How to Make Your Electric Scooter Faster?
Electric scooters are fun to ride, but deep down we all wish our scooters would go a bit faster. No one has ever said that riding slower is more running while riding just about everything. How can you make an electric scooter go faster and be more fun? There are a few things you can do to make your electric scooter go faster. Let’s explore how to give our electric scooters a bit more go juice and amp up the fun.
How to make an electric scooter faster
Our electric scooters are powered by electric motors. There are some basic physics at work with the motor that determines how fast your electric scooter can go. This also affects what we can do to make a scooter go faster. Some electric scooters have speed limiters programmed in. Some of them can be turned off to simply make your scooter go faster.
A word of warning. Most things you can do to increase the speed of an electric scooter will probably void the warranty. You can also increase the power beyond what the scooter was designed for. This can cause the electronics to burn out, you to go too fast for the brakes, etc….
1. Remove the speed limiter
Some electric scooters have a wired speed limiter that can be deactivated. To disable the speed limiter, you must disconnect this cable. It is usually one of the cables connected to the cruise control. It can be different on each electric scooter. Different colors, different places, etc.. The video below shows an example of how to disable it on one type of scooter. Search for your particular scooter to see if there is a wired speed limiter for it.
2.Change software settings up and update the firmware
Some electric scooters have a speed limiter programmed into the software or settings. This can be turned off by making a setting in the software. In other cases, the speed limiter can be turned off by loading different software on the scooter.
The following video shows how to change the speed limiter by making a setting in the scooter.
The following video shows an example of how to remove the software speed limiter by uploading a new software version. Every electric scooter is different in terms of speed limiters. Check your scooter’s manual or search for your specific scooter model to see if you can find instructions on how to turn off the speed limiter for that electric scooter.
Basics of the electric motor
Hardwired or software speed limiters were the easy way to get a faster electric scooter. If your scooter doesn’t have a limiter or you still want more speed, there are a few things we can look at. First, let’s take a look at the electric motor that powers your scooter and a few things about it. This will help you understand what is necessary to get a faster electric scooter.
All electric motors have a so-called “Kv value” or motor speed constant. It is given in units of RPM/volt. A motor with a Kv value of 100 RPM/volt will turn at 1200 RPM when run on 12 volts. This motor will burn up trying to reach 1200 RPM if it is loaded too much to reach this target. This motor will not turn faster than 1200 rpm with a 12-volt input. The only way to make it turn faster is to supply more volts. At 14 volts it will turn at 1400 rpm. You can learn more about motor constants here.
Increase motor K-value
To make our electric scooter faster with the same battery or input voltage, we need a motor with a higher kV value. For the same input voltage, we need a higher speed. There are 2 ways to achieve this. A new motor or rewinding the existing motor.
Look for a similar-sized engine that fits your scooter and has a higher k-value. You may be able to find a similar-sized motor on hobby websites, eBay or Amazon. The website hobbyking.com has a huge selection of brushless electric motors.
It can be a little difficult to find the engine constants of many engines for sale. It can be difficult to find out what the Kv value is for the current engine you have. You want something that is rated for a higher RPM than what your scooter currently has. This is deep into DIY territory, so you may need to experiment to get good results.
The second way to get a higher-speed motor is to rewind the existing motor. All motors have coils of wire wound around their armatures. To make a motor turn faster, you need fewer turns around the armature. Fewer windings give the motor a higher Kv value and your scooter will go faster. The downside is that it also consumes more power, generates more heat and has a shorter range. It has less torque when starting up, so you accelerate slower.
The following video shows how to rewind a small brushless motor. This is not an easy or quick task and you can easily mess it up. This is not something for the mechanically inexperienced to attempt.
Upgrade the battery to Increase voltage
The next thing you can do to make your scooter faster is to increase the battery voltage. There are 2 ways to do this. Add more battery cells, or look for higher quality batteries with lower internal resistance and higher voltage under load. Some scooters, such as some from Segway, have an optional extra battery pack that allows you to do this. For everyone else, it’s time for DIY hacking.
Add battery cells
Take your electric scooter battery out and look at it and see if there is room to add more cells to the battery. Is there room inside the scooter for them to fit? How are the current batteries wired? Are they all wired in series? Are there equalization circuits for charging?
To get more output voltage, you need to add more cells. Each cell puts out a certain voltage. For lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries, this is 3.6 volts per cell. For each additional cell, you get 3.6 volts more total voltage.
You must add the same cell type and capacity that are already in the battery pack. You should not mix cell types and capacities in a pack. This can make the charging process dangerous because of the potential for overcharging.
The charger your scooter came with may be designed for a specific battery voltage. It may not work with a higher voltage battery. You may need to find another way to charge your scooter’s batteries after you have done this.
The motor controller in your scooter may also have a voltage limit below which it can operate. Adding more cells may exceed this limit, causing it to burn out or overvoltage or overcurrent shutdown.
Use batteries that have lower internal resistance
Higher quality batteries that are designed for higher current output have a lower internal resistance. Lower internal resistance means they have a higher output voltage under load. All batteries have a voltage sag when operated at high currents. Some have much more sag than others. If you use better batteries, you will get a higher voltage under load because of the lower sag.
Higher capacity batteries can handle higher currents with less sag. If you switch to higher capacity cells of similar quality, you will also get a higher output voltage under load.
Open your scooter and look at the battery pack. Try to find out what type of cells are in the battery pack. Look for labels with serial numbers or other product identification numbers. Then, using Google, try to find the cell and determine its internal resistance and capacity. Then try to find out if there is something better.
If your folding electric scooter does not have motors built into the hubs and has a chain or belt drive, you can change the transmission to go faster. If you change the gear ratio for more speed, you will get less torque. Your trade-off is slower acceleration for more top speed.
The gear attached to the engine is called a sprocket. You want to move more chains or belts with each revolution of the engine. To do this, you need a larger sprocket. electricscooterparts.com has a selection of pinions and sprockets for electric scooters. You can measure the dimensions and teeth of the sprocket and also search for sprockets on hobby websites or industrial accessory websites.
Use the smaller cog on the wheel
The gear that is attached to the wheel is called a sprocket. To go faster, the wheel must turn more for a certain length of belt or chain. To go faster, you need smaller sprockets. This is the same as on a bicycle. You go fastest with the smallest sprocket in the back. Just like on a bicycle, the smallest gear is the hardest to turn when you are going slowly. If you shift into a smaller gear, you get less acceleration but a higher top speed.
The following video shows how to make a sprocket or ring gear yourself.