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Electric Scooter

Thanks to Neal Farris’s negotiating skills, he picked up a pair of electric scooters at a very good price. Neal kept the smaller one for his kid and I took the larger one (Thanks, Neal!).

The one I ended up with is a 2008 model XM-3500 from http://www.x-tremescooters.com . It has a 3.5kw motor and 20 Thundersky 40Ah cells. It had only 479km on the odometer, but the pack was only reading about 50v, so we knew going in that there was at least one dead cell in the pack.

After Mike Harris dropped the scooter off at the Dallas Makerspace (Thanks Mike!), I removed the pack (5 sets of 4 cells strapped). The forward two sets were visibly swollen and were very difficult to remove from the battery box. I’ve since tested the entire pack with my PowerLab6. The final count is 2 dead, 2 deathly ill, and 16 that range in capacity from 19.2Ah to 27,6Ah. Several of the “good” cells have some swelling, so I’m doubtful that they will last too long.

To get it running for Earth Day, I think that I will add 4 of my spare CA60 cells from the motorcycle, bottom balance the pack, and only charge to 19Ah. That will at least get it operational, but with a limited range. I’ve got 3 CellLog8M’s that I’m going to hook up for monitoring, and an Amp Hour meter so I don’t over discharge the pack.

For long term, I have to decide if I want to live with the reduced range, replace the pack with TS40’s for $50@ (~$1200 shipped) or lower the battery box by 2.25″ and buy a pack of CA60’s for $81@ (~$1800 shipped). The CA cells are far better than the TS cells, and would give me more than 50% more range than new TS cells, and more than 300% more range than the current pack, but I don’t know if I want to spend that much more on the scooter.

Stan Simmons

Source NTEAA

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