AGM's. I would choose bank charging because it is a little more accurate. Ideally bank and pack charging together (see the thread "Better than bank or string charging, BOTH")

It makes one wonder how much longer those abuse resistent floodies would last if bank charged instead of (mis)treated the way we do treat them.

Aerowhatt

rksparks
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

I can see why orbital type batteries would be pretty sensitive with their very thin foil helical wound plate system. That design sure can put out high surge currents though. But also seeing measureable effects in a 24V eGo is getting my attention. A prismatic design AGM should be a bit tougher than an orbital, though higher internal resistance. Sounds like I need to open up my Z and put some leads on the batts. Lets say I wish to avoid the vagaries of five different cheap chargers. Get one good 12V charger, string charge for a week, then equalize one battery at a time once a week with the same charger so each batt gets exactly the same finish profile. Does this make any sense practically? A little cheaper but more trouble than full bank charging, but reduces troubles from charger failures and variability.

Randy

btw: Both of my 2002 eGo cycles have an "extra" green wire between the 12v batts. It does not go to the charger. I have always assumed it is used for some 12v load which inherently creates the same type of imbalance your alarm system did.

Aerowhatt
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

I can see why orbital type batteries would be pretty sensitive with their very thin foil helical wound plate system. That design sure can put out high surge currents though. But also seeing measureable effects in a 24V eGo is getting my attention. A prismatic design AGM should be a bit tougher than an orbital, though higher internal resistance. Sounds like I need to open up my Z and put some leads on the batts. Lets say I wish to avoid the vagaries of five different cheap chargers. Get one good 12V charger, string charge for a week, then equalize one battery at a time once a week with the same charger so each batt gets exactly the same finish profile. Does this make any sense practically? A little cheaper but more trouble than full bank charging, but reduces troubles from charger failures and variability.

Randy

btw: Both of my 2002 eGo cycles have an "extra" green wire between the 12v batts. It does not go to the charger. I have always assumed it is used for some 12v load which inherently creates the same type of imbalance your alarm system did.

Congrats on being an early addopter of the eGO. Your hunch is correct. The green wire on those older models is the negative which drives the 12volt LED tailight. Interestingly enough it taps off the rear battery which runs more efficiently that the front one due to picking up heat from the motor. Warm batts charge and discharge more efficiently. I don't know if it was purposeful or by accident that they chose that rear battery to run it off of. But it acctually keeps the batteries closer to balanced in most cases because of the heat issue. The newer bikes have all 24volt lighting and we see the rear battery suffer more overcharge damage in them (than the old ones like yours) when they aren't equiped with an alarm and powercheq. The LED tailight uses very little power. So does the alarm system but the alarm uses it 24/7 while the led tailight only uses it when the key is on.

Your charging/balancing idea will help but it also sounds like a pain in the butt. It won't help as much, since it's not every charge cycle. As the batteries age this becomes more critical too when their efficencies diverge more and more. Also when you do check the voltages on your pack individually. Do it with the end of the bulk phase of string charging running. I get a lot of people checking their newer pack at rest voltages, which really doesn't do the voltage disparities which are doing the damage justice. Sometimes they test balanced down to the hundreths until you put the charger on. They are "balanced" but they got there by cooking the best ones down to the worst one.

Is the Z's stock charger onboard the bike or offboard? Either way, I would consider using five very small (1 to 2 amp) soniel 12 volt chargers onboard the bike along with your string charger with the voltage turned down (to 68.5V or so). The soneils are well designed (in Canada) and while most are manufactured in Asia they have always been a good quality reliable charger for me. Five of them will set you back about $200 and quickly pay for themselves in longer pack life.

Bottom line any kind of balancing you can do will help. I like things simple and "plug and play" which is why I suggest this method.

Aerowhatt

gowens
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

Has anyone actually gotten a replacment part from EVT America ?

Just wondering.

My R-20 is still working well.
There are a few annoying little squeeks and rattles
from the front and rear wheels. But I imagine they
will go away with break-in.

fcherny
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

Andy said he was sending my controller and it would arrive "this week at the latest". So I'm expecting to get it next week or possibly the week after.

That's to give it time to clear customs. :)

Fred.

DWrath
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

This is the email I got from Andy yesterday:

"The throttles are in Seattle and I will ask Schenker to send you one right away. Please wait for their mail advising you of shipment. I will send you instructions on how to replace the throttle on your R-20.
Thanks for your patience.
Andy"

Hopefully I'll be getting the throttle next week and get this thing up and running.

fcherny
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

I received my controller yesterday. Won't have time to work on it until the weekend.

Anyone know how to open up the bike so I can replace the controller?

Fred.

gowens
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

Regarding how to open the case...
I do not recall if your is a Z or R20.

This may be a good time to remind Andy to make the video
he was going to make to show how to open it.

M2B

ggggarret
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

i am also waiting on a controller. in the meantime i drove about 100 miles (or so says the odometer) and carried a GPS to measure speed. on flat ground i found that when the speedo says 40mph, i'm going 30 and when it says 50+, i'm going 40. i also found that i seem to max out around 37mph on most terrain and hit 42.8mph once going down a hill.

DWrath
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

I received my throttle yesterday. Planning on installing it today, charge the bike up using my new bank charging system, and hopefully everything will run correctly.

mylife4u1
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

I think i will join the ranks of non function z-20a.myn came last week put aboout 50 actual miles charged it several times with no problem. after my last charge of about 3 miles (i always try keeping the batteries toped of) this time when i turned the throtle nuthing, i had lights horn blinkers all the bells and whistles but, nuthing from the throtle, maybe the controller? bad throtle?
i informed andy yesterday by e-mail and he forwarded to support.

question for everyone how fast does evt respond to problems? It seems everyone is getting the help they need?

any comments someone could offer would be nice

thank you

jimv
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

Received my Z-20B on 20-Mar-2008, no damage, uncrating went well. (It was ready months ago, but I asked them to hold shipment because I had no where to uncrate it with 80" or so of snow. And it was too cold to ride it anyway).
Assembed it on 3/21, except for windshield/trunk. No license plates, so I drove it up and down the driveway a few times.
Title, registration, plates and insurance completed on 3/24, but no time to mount the plate and take it for a ride.
Drove it around the block on 3/25, no problems seems to run fine. I have NO motorcycle experience, so I'm taking it slow. Also, it still has not gotten over 40 deg F here in Madison, WI, so I'm waiting for a warm day to take it for an extended spin.
Now that I know it at least works, I'm planning on taking off the covers this weekend, and doing a wire/nuts/bolts/etc quality check. After lurking here for a while, I have a good idea of what things to look for.
I've been really looking forward to riding it to work, and overall, I'm happy with my purchase; though my enthusiasm is somewhat diminished by the doom and gloom guys here; however, DonC has been keeping my hopeful :-)
I'll update next week sometime, when I have had more of a chance to play.

Brock
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

Hi Jim, I am up in Green Bay. Unfortunately my bike isn't working and I have been waiting for it to get warmer to pull it apart, I am thinking it is the controller I did troubleshooting when it was 10F outside but had to give up when it was time to pull more covers off outside, to darn cold. How did you register yours?

jimv
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

The only thing I needed to register it, other then the documenation that came with it, was some photographs, showing the DOT label. The photos clearly displayed the VIN, and the label that stated it met DOT specifications.
The other part that confused things it that I tried "EVTA" as the manufacturer, but it needed to be "Nanfang space navigation science and technology"; once we had that, it went fine.
Did cost me around $231, for plates, sales tax, and registration (should have been less, I forgot that $400 was shipping, which I don't think should have been taxed).
Hope you get yours working soon!

fcherny
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

On getting to the controller:

I've got a z20b. Andy did promise to send instructions and detailed pictures of how to do this. But I know he is backed up. It will be weeks, I'm sure, before I get anything from him.

In the mean time, any help from you all would be appreciated.

Fred.

Tom_G_in_Denver
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

Add one more non-working Z20a scooter to the list. I ran for 96.9 "odometer" miles OK, then was in motion when it quit several blocks from my house. All other electrics work: horn all lights, turn signals. Havn't had time to pull it apart to check for frayed wires, etc yet, so I haven't called it in yet. Hopefully tomorrow ill be a good day to work on a scooter outside.

astar
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

Add one more non-working Z20a scooter to the list. I ran for 96.9 "odometer" miles OK, then was in motion when it quit several blocks from my house. All other electrics work: horn all lights, turn signals.

You might want to check to see if you have a sidestand sensor problem. The sensor is poorly mounted and can easily get pushed up so that it is no longer activated by the sidestand. If this happens, the controller is disabled. More details are in the Z-20b Teardown thread.
kickstand.jpg

ZEV 7100 Alpine
Fort Collins, CO

jimv
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

Fred,
I emailed Andy about getting documentation, and got a PDF from him within 1 day, "Replacing the Controller on a Z-20.pdf", seems fairly clear.
Jim

DWrath
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

Much better. I replaced my faulty throttle today. A very easy process once you remove the front cover of the bike. Yes, everyone should check and tighten all their bolts. I found one bolt on the steering column that was stripped and just dangling in the hole. I'd also get some zip ties and cinch up all those loose wires. The bank charging seems to have worked, no smoke or lightening strikes. The bike ran well, getting up to "45 mph" on the speedo. Now to get this thing registered, inspected, and insured.

pchilds
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

Still have heard a peep from EVTA, nothing since January 19th, 2008. I think the way I am being treated is the norm. Those that have received communication and replacement parts are lucky. I didn't find this forum until February 18th, they started ignoring me a month before that. I honestly thought that they weren't going to supply replacement parts to anyone, now that they have, I am very angry, my Z has been down as long or longer than many here.

Philip
2011 Nissan Leaf SL

DWrath
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

Hoping someone could help. I'm trying to register my R-20, but I don't have a dealer license number from EVTA. It should be on the back of the "Certificate of Origin for a Vehicle" where it says DEALER, but they just wrote EVT America but did not put down their dealer's license number. Did they write this on the back of anyone's certificate or does anyone know their license number?
Thanks

evthinman
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

they are not considered a "dealer", and thus don't have a dealer licence #. they are considered a "distributor". thus the snag. in Oregon, i was given a "dealer declaration of compliance" or such, form which I faxed to Fernando. this form states that the vehicle complies with all Federal safety and emmissions standards. I was told by the DMV this would work, even if filled out by the "distributor". I asked Fermando to cross out "dealer" and write "distributor", he also wrote "N/A" for "dealer #". Luckily, the DMV accepted this form along with the MCO. I would ask for such a document/ammendment from your DMV.

DWrath
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

Thanks!! I knew I could count on the board to help me out.

fcherny
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

I received my controller on Tuesday, installed it last night, and tested it this morning. It works. After replacing the old one, it looks at though the cooling fan connection had either come loose in transit or had never been connected. The first time the controller got hot, the fan couldn't run so the controller fried - I guess.

Dave, I got my z20 registered at the Richardson DMV. The only thing they looked at was the bill of sale and the Manufacture's certificate. If you have any more problems, just try taking your paperwork to a different branch. I'll bet you'll have better luck.

Fred

DWrath
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

Thanks Fred. I ended up just writing N/A where the dealer number goes and they didn't give any problem at the DMV at 35 and Valley View. Also had the state safety inspection done, no problem; and insurance through GEICO for $81/year. BTW this is the email I received from Fernando re. a dealers license number:

"EVTAMERICA is not a dealer but in fact a National Distributor. Furthermore,
most of our commerce is ONLINE on the INTERNET. Therefore we do not have a
dealer license number as such. However, if you need to give them a number
you may provide them with our FEI number: xxxxxxx <-- edited to remove the number, which can NOT be posted on our site!
Thank you,
FernandoJ"

Just hoping the controller holds up.

NOTE: The posting of the number violates the TOS number 9. which is as follows;
Community members may not post content, which infringes the intellectual property, privacy or rights of third parties, or in violation any laws (Country, Territory, Provenance, State, or Local).

NovaScootersDotCom
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Re: Updated your operating or non operating status

Our posting on the issue "EVT America, dealer or distributor" has been "unpublished". Non-specific reasons were given, the posting was 90% state law and 10% other facts and statements repeated from EVT America themselves and information known to us from Associations concerned with actions of late.

The issue of whether they, and other internet sellers like X-Treme, are in fact acting as distributors, or dealers, is very germain to your purchasing decision, especially, as some of you are to find out, when it comes to registering your vehicles and if you will be able to do so in your state.

We have reviewed the V TOS and find absolutely no violation in the content of our post as it is factual and public information, however, we yield to the mods as we have no recourse to do otherwise, and will instead, repost the entire thread on another forum for your review since you will not see it here on this site.

We assume that providing a link to the offsite repost will also be viewed as a TOS violation so we leave it to the members that know what site we speak off to navigate there on your own.

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