Some of the modifications to make an electric scooter go faster include: upgrading the motor, increasing the battery voltage, modifying the gearing, removing speed limiters, and increasing the size of the wheels.
Modifying an electric scooter to go faster can also improve its output power and efficiency.
Read on to learn the different ways to make an electric scooter faster.
Factors That Determine an Electric Scooter’s Speed
It’s essential to understand the factors that affect an electric scooter’s speed before starting with the modifications.
- Battery capacity: The higher the battery voltage, the more power it produces, making the scooter faster.
- Motor capacity: A higher-wattage motor produces more power and improves the scooter’s speed.
- Rider’s weight: Check the recommended weight limit before purchasing an electric scooter. The battery and motor work harder for a heavy rider to attain maximum speed.
- Type of terrain: Riding on smooth, flat pavement is easier and faster than riding on rough, off-road terrain.
- Tire pressure: Soft tires impact the scooter’s speed and range and fail to absorb shock over rough terrains.
A motor with a higher k-value (labeled in the unit RPM/volts) is required to increase the speed, considering the same input voltage or battery.
The two ways to do this are to replace the existing motor with a larger, brushless one or rewind the existing one.
Replace the Motor
A similar-sized brushless electric motor, but with a higher k-value, that fits your electric scooter will make it go faster.
This means the motor must be rated for a higher RPM than the current motor’s RPM value. Getting the desired results might take some DIY and trial and error.
Be aware if you add an overpowered motor to your existing rig, the batteries might burn out as soon as you start the scooter. It is important for the motor, controller, and circuitry to be able to support a higher charge and voltage simultaneously.
Here’s a video that shows how you can get a motor replaced:
Rewind the Motor
If your electric scooter’s motor overheats, it would be beneficial to rewind the motor. This is because the wire coils around the motor’s armature get shorter when overheating.
Fewer turns around the armature results in a higher k-value for the motor and faster speeds.
However, this also results in more power consumption, generating more heat and a shorter range. This is best done by a technician or professional to avoid any damages later.
Consider upgrading the battery and controllers for a higher voltage to truly benefit from a motor upgrade.
This video will give you an idea of how to rewind brushless motors:
Increasing the battery voltage increases an electric scooter’s speed. The two ways to do this are to upgrade the existing battery or add additional batteries.
Upgrade the Battery
The commonly used battery in most units is a 24-volt battery.
You can either replace the existing battery with a better version or get a more powerful one (like a 48-volt battery) to push the vehicle to the maximum possible speed.
Higher capacity batteries with lower internal resistance and a higher current output result in higher output voltage.
Look at the battery pack of your scooter and locate any labels with serial numbers or product identification numbers. This will help find the capacity and internal resistance of the cell.
You can find better batteries once you have the required information.
Add Additional Batteries
Check if your scooter has the option to add another battery.
If it does, it’s bound to get a significant speed increase by doing so. Such scooters have motors and controllers built to handle additional power sources without getting damaged.
Also, batteries wear out about 20 – 50% over 1000 charges, reducing capacity over time. It helps to add another battery for additional power.
The typical lithium-polymer or lithium-ion batteries have a 3.6 volts capacity per cell. Every additional cell will add 3.6 volts. Add the same cell type and capacity, similar to what is already in the battery pack.
However, adding extra batteries increases the scooter’s weight and recharge time.
Here’s a helpful video that shows how to install an additional battery.
This technique mainly applies to electric scooters with chain drive rather than the more modern hub-drive scooters.
Changing the gear ratio allows for an increased top speed but with slower acceleration.
Installing different sprockets helps make an electric scooter faster. By putting larger ones on the front and smaller ones on the back, the wheel can turn more for a given length of the chain or belt.
Here’s a video of how you can go about it.
Remove Speed Limiters
The inbuilt speed limits of an electric scooter are achieved either through firmware or hardwired.
The purposes of the speed limits by the manufacturer are:
- To comply with different countries’ laws on speed limits of such vehicles
- To prevent the controller and motor from burning out
- To prevent the rapid loss of battery charge and range reduction
To remove the speed limits, either install custom firmware or physically remove it.
Removing Hard Wired Speed Limiter
A wire connection between the controller and throttle limits the power to the motors. See the below video on how removing or unplugging this wire effectively removes the controller’s power limitations.
Removing Firmware Speed Limiter
Some scooters have speed limits programmed into software or some settings. You’ll have to change the settings or load a different software on the scooter to remove the speed limit.
The firmware speed limiter is usually implemented at a control panel level or in the controller’s software or LCD panel.
Increase Tire Pressure
An increase in tire pressure decreases the rolling resistance (less tire-floor contact), reducing the resistance for the motor to deal with.
By increasing the tire pressure to the maximum PSI, the speed improvement is 15 – 20%; you can easily add about 3 – 5 mph to your top speed.
While the off-road or flatter tires are heavier, bigger, and increase resistance, the racing or on-road and narrow-tread road tires have a thinner surface profile.
Unless your scooter sports solid rubber tires, you can consider replacing off-road tires (pneumatic or air-filled tires) with on-road ones. Road tires also have higher PSI capabilities.
An electric scooter’s speed is mainly limited by its power output and the weight it’s carrying (the heavier the weight, the slower it goes).
To make it go faster, you can increase the power output by upgrading the motor, battery, or both.
Other tips include removing any speed restrictor, adjusting the gearing, and increasing the size of the wheels (for less rolling resistance and more ground contact area). Some of these techniques are easy and can improve speed and mobility.
If you’re thinking about buying a new electric scooter, make sure it is hackable if you want to modify it later. Although, remember that certain modifications may void the warranty.
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