The Deliverator – Wannabee

So open minded, my thoughts fell out…

Zenn Microcar

Posted by Deliverator on September 29th, 2008

I recently had the opportunity to drive a Zenn Microcar owned by a neighbor of mine. The Zenn is a pure electric vehicle. It has an all electric drive train powered by six plain old boring lead acid batteries. The Zenn has about a fourty mile range and charges from empty overnight off standard 110v wall current. The major downside of the Zenn is that in most places it is classed as a “neighborhood electric vehicle” or NEV and is only allowed to go 25 or 35 mph depending on the area. In Bellevue, the max speed for NEVs is 35mph and Zenn vehicles sold in the area have a limiter. In my own experience driving the vehicle around Bellevue, I felt like I could get to most places comfortably, but there were a few places where I would have liked an extra 5-10 mph in order to better stay with traffic.

I found a couple pages which have instructions on how to modify the firmware for the motor speed controller to give you that extra little boost. It sounds like on the newer versions of the car this is quite practical, although on older versions the motor and other subsystems are more limited and you would be stressing them a bit more by doing the modification.