Well, It's been awhile since I've ranted on this site. Since then, I've got my pair of battEQ's and installed them on the pair of already highly imbalanced lead-gel battery strings. They "seem" to keep the speed more constant than without them, I have noticed, as far as extending the life of the battery, I can't comment because the batteries that come with this bike are absolute garbage.
Here's the timeline of events if anyone is interested in the quality and durability of this bike:
- Purchased july 2007
- 1st time charging bike, 10amp charger failed and had to ship back.(defective xianji relay inside unit i suspect, since there was a burn mark on it.)
- purchased low current 48 volt SLA chargers from online store for real cheap. Worked like a champ.
- Tried to get refund of 250 dollars for charger. Got replacement 4 months later which also died after first charge. Did I mention I found a 48volt 5 amp charger online too which was DOA? That's just beyond pathetic. Why bother even making them.
- Anyway the only chargers that worked are the original e-max chargers (made in germany)I found on ebay and the 2.5amp 49.99 chargers I mentioned before.
- November I finally got my title and got a license.
- June 2008: melted the first string of batteries by discharging them as far as they could possibly go. Range is now down to about 8 miles. Installed battEQ units.
- This is a wonderful little bike. I simply adore it. Max range on new batteries was almost 30 miles going about 30 mph. I've easily maxed the bike at 43mph on a straight road. It's comfy, generally quiet and fairly well built. 1/2 penny a mile to operate. Get laughed at by monkey's in SUV's and hummer's, and loudly proclaim, "I'll have the last laugh...."
- Motor is somewhat noisy when first accelerating. Lead-gel batteries(silicone batteries) that come with the unit are horrible and mis-leading to customers since they are not really any different than (lead-gel) batteries. The "silicone battery" was a marketing deception to make people believe they were getting something different than lead batteries.
- The electric scooter industry doesn't take off because money is the number one thing that people seem to be motivated by. I don't see too many people getting into the EV biz simply because their heart is in it. The problem is people flock to this field because they think their going to get rich by doing so, and really don't care about the ramifications of our addiction to saudi oil and actually accomplishing the task of getting us off the stuff.
Right now it's pretty much too late to do anything to get this market going. What needs to happen is an open source type development process for every component of the EV, including the batteries, and if that means big corp xyz can't exercise their patent control on batteries that could be massed produced here in america, so be it. We have enough un-employed people right now to build all of the LiFep04 batteries we need for 10 million vehicles by next year. The whole "it's my patent, you can't have it" should not apply to energy devices, especially when were in this position, That's like einstein telling oppenheimer he can't make the atomic bomb because he has an exclusive patent on e=mc^2. That's the only way to open up the market to people who actually care about what they're doing, and about making a quality product without gauging the customer like a123 and all the other american based lifep04 makers. All I see is the same ole crappy capitalist greed based system of controls falling down on the EV market that does nothing but stall real progress. and by the time they finally figure out they can make these batteries here, the U.S. will be looking much like the remnants of the soviet union and people will most likely have to die. We've outgrown this system, it's pretty much useless to continue.
Anyway, I got a quote from valence, GP(used in vectrix) distributors, a123, for cells to build a custom pack. Valence was literally out of their mind on price. GP came in at around 2300 for the cells alone ordering in bulk and trying to haggle the guy down as far as he would go, a123 was not as bad as valence but still too high for this.
The best deal right now still looks like the odyssey pc680 agm batteries, they'll run a little over 1k and they are guaranteed for 3 years or 400 cycles. While at hybridfest last week, I asked around about (enersys) odyssey and only heard good stuff about them. I've noticed recently a large pickup of the online availability of generic lifep04 cells. I haven't tested any of the cells yet, but was hoping someone here already had so I wouldn't have to. Can anyone comment on these generics out there? Anyone have more than 1000 miles on one of those generic lifep04 packs here?