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ESM Special

Modifying the E-36

 

The ESM Staff and EV Parts

 

       

 

 As we all know, the need for speed can lead us to some pretty cool things, like the case of our own E-36 from Rad2Go. This scooter, also known as the Great White, comes out of the crate as one of the fastest and most powerful electric scooters today. Our testing of the E-36 revealed a top speed of just about 20 MPH, as well as having enough power to pull a fashionable wheelie when you want to. Nonetheless, power begets more power, and in this article, we show you what we did to our E-36 to pump this Great White up even more. 

 We recruited the expertise of electric vehicle guru, Roy LeMeur of EV Parts. Roy quickly went to work. Beginning with the motor, he decided the 800-watt unit had plenty of power and torque. The nominal voltage rating is 36 volts, providing around 3300 RPM. Instead of messing with success, he went right on over to the power that provides the push, this being the batteries. The stock E-36 has three 12-volt, 10 AH batteries wired in series to produce 36 volts of supply power. These were removed and replaced with four 12-volt gel cells of 10AH capacity. How did he stuff all four into there? Easy, cells with a different shape but same capacity. In this case, cells that could sit upright within the battery tray, allowing for two cells side by side, in two rows. They were just a hair taller, and weíll discuss how Roy took care of that problem in a moment. Again, these batteries are wired in series, producing a total voltage of 48 volts to the controller. 

 Speaking of controllers, the stock E-36 controller is not about to handle 48-volts of eyeball popping power, and so he replaced that controller with a new one from EV Parts. A Model G130-012-002 controller was attached to the bottom of the deck just under the rear luggage rack. This large controller can handle up to 48-volts at 275 amps continuous draw. Something with this kind of capacity is going to be larger, and this is the reason it was mounted outside of the battery tray. Thankfully, this controller is fully sealed against the elements and we donít have to worry about an occasional water hole. 

 Obviously, the stock battery charger isnít going to touch this massive battery pack, so Roy used a new Soneil Charger, model 4808SRF, rated at 48-volts, 3amps output. The Soneil is an automatic type peak charger, meaning you can simply plug it in and leave it...for a while. (We do not recommend leaving any charger plugged-in and charging indefinitely.) Roy also changed the charging plug of both the charger and scooter to an Anderson connector. The plug cannot be hooked-up backwards, and can handle far more amps than either the battery or the charger can produce. Being that we could not find a really nice location for the massive plug, we simply attached the plug to the rear end of the frame. This trick set-up charges this Bad-Mota-Scoota (tm). in 90 minutes!

 We didnít think that a change to the sprocket or spur gear was necessary to motivate the now hopped up E-36. One of the things you donít want to do with increasing the voltage input is to overload the motor by gearing the motor too high. In the case of an electric motor, itís better to start with a motor that revs and doesnít work hard than to gear it too high and find your motor is toasted in short order. The final thing we had to do to the scooter was to raise the deck just a bit. With the new batteries under the deck, we found the deck was in direct contact with the tops of the batteries. We solved this by replacing the stock deck screws with longer ones and using metal tube spacers under the deck to raise it up by a mere Ĺ inch. We actually had a slight space between the deck and the tops of the batteries, which was filled by a layer of foam rubber for insulation and cushioning. 

 A new Magura twist grip throttle assembly was installed to replace the stock twist grip, and we also replaced both handgrips with Magura grips. All of this modification did not come without some penalty, and in the case of our scoot, the final weight of the modified E-36 came out to 89 pounds. This is an increase of 21 pounds, mostly due to the additional battery and replacement controller. So, was it worth it? Letís find out. 

 We put the new ďE-48Ē through our standard ESM test track, and we were astounded by the results. First off, donít crack the throttle wide open all at once, or the front-end will pick-up without even trying. You find you really have to lean forward just to counter the incredible acceleration! Going through the speed traps, the E-48 hit 25-MPH on the open straight. This was confirmed by our GPS meter reading. In every category, the E-48 improved dramatically over the stock E-36, especially in the hill-climbing test of a 5% grade run. The Great White barely even notices the climb. The only place that changed for the worse was the braking department, where now you have to use more roadway than ever to stop the Great White. With a total weight of 224 pounds traveling at 25 MPH, the single band brake on the rear isnít going to last longÖand it didnít! This is one of the only scooters we have tested that really must have front and rear brakesÖfor survival! 

 As for range, well, I can only say that when you have this much speed and only 10 AH batteries, youíre not going to travel too far. But, youíll get there fast! In our case, 8 miles is about the max we could get, and we got there really fast! Itís almost too much laughter to handle when you find you can not only stay with the traffic, but also pass it up in some cases. 

 There you have it, a true 25 MPH electric scooter. Most all of the components used in this mod article were found at EV Parts of Lynnwood, WA. All we can tell you if you decide to try this is make sure you are mechanically and electronically skilled to handle the job. Once completed, make sure you can handle the power and speed, Ďcause youíre going to get a real handful with this Shark!

 


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