How To Make An Electric Scooter Faster
Let’s face it, most of us who buy an electric scooter secretly love the thrill of speed. But, we quickly become complacent with how fast our scooters are and we start to think – how can we get more speed from our scooter?
The question is – CAN we get anymore from our electric scooters? The subject of getting your scooter to go faster is likely to be met with “can” your scooter go faster – and, that will depend on the make and model of what you already have.
I write this simply because, some scooters are easy to hack to get them to unlock that extra bit of speed, whereas some scooters simply cannot be made to go faster.
Making your scooter go quicker can be done in a number of ways, some of them quick, easy and achievable by anyone (without technical knowhow) and some that may require an element of “geek” or expertise in electronics when it comes to batteries and controllers. In this short punchy article, we look at some nifty ways you can get more speed and power from your scooter.
Can your scooter be made to go faster?
The question is important – if your scooter simply isn’t capable then your options will be majorly limited to things such as shedding weight and increasing tyre pressure.
So how can you find out whether or not your scooter is “hackable” ?
Well, firstly some things you can check
Speed Hack Capable
You can access the controllers
The controllers are removable
The battery pack is accessible
Motors are hub-based
Wheels are pneumatic
Less Speed Hackable
Chain driven / single motor
Motor is brushed
No control panel / firmware accessibility
Inaccessible battery pack
SLA (sealed lead acid batteries)
Most scooters can be made to go faster, but, how many speed hacks are available really depend on whether or not you can access the scooters controllers / firmware and whether or not there is the ability to change controllers or put in another battery.
Some scooter enthusiasts have even been able to swap out hub motors but you’ll really need a good level of know-how to find motors that fit and have the right power rating for the battery and controller.
Electric Scooter Speed Hack 1 – Remove speed limiting cable/firmware
Surprisingly, more than 40% of scooters sold globally in 2020 into 2021 were limited with a speed limiter. This is done so that scooters can be sold in certain geographic regions legally.
For example, the maximum speed a scooter can travel in France is 15.5mph, this is the same speed permitted by escooters in the United Kingdom under the rental scheme.
Various countries have different speed limits – it is this reason that scooter manufacturers often ship their models with limiters on them.
There are 2 types of speed limiter on any electric scooter (made to regulation) and these are:
HARD WIRED SPEED LIMITER
This is usually a wire that bridges a connection between the throttle and controller limiting the controllers power output to the motors. Various scooter models will have different implementations – but, most manufacturers make it relatively easy to remove the wire (via a clip or plug) that, when unplugged, will remove all power limitations from the controller.
You should check to see whether your scooter has a hard wire speed limiter, if it does you can remove it to unlock extra power / speed.
FIRMWARE SPEED LIMITER
The firmware speed limiter will usually be implemented at a control panel level, but, some scooters also have firmware limiting in the controller. This can get a little more complex.
Firmware speed limiters use the control panel / LCD panel / controllers software to limit power output.
On some scooters with common LCD control panels you’ll be able to access speed and power output settings through “P SETTINGS”, on other LCD panels such as the one that ships with the Xiaomi M365 you’ll have to connect over the APP interface (bluetooth) to push a rom flash that directly updates the scooters firmware.
Many electric scooters have speed limiting on them making them legal for sale – different countries have different rules and regulations around speed.
Removing your electric scooters speed limiting wire or firmware/software will allow you to unlock full motor/controller potential. MOST electric scooters below £500-£1000 (ones that use very basic LCD panels) are more likely to be unlockable via software flashing over bluetooth apps.
Larger / more powerful scooters that use the generic colour LCD displays (pictured above) typically limit power using P Settings
One of the most popular LCD Displays is the LT01 / QS-S4 LCD Throttle which has a plethora of built-in settings.
The most common P Settings associated with power limiting are P8 (Motor Power) and P12 (Acceleration Speed).
Upgrade Your Scooters Speed Controllers
This is probably out of bounds for most scooter riders – especially as it can be complex finding an aftermarket controller for your scooter. On top of that, some scooter controllers will also require the battery to be uprated.
However, uprated controllers are another way to increase your electric scooters top speed and acceleration.
Sometimes referred to as an “ESC” or electronic speed controller – they are responsible for power management as well as power distribution to your scooters motor/s.
The controller works on a basic I/O system, the throttle will command how much power is required, the controller will send more power to each motor – controlled by your throttle.
Smarter speed controllers will include things such as “bursts” which allow for a higher AMP output to improve acceleration and overall power output.
Aside from your scooters motors, your speed controller can also be a limiting factor. If you have a scooter with a small / low amp / weak current controller, the power output to the motors will often be less than the motor is capable of taking.
Not for the non-technical users, scooter controller replacement can be a really effective way of making your scooter quicker, but its often quite complex
To unlock MORE speed from your scooter, you may be able to swap out your controller for an aftermarket controller (or a custom controller).
Googling your make of scooter custom controller / uprated controller might yield options for you to buy a controller off the shelf with an easy install. Buying a custom controller will often allow you to unlock more speed and power settings without having to upgrade the battery.
However – using a custom controller is likely to invalidate your scooter warranty and may not be good for the battery.
If the controller draws MORE current than the battery can support, it could damage the battery.
We only recommend those experienced with scooter technology battery technology to look at this method to gain speed.
Change your Scooters Battery Running Voltage
Just changing your scooters battery alone won’t be enough to get that extra MPH / KMH you are looking for, why? because you CANNOT change a scooters battery for a higher voltage battery directly – so a like for like VOLTAGE battery is unlikely to make much difference.
Of course, the exception is only there if your current e scooter battery is worn out, in which case the battery will suffer so much “sag” that the controllers won’t have enough power to feed the motors what they’re capable of – thus resulting in a diminished top speed.
BUT, changing your scooter battery for a higher voltage battery changing the controller to one that supports the elevated voltage rating is a very effective way of increasing your scooters top speed.
Battery / System voltage is one of the biggest factors in dictating top speed, a 72v scooter will be able to go much faster than say a 48v or 36v scooter. The more voltage, the faster the current can travel, ultimately allowing the hub motors to spin faster – giving you, you guessed it, a much higher top speed.
Changing the battery and controller again – can be a bit more complex, as your scooters deck needs enough room for both controller and battery – a higher voltage battery will usually be of larger capacity (WH/AH) – so, you’ll need to make sure your deck dimensions can support a bigger battery and controller.
Also be mindful of the limits of your scooters motor/s. Most scooter motors are capable of being over-volted to a degree, however, some motors will require upgraded windings to support a higher voltage.
DUALTRON THUNDER 2
Everyone knows about the Dualtron Thunder, the absolute best-seller of high end / high-performance electric scooters for the last couple of years.
Dualtron decided to give a new life to this legend by imagining a new re-masterized, much more powerful, version the Thunder, the Dualtron Thunder 2.
The Dualtron Thunder 2 has everything that made the success of the Thunder but, in addition to that, everything it lacked and made it “unperfect”.
over, the Dualtron Thunder 2 is even more powerful with an insane mesured 10080W of peak motors power, supplied by an enormous 72V40Ah LG cells battery !
Profile of riders for the Thunder 2 : power riders in search of a high-quality / high performance / high range electric scooters primarily designed for the road but with off-road capabilities.
Dualtron Thunder 2, Performance
The Dualtron Thunder 2 is, to date, one of the most powerful e-scooters on the market period (2021-2022).
The Thunder 2 is equipped with two motors on the front and the rear capable of delivering 5040W of max output power each, for a total of 10080W.
The two highly performant motors of the Thunder 2 are powered by a 72V40Ah (84V max) battery composed of LG 21700 cells, amongst the best and highest quality cells on the market.
With normal driving conditions (medium speed, 65 kg user, warm temperatures), we expect the e-scooter to be able to achieve a range of 150 km, more with “calm” driving.
The lifespan of the LG 21700 cells is evaluated to up to four years. Please make sure to keep your scooter in a dry environment to avoid air humidity negative influence on the battery.
Dualtron Thunder 2. Security
- Hydraulic disc brake system on the front and the rear (NUTT).
- 160 mm braking disks.
- The physical braking system is paired with our patented highly performant magnetic/electric braking.
- Ultra wide 11 inches tubeless tires (CST) for a better adherence.
- Turning orange lights with commands on the centralized multiswitch.
- Stop lights.
- Tail LED red light (rear) for adequate visibility of the driver during the night.
- Folding double lock for better stability of the handle bar steering tube.
- Very powerful honk.
- 4 front led lights for adequate visibility of the rider during night rides.
Dualtron Thunder 2, Characteristics
The Thunder 2 has many exciting features designed to make the rider’s experience as smooth as possible.
A high range electric scooter like the Dualtron Thunder 2 needs adequate charging capacities. We equipped the beast with two charging ports capable of plugging to two parallel fast chargers.
over, it is possible to plug an external battery to the scooter for even higher ranges (the third “isolated” port with 4 pins).
A powerful electric scooter is hard to drive because the acceleration push can throw the rider’s body behind. We equipped the Thunder 2 with a perfectly designed foot rest that also serves as high-visibility/stop tail light.
The Thunder 2 is entirely foldable, including the handlebar for easier storage of the scooter. This model easily fits in most cars trunks once folded.
Silence S01 62 mph electric scooter with 5 kWh removable battery begins sales
Barcelona-based Silence electric scooters have been popular with delivery companies and municipal services for years. Now, the company is building on their success with commercial customers by expanding to consumer sales.
Their new model, the S01 electric scooter, is now taking pre-orders. And this is one electric scooter that you don’t want to miss.
S01 electric scooter targeting consumers
Silence scooters have been riding high on impressive sales stats. As of last fall, Silence S02 scooters (their commercial version) accounted for 62% of all-electric scooter registrations in Spain. The company finished out the year by tripling their profits thanks to increased adoption by a number of scooter sharing programs and commercial customers.
With the success of their B2B operations booming, Silence set its sights on consumer sales with their new S01 electric scooter.
The S01 has a 6 kW continuous, 11 kW peak rear hub motor mounted in an eye-catching single-sided swingarm. That motor provides a top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph) and a maximum range of 115 km (71 Mi). That impressive range is achievable thanks to Silence’s innovative 5 kWh removable battery pack. on that in a moment.
The scooter has performance in the 125-250cc scooter range, with a 0-50 km/h (0-28 mph) acceleration of 3.8 seconds.
A front hydraulic telescopic fork and rear side-mounted hydraulic mono shock suspension smooth out rough roads. Hydraulic disc brakes come standard, including a combined braking system for safety.
The scooter is designed for comfort with an extra-large seat to fit two riders without crowding. That large seat also conceals a cargo area roomy enough to store two helmets. The seat can even be opened remotely via the connected smartphone app.
The smartphone app can also be used to remotely unlock and turn on the scooter. The app can display historical and current riding data, monitor battery charge remotely and provide GPS tracking of the scooter.
But of all the interesting features found in the Silence S01 electric scooter, the battery takes the top prize.
Silence’s innovative removable trolley batteries
Removable batteries are nearly a necessity in electric scooters owned by city residents. They allow riders to park on the street yet still charge conveniently indoors.
The problem is that it becomes difficult to increase range (and thus battery size/weight) while still keeping the battery manageable. My City Slicker electric motorcycle has a 2.1 kWh battery which weighs 35 lbs (16 kg) and that’s about the limit for what I want to carry around. I certainly wouldn’t expect my wife to lug a battery that big up to our apartment.
That leaves 2 kWh as the approximate limit for removable batteries.
So how did Silence manage a 5 kWh removable battery? By adding an innovative wheeled trolley system, essentially.
The batteries are slid out the side of the scooter, which causes the wheels in the battery to automatically drop down. Think “hospital gurney” as it’s pulled out of an ambulance.
Then the user extends the telescoping handle and simply wheels the battery around behind them like a piece of carry-on luggage. The 30 kg (66 lb) battery is not light by any means, but with wheels and a low center of gravity, rolling it around is nearly effortless. I had the chance to play with one of their batteries last November at the 2018 EICMA Milan Motorcycle Show, where I was surprised by how easy it was to manage the battery.
Watch the short clip below to see the battery removal in action. It’s really a thing of beauty.
Once you get the battery inside, you don’t have to worry about pulling out a charger. It has a built-in charger. You simply reel out the cord from the battery and plug it in to any outlet.
The battery also has a built-in inverter that provides 12 VDC, 24 VDC and 220 VAC output to allow riders to power devices directly from the battery. At a picnic and want to power a speaker? Need to run your Burning Man light show? Stuck without power or a generator after a storm? Here you go!
The battery also features a built-in 55W heater that works in conjunction with the charger to warm the battery before charging when temperatures dip too low. That can prevent damage to the battery, as charging Li-ion batteries below freezing temperatures can shorten their lifespans.
And as if there wasn’t enough technology already stuffed into these batteries, here’s one more feature. A GPS module is also included in the battery, meaning you could theoretically track down the battery if it was stolen. And since there’s another GPS module in the scooter itself, you could track both independently if they were parted out.
Silence’s batteries have proven to be incredibly durable too. Many of their early scooters in service with delivery companies have surpassed 40,000 km. That constant commercial use has acted as an intense real-world proving ground for the batteries. Tests on the batteries have shown that the packs retain at least 97% of their original capacity after such long distance use.
Silence S01 begins pre-sales
The first run of S01 electric scooters are now available for pre-order. This batch of 500 electric scooters is limited to Spanish customers for now, though the company is expanding sales to the rest of Europe later this year.
The S01 is available for pre-order with a €600 (675) reservation. The complete retail price of the S01 in Spain will be €5,995 (6,770) including VAT. In the rest of Europe, the price will be slightly higher at €6,600 (7,400) including VAT.
That is fairly high compared to other electric scooters, and places the Silence S01 in a similar price range to the Vespa Elettrica. However, the S01 is also much faster than most other scooters, with a top speed twice as fast as the Vespa elettrica. It also has a longer range, a larger battery capacity and more seating room/cargo space than the Vespa. Plus it has removable batteries. So while the S01 isn’t cheap, it’s a lot more vehicle than most other electric scooters as well.
As more electric scooters enter the market in both Europe and the US, competition will only be a good thing for consumers. So be on the look out for these scooters and more on your city streets soon.
What do you think of the upcoming Silence S01 electric scooter and its innovative batteries? Let us know in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев below.
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The Art and Science of Building a Faster Electric Scooter—That Won’t Kill You
Electric scooters can be big fun if you know how to mod them safely and properly.
Electric scooters can be a convenient and low-stakes way to get around. Out of the box, most are fairly slow and tepid in performance. They’re usually built to be safe and simple transport, not for hooning and tomfoolery. However, there’s nothing stopping you from building a performance electric scooter; often it takes just a few simple mods to go from mild to wild.
I’ve been building and modding electric scooters for over a decade, melting wheels and burning out motors along the way. Today, I’ll teach you the basic anatomy of the modern electric scooter, and how you can make them faster—much faster. Then you can shoot epic montages while blasting around at high speed. It’s amazing fun.
But before we get to tinkering, heed this warning: Scooters come from the factory rated at certain speeds for safety reasons, and increasing a scooter’s power also increases the risk of danger and injury, both while building and riding it, so be extremely mindful of that. You are working with batteries and electricity, after all. Always wear the appropriate safety gear, abide by local road laws, and be mindful of others’ well-being.
Read that paragraph again. Internalize it. Got it? Good.
Basics of Electric Scooter Drivetrains
Before we get to pulling anything apart, it’s good to know what, exactly, drives an electric scooter.
At their heart, electric scooter drivetrains are very simple and consist of four major components. There’s a motor to drive the wheel and a battery that supplies power. There’s also an electronic speed controller (ESC) which varies the flow of power from the battery to the motor to control its speed, and some kind of throttle to send commands to the speed controller.
The speed controller is the thing that gives you throttle control over the scooter. The more power it allows to flow to the motor, the faster you go.
Speed controllers typically look something like this, but come in several shapes and sizes. The heatsink makes up part of the exterior housing in this case and helps keep the transistors inside cool. YouTube/What Up TK Here
Some scooters get fancier about things, of course. Some will have a proprietary speed controller, which also drives a dashboard display, showing information about battery levels and speed. Others will have a special dual-speed controller capable of driving two motors, one front, and one rear. Most scooters make do with just driving one or the other, though. Cheap hub motor models may just drive the front wheel, while higher-end scooters tend towards driving the rear wheel or both.
The motors themselves can come in several forms, too. Old-school brushed DC motors aren’t commonly seen outside of toy-brand scooters like those from Razor. Brushless motors are far more popular these days for their greater efficiency, though they require fancier speed controllers to drive them. Hub motors, which fit entirely into the wheel itself, are a popular form of brushless motor. These are typically used in modern electric scooters, as they make it easy for manufacturers to build two-wheel-drive models.
Brushed motors, like this large unit seen here, are old technology now. Brushless motors pack more power into a smaller package and are a more typical choice for performance builds these days. YouTube/What Up TK Here
As for batteries, the vast majority of scooters rely on lithium-ion cells similar to those used in modern electric cars. Other battery technologies exist, but most of them are heavier and store less energy, which makes for an incredibly slow, heavy scooter that can’t drive very far. If you’ve got a scooter that runs heavy lead-acid batteries, often a lithium-ion battery upgrade is a great mod to make.
Most scooters ship with pretty weedy power in stock form. Many countries limit electric scooters and other similar ride-on vehicles to a maximum power output of just 200 watts, which equates to a minuscule 0.26 horsepower. This is normally good for 15 mph at a maximum. Scooters for kids often have even less power.
Lithium batteries are the key to building a high-performance scooter. I’ve used packs for RC planes in the past, but these days, e-bike packs are readily available online. YouTube/What Up TK Here
You can build or modify a scooter to have way more power than that pretty easily. However, just beware: It’s often illegal to ride more powerful scooters on public thoroughfares in many jurisdictions—for the safety of both riders and everyone else. Keep that in mind before you go crazy building some high-powered monster.
Going Faster With What You’ve Got
So, now that you understand the basic elements of a scooter, you want to know how to make yours faster.
The most straightforward method is to work with what you’ve got in order to eke out as much performance from the stock components as possible. There are a few ways to go about this, and it’s typically the cheapest way to get more performance.
A few points of caution, however: There’s also a lower ceiling for what you can achieve if you do choose this path. You also run the risk of blowing up what you have. It’s not dissimilar to the car world. Yes, you can chuck a dinner plate-sized turbo on your mum’s Chevy Sonic, but you’ll blow the head off well before you get to 1,000 HP at the front wheels.
Additionally, some scooters come with speed restrictions baked in from the factory. These can often be lifted or removed with a firmware upgrade. Though, flashing your scooter with a different firmware risks bricking the device, making the scooter not work at all anymore. (Also, speed gains from firmware flashes are typically pretty minor. Manufacturers don’t leave a whole lot of performance gains on the table from stock.)
Upping the Current
But, depending on your scooter, getting a little more pep can be as easy as messing with the in-built current limit. Without getting into the physics behind it all, more current means more power, so that limit on current is what’s limiting your fun.
Typically, the ESC contains what’s called a “current shunt.” It’s a fat piece of wire of a known resistance, and all the current going to the motor travels through it. The ESC uses this to measure the amount of current going to the motor and will cut power to the motor over a given limit to protect it and the battery from damage.
If you’re a rebel, though, you don’t give a damn about no damage! You can trick the scooter by adding metal onto the current shunt, which reduces its resistance. This is typically done by soldering an additional wire in parallel with the current shunt, thus fattening it up. This reduces the resistance and messes with the calibration. It makes the ESC think less current is flowing so it doesn’t trigger a limit condition.
This mod can give you more acceleration and sometimes more top speed. Just note you risk setting your ESC, batteries, or motor on fire if they can’t handle it.
On a speed controller, a current shunt looks like this—the fat wire link indicated by the end of the screwdriver (first image). Soldering additional wire onto the current shunt reduces its resistance, which fools the speed controller into thinking less current is flowing. This can circumvent current limits and get you more power, but it also risks blowing up your ESC. YouTube/What Up TK Here
How do you know if your parts can handle it? Well, much like engine tuners working on a car, you try it and see. Eventually, you’ll push it so hard that it breaks, and you’ll get a better idea of just what those stock parts can do before popping.
Do it outside and away from people and things in case it all catches fire, and be careful when you’re riding, too. Brushed speed controllers that fail can short circuit, supplying full battery power to the motor and sending you hurtling down the road at maximum speed. Alternatively, brushless controllers can make a motor stop dead or jerk suddenly when they fail, hurling you into a bush, a car, or an unlucky pedestrian.
I got about four miles out of this stock Razor E300 motor when I pushed it too hard. It burnt up pretty bad. YouTube/What Up TK Here
As I said above, it’s a dangerous business. Building a modified scooter comes with risks, so you need to be careful. Wear protective gear and only ride where it’s safe. Plus, if you’re new to tinkering with electricity, do your research and get advice from someone that knows what’s safe.
The ‘Overvolt’ Mod
Going further, you can do an “overvolt” mod. Running more voltage through a motor gives more top speed and tends to boost acceleration across the board, too. This is typically achieved by replacing the scooter’s battery with one of a higher voltage. Or, in the quickest, dirtiest version, simply running a second battery in series with the first to double the voltage.
The gains from overvolting aren’t linear, but they can be darn close. You can easily boost your scooter’s top speed by 50 percent or more with this hack, but it comes at a price. The components in your scooter’s ESC are only rated to deal with so much voltage, and can easily fail when overvolted. The more you increase the voltage over stock, the more likely this can happen, and the quicker it’s likely to occur. The motor itself can also fail thanks to the excess heat melting insulation off the windings inside.
I’ve used Ryobi’s power tool batteries to do overvolt mods before. However, it typically pays to use a proper pack designed for e-bike or scooter use. It’s just easier to wire up. YouTube/What Up TK Here
Either way, overvoltage failures typically lead to smoke and/or flames. You also risk the motor accelerating unexpectedly or suddenly stopping while you’re on the scooter, causing potential injuries. In fact, many scooters have fault protection in their ESCs that will shut them down if an overvoltage condition is detected. Canny tinkerers can work around these, but doing so can be tricky, and typically the parts aren’t rated to operate beyond such limits anyway.
That doesn’t mean you have to stop your hunt for more performance, though. Indeed, you’re just beginning!
I toasted a motor by overvolting it. It stank like hell and burned my lil’ fingies. YouTube/What Up TK Here
Total Drivetrain Swaps
If you want to go really fast in an old Miata, you’re often better off dumping the stock economy-car engine for something with real performance. It’s the same with electric scooters. If you want big performance, don’t bother trying to mod the gear you already have. Rip out the existing ESC and batteries and replace them with more powerful gear. You’ll probably want to replace the motor, too—a new high-power battery and ESC will likely deliver so much power that your motor will simply melt into an anchor in a matter of minutes. That smells really bad (ask me how I know), so chuck it out as well.
Let’s say you’ve got a scooter with a 250-watt motor running off a 36-volt battery. You can rip all that out and buy yourself a higher-voltage battery, a higher-power motor, and an ESC to suit. They’re readily available on sites like eBay or Aliexpress. Typically, a roadgoing scooter would be plenty thrilling with a 48-volt battery and a 500- to 1,500-watt motor. However, 60-volt and 84-volt builds with motors in the 5,000-plus-watt range aren’t uncommon, particularly in larger off-road scooters with more space for batteries.
The challenge then is to fit all these new components in or on your scooter. Thankfully, wheels with higher-power hub motors are readily available, so the hardest part is often finding somewhere to stash a bigger, more powerful battery. Generally, an upgraded speed controller is small enough to lash onto the frame somewhere if you can’t install it internally. You’ll probably find you need a new throttle, too, to interface with your replacement ESC.
However, if you’re working with a scooter with a chain drive or belt drive, you might have to get more creative. This often involves building your own mounts to fit a larger, more powerful motor. Chain drives offer some flexibility in gearing that can be useful, too. You can gear the scooter down for better hillclimbing performance, or go the other way to get a higher top speed.