Nickel Zinc on the Oxygen Cargo Scooter

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badnewswade
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Nickel Zinc on the Oxygen Cargo Scooter

Postby badnewswade » Sun Jul 13, 2008 12:52 pm

I see that someone is selling an Oxygen Cargo Scooter in the latest Plugged In. I've looked up the battery type and apparently Nickel Zincs can last forever. Does anyone have any info on these? Perhaps the seller is around? (tips on the Oxygen gratefully recieved too)
34 Watt Hours per mile, or > 700 MPG. What, me, smug?

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ChrisB
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Postby ChrisB » Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:14 pm

TerryH has one and I can tell you the batteries dont last for ever :cry:

And finding replacements seem to be an impossible task from what I've heard.

Otherwise the scooters pretty good, TerryH is the chap that was going to do the end to end run 8)

ChrisB
I reject reality and substitute my own !!!!!!

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badnewswade
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Postby badnewswade » Sun Jul 13, 2008 10:19 pm

What about doing a replacement with a different chemistry, or would that be ill-advised? What's the deal with nickel-zinc anyway - are they a wet battery or dry? Do they blow up when they go wrong or are they fairly peacable?
34 Watt Hours per mile, or > 700 MPG. What, me, smug?

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ChrisB
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Postby ChrisB » Sun Jul 13, 2008 10:27 pm

Dont know the full details on these, they "look" like normal 12v type sealed units, from the ones I saw on Terrys scooter, think they just slowly die in capacity :cry:

Replacing with different ones is possible but I know Terrys having trouble with the charger as there voltages on charge are higher than Pb's from memory.

If you want more info from Terry I can PM you his number or you could try PM'ing him here , user name is ...Terry :wink:

ChrisB
I reject reality and substitute my own !!!!!!

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MalcolmW
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Postby MalcolmW » Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:14 pm

This is interesting, as I've just bought an Oxygen Cargo and realise from what the vendor said that I need to treat the nickel zinc batteries to several charge/discharge cycles to get a decent range. I assume he hadn't done that recently. The gauge showed 98% when I picked it up on Wednesday (I brought it the 50 miles home in a van); today was the first time I had it out, and it went less than a mile before cutting out. Fortunately I managed to persuade it to go the final few hundred yards by switching off, switching on, etc. Also fortunately, I was able to recharge it straight away, and it then got me home with no trouble, showing 93% charge when I arrived. I see I'm going to have to keep a close eye on the gauge, which unfortunately doesn't show up very well as it's part of an LCD display which you can hardly see in bright sunshine. The batteries must discharge quickly when the bike's not being used.

Anyway, this is my first post here, so hello folks, and I hope I'm not barging in to what seems to me a very appropriate topic. Does anyone know how many Cargos there are in the UK?

Malcolm

funontwowheels
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NiZN Batteries in Oxygen mopeds

Postby funontwowheels » Thu Jul 17, 2008 5:06 pm

Hi there

I've owned and used a number of Oxygen Electric Mopeds over the past 6 years or so, including the Lepton and Cargo, both of which are fitted with Evercell NiZN batteries ( Evercell went bust a few years ago so you won't get replacement batteries from them ). I have experienced a similar deterioration in range, especially if they are not used very often, sometimes I keep my Cargo on charge for ages but still the range is problematic ... I think the batteries may just deteriorate with age to the point where they are virually unable to hold a charge. Using Lead Acid batteries would need a different charger as the built-in charger was specific to the NiZN batteries. The charging profile would not be suitable for lead acid batteries.

I have some information on possible replacement batteries, etc. if anyone is interested.

George at the Electric Horse Project

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MalcolmW
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Postby MalcolmW » Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:58 pm

I've now done about 60 miles this week, and the range is definitely getting a bit better, so let's hope this will continue.

If the batteries do give out, then of course I'll have to look at other options. I'll have to have the cover off and look at them, and perhaps do a voltage test to see if they're all the same.

However, Evercel still have premises in the USA, and this is an extract from a company statement last month:

2-Our investment in Oxygen (Italian electric scooter manufacturer) is not performing well. Sales in 2007 were low and losses were large. Recently there were major management changes and a new investor is in control. The investor appears willing and able to provide both the capital and guidance that the company needs. The opportunity is very large and there is increasing momentum for the use of electric vehicles.

I also found this:

HINGHAM, Mass., June 29, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Evercel Inc. (Pink Sheets:EVRC) has granted an exclusive, worldwide license for its rechargeable nickel-zinc battery technology to CM Partner of Kyungkido, Korea. Under the terms of the 20-year license agreement, CM Partner will conduct all development, manufacturing, marketing and sales of Evercel batteries, for all potential applications and in all geographies.

funontwowheels
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Postby funontwowheels » Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:32 pm

Hi again,


Glad to hear your batteries are improving I've also found that with a bit of determined 'cycling of the batteries' range does improve, however if you don't use the moped for a few weeks you have to start the process all over again.

Regards Evercel if you check their website at:

www.evercel.com

You will see that they are no longer in business.


George

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MalcolmW
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Postby MalcolmW » Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:22 pm

Hello George,

I'm not disputing with you about Evercel - you should know! I'd noticed the website was no more. It just seems strange that there is a financial statement, quite detailed at that, sent out only last month. I wonder whether the Korean people are continuing manufacture of the batteries.

Malcolm

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MalcolmW
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Postby MalcolmW » Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:31 am

Terry came to see the bike on Tuesday, and cooed and tutted over it! :wink:

We got the multimeter out, and established, as strongly suspected by all, that the batteries were not in their first flush of youth. The voltage is down slightly and they lose charge quickly.

I've noticed the following pattern:

I ride about a mile, and the percent meter drops to around 96. I switch off, go back to the bike a minute later, and the meter reads 87-92. I go a short distance and stop, and it drops to the mid-80s. (I might add that I got this bike specifically for my work, which involves dropping Kleeneze catalogues with customers locally - up to two miles away - and then delivering the goods to them. The massive topbox allows me to carry 60 or more catalogues at a time - about half the total drop. I therefore have to come home to stock up with the second lot, but have to put the bike on charge before I can go out again.)

The general process afterwards is this: it goes down to a level 10-20 below the last and stays around there for a few stops, then repeats the process. Last night it dropped from 17 to 3, so I rode the mile home in gentle mode! I normally use it in Sprint mode so as to keep up with the traffic and show pedestrians that this is no electric bicycle...

With this use, I therefore get probably 5-7 miles to a full charge, which is very low. I get this only if I've just taken the thing off charge, as the meter drops rapidly. It can read as low as 60 after only three hours with no use. I can see that with the current state of battery technology these vehicles will never become a viable option for most users, as if you have to replace expensive batteries every couple of years it shows no, or comparatively little, overall saving over a petrol vehicle.

I will get shot down in flames here for admitting that my main reason for going electric is not because I have an overpowering urge to reduce emissions but because it makes economic and practical sense. I suspect that is the feeling of most of the population. It's the 'what's in it for me' culture, hence the financial incentives (no congestion charge, free tax, etc.) to try to persuade people that the initial high cost of the vehicles is worthwhile.

Malcolm


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