Archive for October, 2008

No, this is not about my ego, but my ‘Ego scoota’!

10/10/2008

Hello.

Please let me introduce myself, my name’s Nick, I developed an interest in the concept of electric scooters a little while ago when my brother showed me the ad on Firebox’s website for the Ego scoota. I was starting to feel the effect of the rising fuel price’s (as I have an 8 seater tank!) At first I could not get my head around the fact that a scooter filled with batteries could perform like a gas scooter (it seemed to simple to be true), so I started to read lots of reviews & visited the manufactures website. The Chinese really are into these scooters, they produce a vast range that seem to suit a wide range of usages….. I digress. The Ego scoota, for it’s price, appeared to be the best option available in this country at the moment. I didn’t like the idea of a scooter that only ran at about 15 – 20 MPH (as the really cheap ones do), but that said, 30 MPH still seemed like it would be too slow. My thought was to get the ‘Ego‘ & then contact the manufactures & get the information required to de-restrict the motor.

I bought my scoota about 2 months ago from castletoncarsales in Rochdale (get their info from Ego’s website (they are a dealership for Ego scootas) (that’s right, Firebox ain’t got an exclusive deal with them!) I was offered a pre-registered scooter & I snapped it up straight away, as I was not interested in doing all the registration rubbish. It was delivered in about a week & it really was a pleasure dealing with these guys. I got a much better reception from them then I did with Firebox. I done the usual, charge it up, take it for a spin etc. When I was happy with it, I started to use it for my commute to work (about 6 miles each way), picking my route carefully to avoid the fast roads. It was really strange at first, 30mph is so slow, but I soon got used to it again – (I started on bikes at age 16 so I had a ‘sports moped’ that was restricted).

After running it for a while, I contacted Ego & asked them for the information to de-restrict the scooter. I was informed that it could be done, but they would not tell me how to do it (thanx mates). Really (un) happy with their response, I trawled the net looking for info on de-restriction, to my avail no info was out there. I was starting to think I was on a losing cause. I spoke to friends with electrical knowledge, but they all seemed to think the motor would need replacement to speed to bike up. This, I thought, was a bit drastic!

Being a bit of an optimist I started to take bits off the scooter & “fiddle”. I didn’t take me long to start breaking things though! Lucky for me the guys I got the scooter from keep a vast array of spares (Thank Terry). After a lot of playing about & expense, I came up with the theory that if 48 volts & 36 Amps produce 30 MPH, then additional amps or volts must produce more speed. Even though I had been told this would not work I decided to get another battery & plug it in.

Great, got the new battery, how do I wire it in? Parallel or in series? As the scooters light circuit was prep’d for a 60 volt intake, I decided to go for the ‘in series’ option, taking it from 48 volts to 60 volts. This was when I made a potentially big mistake!!!! I tried to wire-in the battery to the 2 middle-bank batteries ( + to -) without removing a cross-over cable (BANG!) ‘Twat’ was the word springing to mind. I had just arc welded a terminal to the battery bolt! fortunately the battery was unscathed. When thinking about it with a clearer head, I removed the cross-over cable from the end bank & connected the new battery in. I now had 60 volts running through the scoota. Make or break time for my wallet! I flicked the circuit breaker over to power-up the machine & received no nasty surprises (phew). I switched the key on & tried the lights, all working fine’ so I tried the throttle & it worked ok.

Now came the proper test, I donned my helmet & took to the road (giggle). The bike did not seem to have a great deal of gain in the acceleration department, but it was a little better. The important thing though is that I got the bugger up to 40mph no problem at all (light the fire works & smoke the cigar).

I am about 11st (ish) & can now get 40mph from a scoota that was restricted to 30mph for just the cost of a battery (£40) & a couple of bits of wire. As the scoota has a reasonable amount of torque, anybody with a similar weight should be able to get this sort of speed, maybe even more.

The battery charger is not capeable of charging all 5 batteries in series, so I have made a new wiring harness & now charge 4 batteries in the normal way & charge the extra battery with a seperate charger. If any one wants to know how the scoota & its batteries are doing I will post some more info. Laters.

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