I strongly advise the use of a Analogue Copper Coil Smart Charger. Over charging is better than undercharging. The charger will charge the batteries to full then switch to float mode. Quality chargers will then flash high voltage at the plates and clean off the sulphate. This idea more than any other greatly increases battery life. Connect the charger to the scooter the whole time you are not using it is te best advice.

How Far will my Scooter Go

This is a FAQ with many people. The answer is not simple.

Theoretical Range
. Add up the amp hour capacity of the batteries and multiply by .6. Then divide by the current amperage draw of the scooter when traveling. Say as an example A scooter has batteries with a 56ah capacity x .6 equals 33.6ah available. Say the scooter at 10kph uses 8 amps per hour it will travel 4.2 hours or 42 klms. The theoretical range can be significantly influenced by many factors. The user should consider these factors when determining the possible range of the scooter.

All manufacturers post a figure that is achievable under ideal test conditions. The actual range could be less than half the cited figure in some situations. If a manufacturer gives a suggested range than this is probably far more realistic for most people in most situations. Outragious claims of incredible distances by some manufacturers have in the main been proven to unreliable and misleading at best.

The main reasons of reduced range.

Scooter Technology.
This is the number one issue affecting battery range and more importantly life. Scooters using older technology require huge batteries or suffer badly from short battery range and life. Newer technologies perform much better long term. Rare earth motors, modern drive trains, lighter scooters all count. Its a bit like cars in the 70's. To make more power the yanks put in bigger V8's and the Europeans went for higher technology. Higher technology always wins. As it is in scooters today.

Battery condition.
When the battery is new it will have maximum capacity. Even though the battery remains in a serviceable condition for many years from the very first use its usable capacity will diminish. The current draw of the scooter and the amount the battery is used are the main factors in this process. In other words over time the battery just simply wears out. The higher the technology of the scooter the better this is over time. The further the batteries have been driven the less the usable range of these batteries will be. Batteries that have sat for long periods of times will also suffer from degredation. The better the quality the battery used the longer this process will take.

Ambient temperature.
In cold weather the battery capacity will be greatly reduced.

Scooter condition:
Motor condition, tyres, bearings and wheel alignment will all influence the amount of amps needed to propel the scooter. Tyre pressures are important.

Most tests are undertaken with a user weight of 60kg. The greater the weight the more power the scooter will use.
The obvious contradiction here is fitting bigger batteries to increase the range will also increase the weight of the scooter.

Terrain: Soft surfaces, hills, slopes, bumps, crossings, gravel etc all have a significant influence on the power used. As much as 50% of the capacity could be used in propelling the scooter across grass or up inclines. Higher technologies in suspension geometry, scooter weight, and drive trains as much as anything help to lessen this effect.

Slower speeds can use less amps to propel the scooter, particularly in scooters with older technology transaxles. A 2 step gearset (5 teeth to 112 teeth, most scooters) is very inefficient as the load and speed increases. The newer 3 step gearsets are much better under load and at speed.

The signs of flat batteries are obvious. The scooter will slow and then may even shudder through the motor. Most scooters will have inbuilt low voltage protection. This will cut power to the motor when the battery voltage drops below a preset value. This protects the motor and controller from excess amperage and is desirable. When this occurs there is still usable power left in the batteries. Let the scooter stand for 1 hour and the batteries will recover. Depending on the scooter and the condition of the batteries, the batteries will recover enough to propel most scooters another 2 klm to 5 klm.

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