Get Even More Visitors To Your Blog, Upgrade To A Business Listing >>

THe Electric Scooter

I mentioned in another thread (Electric Bike) that I had acquired an all-electric scooter (ZEV S-1700), and for various reasons, such as generating relevant discussion, I thought I would start a new thread.

A couple of piccies to set the scene.

And a bit about the scoot itself.

It's a 2012 model, which I purchased privately. The vehicle had about 450 km on the clock and had been fairly well maintained.

Over the past week or so I've put about 250 km up and feel I've come to grips with it.

I've been riding (petrol) motorcycles since 1968, and bicycles since 1972. I moved on to recumbent tricycles in 1992 and fitted an electric motor with batteries and solar panels to one trike in 2008, then bought a second similar machine in 2009.

With the possibility of oil shocks, increasing traffic congestion and increasing availability of domestic solar power I decided to take a gamble and buy the ZEV. I mentioned to my next door neighbor that this was one of the few times in my life I felt I was taking a gamble, so when I get time I might do a bit of signwriting and christen it "La Pari" ("The Gamble").

I've never seriously considered an electric car since they are still extremely expensive, and because they are cars, they contribute as much to road congestion as ICE cars. Plus they use a lot more electricity than I could reasonably generate from my rooftop solar system. (The trikes, carrying their own solar panels, take little or nothing from my domestic solar batteries and panels.)

After delivery I spent a bit of time going over Le Pari. There were a few cobwebs at the back and both tyres were well under pressure. The previous owner had got some work done replacing the charger (I'd read in several different fora that this was the Achilles heel of the ZEV). He'd also had fitted a "Cycle Analyst" power management meter. (The meter can be seen in the top piccy, a green screen under the left hand grip.)

For some reason the passenger seat area was slightly worn.

The first ride. The throttle has very light springing, and a careless twist results in a swift jerk as power flows to the hub motor in the real wheel (7,100 watts according to the maker.) There is a quiet hum and the scoot moves down the road. Well, this is great. Coming to a stop was a bit confusing. My right foot sought the rear brake pedal while my left had squeezed the clutch. Nope. Like a bicycle the scoot has the back brake on the left handgrip and the front brake on the right. With motorcycle quality disc brakes fore and aft stopping was not a problem, but the instinct to use engine braking didn't work. (My petrol motor cycle is a BMW 650 cc single cylinder with a very high compression ratio and shutting the throttle slows the bike quickly.)

The Pari has fairly long wheelbase and despite the "small" wheels, it is rock stable and corners quite predictably. The throttle can be opened quite hard coming out of a corner with no fear of breaking loose. One feature is a small red button next to the throttle which has three different power settings. The first (lowest) setting is sufficient to move along at 60 km/h, which is the normal speed limit on the main roads. In suburbs 50 km/h is becoming the norm these days. I live in the hills behind Perth and one of my concerns was being able to climb these hills after riding. With a reasonably full charge on the battery I was able to ascend at about 60 km/h, but it eventually slowed to about 50-55. Going DOWN the hill I found I could coast at about 80 km/h but to "engage" the motor I had to flick up to power level 3. Once on flat road the scoot was able to hold 85 km/h, without me having to duck behind the windscreen like a boy racer.

Yesterday I decided to see how far I could go, and rode around my local suburbs at normal speed. I made the mistake of going on an open stretch of country road (with several hills I'd forgotten about) and on the return leg, about 3 km from home it suddenly went remarkably quiet and rolled to a stop. There isn't much warning that the battery is about to lose its oomph, and by the time you notice it on the power meter it's probably too late. Fortunately there was only one moderately steep hill that I was able to push up then coast down and regenerate a modicum of power. However, I was forced to knock on a door and sheepishly ask if I could borrow a cup of electrons. The house had (like many in the street) solar panels on the roof and about after about 10 minutes (it plugs straight into a domestic 240 volt socket) there was sufficient power for me to continue on home and plug into my own system to complete the recharge. It took roughly 2-3 hours to complete the charge (including going onto float). I had an in-line power/amp meter and I could see it was drawing 1,600 watts continuously until the last couple of minutes.

The odometer showed I had done almost exactly 40 km of reasonably hard riding.

This morning I took my measurements and found that overnight I had equalised everything ie I had imported 7 kWh from the grid and exported 7 kWh over 24 hours, and that my house batteries were at 100% SoC. So my system had managed to take it all in its stride (okay, it was a very sunny day for autumn, and while I was out during the day everything non-essential in the house was shut down so the export figure was higher than normal for this time of year).

Given that the batteries are 5 years old but very lightly used, I'm extremely pleased with the results and would have to say this is another gamble which has paid off. I only acquired it to do middle distance rides, (say 20 km each way) and yesterday's ride was definitely non-standard, so bearing in mind that caveat I have to say that as I normally spend about $15 a fortnight on petrol for the BMW (which averages 26 km per litre) I'm on the plu$ side of the ledger - barely.

So - viva La Pari.

This post first appeared on Green Power Talk, please read the originial post: here

Share the post

THe Electric Scooter


Subscribe to Green Power Talk

Get updates delivered right to your inbox!

Thank you for your subscription