Mitch bought a 2006 ZENN for $2,550

Electric cars, trucks, ATVs, NEVs - things bigger than a motorcycle.
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MitchJi   1 GW

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Mitch bought a 2006 ZENN for $2,550

Post by MitchJi » Jul 02 2011 6:07pm

Hi,

I got it! $2550!
Zenn, MSRP between $12,000 and $15,000!
http://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/all,ca ... auc=583857
Final Price  $2,550.00
Time Left Closed
High Bidder

MitchJi
# of Bids 40
First Offer $500.00
Auction Ended Jul 14, 2011 10:10:35 AM PDT

2006 Zenn Electric Car Zero Emission No Noise
needs new batteries, will go about 5 miles at 25 mph with current batteris, comes with manual, radio face plate, and 2 keys, both rims on the passenger side have chips, don't know the mileage since it is not charged but it was at 2049 on 3/2/2010.
ZENN_Front.png
ZENN_Side.png
ZENN_Interior.png
First thing I need to do is find a good deal on about 72V/80AH of Lithium.

Second thing is deciding how to improve the performance:
has a DC motor rated at 5 HP.
Curb weight: Approximately 1,200 lbs.
0-25 9.2 seconds :(
I'd like 35-40 mph and EV Grin producing acceleration. High Performance Golf Cars, used to make a ZENN 35 MPH kit using a Brushless 3 phase AC induction motor but it sold for $3k :roll:.

Any advice on affordable lithium or information on improving the performance will be very much appreciated!

Thanks!
Last edited by MitchJi on Jul 17 2011 1:10am, edited 1 time in total.
Best Wishes!

Mitch


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Re: Mitch bought the 2006 ZENN for $2,550

Post by GGoodrum » Jul 14 2011 1:32pm

Great news! This will be a fun project, for sure. :) You got a heck-of-a-deal on it. I'm also in the market for some affordable Lithium. I'm quite happy with the Turnigy-based booster pack, for my GEM e4, but doing like 60Ah is still pretty expensive. Either way, I've got a leg up on what is needed for the BMS, so that it can use the onboard charger.

I will look forward to seeing what you do with this.

-- Gary

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Re: Mitch bought the 2006 ZENN for $2,550

Post by neptronix » Jul 14 2011 2:10pm

Dude, congrats !!!
These little electrics always go for dirt when the batteries ( usually SLA ) kick the bucket.
Saw a zap go for $3000 here locally.

Sounds like a fun, albiet expensive, project :)

Could use some 20ah A123s or lipo... just sayin ;)
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Re: Mitch bought the 2006 ZENN for $2,550

Post by liveforphysics » Jul 14 2011 3:07pm

Sweet deal Mitch!

Thunder-sags are such a disappointment though. I would recomend Kokam's or virtually anything else if you can find it.
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Re: Mitch bought a 2006 ZENN for $2,550

Post by dnmun » Jul 18 2011 11:58pm

whatta deal. wowowow

i just saw my first nissan leaf close up in traffic. guy turned left in front of me and as he went by i realized there was no sound. just my muffler rattling, and i could see the NO EMISSIONS on the rear hatch. quiet is so cool.

i wanted to turn around and chase the guy but couldn't because i had a load of new vinyl windows in the back of my car that i had just bot for my remodel job or i might have turned around and followed him home.

when i saw the first ZENN in traffic downtown, i followed him for a few blocks to his office. i think the ZENN is just so neat, really effective and classic design. i like the leaf body style too.

i gotta get my neighborhood EV charging spot finished and put it in service. the times they are a changing. part of my remodel here on the house involves running 6 gauge cable from my service panel in the basement out to the front porch where i will locate the meter and main shutoff. slowly but surely, gonna make difference. my insulation of the house and new vinyl windows to replace the old single pane leakers and stopping the drafts totally i expect to cut the heating in half. really leaks a lot through the old structure and when i am done it will be airtight from one end to the other with 14" of insulation in the attic and i am even using 1 1/2" thick foam board on top of the R13 batts to get much of the walls i can work on up to R25. i am also converting my 120V single service running to the upper floors to 240V. i have several lights that are on that circuit now which were originally installed in the house when it was built in 1921. the thimbles go through the wood framing, just two wires, and i spliced those to the newer 12-2 cable i ran up to the upper floors in 1980 when i originally remodeled. in order to use the lights, i will rewire the double light fixtures i have now from parallel to series so that they will still work on the 240V circuit with the two lights in series. just rewire the pigtails in the fixture. so cool, no need to figure out how to get power up there and now i will have the ability to run electric heaters, the oil filled space heaters, on the 240V circuit and it will help balance the load up there so all the rooms can have heaters running without blowing the breaker. so illegal. so useful. maybe even go to 30A breakers for that circuit. tons of power.

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Re: Mitch bought a 2006 ZENN for $2,550

Post by bradstuff » Jul 19 2011 9:29pm

Here is a link to hack your car for 35mph operation.

http://www.electric-cars-are-for-girls. ... -zenn.html

Brad

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Re: Mitch bought a 2006 ZENN for $2,550

Post by torqueon » Jul 19 2011 11:24pm

With good battery tech insight, for these, N E V's . Can they handle 50 M P H safely in typical western urban towns.

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Re: Mitch bought a 2006 ZENN for $2,550

Post by MitchJi » Jul 22 2011 4:16pm

Hi,
liveforphysics wrote:Sweet deal Mitch!

Thunder-sags are such a disappointment though. I would recomend Kokam's or virtually anything else if you can find it.
Thanks for the good wishes!

Definitely not Thunder-sags! Great name btw. I been using Thunder-sh*t and Thunder-Cr*p but I prefer your name, more polite.

Tentatively planning on using 18650's. I think Tesla makes two good points in their favor, least expensive and widest range of choices. Inexpensive is important and even one source of good cells at a good price might be hard for an individual to find. Kokam's are on my list. I have some ideas for sources but if I get stuck expect a PM :).
bradstuff wrote:Here is a link to hack your car for 35mph operation.

http://www.electric-cars-are-for-girls. ... -zenn.html

Brad
Thanks you very much! Exactly what I need. Sounds like the controller can handle it but the motor might need some help.
torqueon wrote:With good battery tech insight, for these, N E V's . Can they handle 50 M P H safely in typical western urban towns.
I'm not sure. My only driving so far is on and off the tow dolly and backing it up the driveway. But 50mph sounds too fast for safety to me. I'm hoping it feels safe at 35-40mph.

Thanks!
Best Wishes!

Mitch


Buying a new Tesla? Please consider using our referral code https://ts.la/lynnem96959 to get one thousand miles of free Supercharging.

The best quality batteries and lowest priced batteries for DIY EV's are tier 1 OEM Quality Cells from salvaged (wrecked) EV packs. Three examples are Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model 3 packs.

Nissan Leaf Module specs are here
Chevy Volt Pack Info - Salvage 16kwh Packs Under $2k here

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Re: It's arrived!

Post by MitchJi » Jul 22 2011 4:20pm

Hi,
ZENN__Dolly.jpg
ZENN__Dolly.jpg (49.28 KiB) Viewed 6268 times
ZENN__Mitch.jpg
ZENN__Mitch.jpg (183.79 KiB) Viewed 6268 times
ZENN__Civic.jpg
ZENN__Civic.jpg (128.04 KiB) Viewed 6268 times
Best Wishes!

Mitch


Buying a new Tesla? Please consider using our referral code https://ts.la/lynnem96959 to get one thousand miles of free Supercharging.

The best quality batteries and lowest priced batteries for DIY EV's are tier 1 OEM Quality Cells from salvaged (wrecked) EV packs. Three examples are Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model 3 packs.

Nissan Leaf Module specs are here
Chevy Volt Pack Info - Salvage 16kwh Packs Under $2k here

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Re: Mitch bought a 2006 ZENN for $2,550

Post by rguy56 » Jul 25 2011 11:10pm

I think Zenn sources it's vehicles as complete shells without the mechanicals, so they're likely produced and in use somewhere at much higher speeds...should be safe to do.

I got to ride in a Mitsubishi electric yesterday. My brother has a loaner/tester. He says that while it's been in testing they've gotten up to 150km. range. I didn't think to ask him if someone had driven it to failure. It's apparently capable of 130 km/hr., and it couldn't be much bigger or smaller than your Zenn.

You've got to think that someone will damage the body on one of the new electrics, and very interesting salvage will come up.

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Re: Mitch bought a 2006 ZENN for $2,550

Post by grindz145 » Jul 12 2012 11:24am

Holy Cow, I'm not into these NEVs for the most part, but for that price, heck yeah! I suspect you can modify to suit your needs :mrgreen:

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Re: Mitch bought a 2006 ZENN for $2,550

Post by Ypedal » Jul 12 2012 11:37am

so it's been a year... what's the state of this now ?
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Re: Mitch bought a 2006 ZENN for $2,550

Post by MitchJi » Jul 24 2012 6:06pm

Hi Gaston,
Ypedal wrote:so it's been a year... what's the state of this now ?
Begin Vent:
The state is the same as every other ebike (bought 2 frames and an Astro 3220) or NEV (1) or Hybrid (1) project I've attempted. Due mostly to poor health I've done nothing substantial on any of them.
End Vent

At least the Insight (with a dead pack runs). The following is quoted from a PM shortly after the purchase (a few month's after the Zenn purchase):
$5,344. It only has 53k miles. It looks really nice except for the pack problem (P1449):
http://www.publicsurplus.com/sms/all,ca ... auc=602010
publicsurplus wrote:Final Price $5,344.12 (Reserve has been met)
Time Left Closed
High Bidder MitchJi

Auction Started Aug 11, 2011 11:17:57 AM PDT
Auction Ended Aug 25, 2011 2:00:00 PM PDT

Year: 2001
Make: Honda
Model: Insight Hybrid
Mileage: 53010
VIN: JHMZE1370YT001083
Running Condition: NEEDS BATTERY
Engine: 1.0 Liter
Transmission: 5 Speed
Tires: Good

2001 Honda Insight Hybrid. The vehicle needs a new battery pack.

Pick-up Location
Shasta County Fleet Management
1654 Court St
Redding, CA 96001

Image
Image
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The auction was pretty unusual. I think I got really lucky. Their system is supposed to prevent sniping, any bid in the last 10 minutes is supposed to trigger a 10 minute extension. I placed a $7,189 bid about 15 minutes before the auction closed. I thought anything under $6k would be a really good deal and first decided to go up to $6,800, but then I decided $7,189 would be more likely to win it. When I put in my bid I was immediately the high bidder at about $5,400. Then that went up by a few hundred at a time as one guy kept increasing his bid until he won the auction at $7,289. I decided not to bid again since I felt that even $7,189 was pretty high.

So yesterday morning I got a call from Amy at Shasta County. She said they never heard from the winning bidder and did I still want the car. I said yes but the price should be $100 more (the bid increment than the third highest bidder ($5,244) and she agreed. But if he had stopped bidding at $7k I would have paid $7,100 and never known that the $7k was a bogus bid! Or maybe someone else didn't bid based on the bogus bid.
Maybe I need to stick to tiny projects like this one or maybe I should become a professional shopper, maybe in trade for some build labor (seem to be able to get good deals).
Best Wishes!

Mitch


Buying a new Tesla? Please consider using our referral code https://ts.la/lynnem96959 to get one thousand miles of free Supercharging.

The best quality batteries and lowest priced batteries for DIY EV's are tier 1 OEM Quality Cells from salvaged (wrecked) EV packs. Three examples are Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model 3 packs.

Nissan Leaf Module specs are here
Chevy Volt Pack Info - Salvage 16kwh Packs Under $2k here

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Re: Mitch bought a 2006 ZENN for $2,550

Post by dnmun » Feb 05 2014 4:39pm

i just bot a 2007 ZENN with 6250 miles and on the second set of batteries. made it 12 miles from the auction yard back to my place and it is down almost nothing.

paid $1700+204 for auction fees. got both keys and the paper work from the previous owner.

i had bid on this car a week agog up to $2k but someone else bid it up from the internet to $2400 so i never got it then.

but the guy never showed up to take possession of the car so it went back to auction yesterday so i ended up getting it for $300 less than i had bid last week.

it has the AC motor upgrade and 35 mph speed limiter so it is the equivalent of the 2009-2010 models. sunroof and radio. no AC thank god.

gonna see if i can do something to revitalize the AGM packs to get more capacity, but gonna wait for that and in the meanwhile gonna plan how to build up all my lifepo4 packs to make 72V and use them. i have about 6kWh of headway and ping packs to work from to see how much they will help with the mileage, and maybe even start watching for some CALB prismatics also.

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Re: Mitch bought a 2006 ZENN for $2,550

Post by liveforphysics » Feb 05 2014 4:48pm

As a cheap low-effort battery upgrade, you may want to consider lead-silica/silicon stuff. A few companies are making it now, it's not a miracle battery and it's still heavy and lead-like energy density, but seems to handle cycling better and have reduced impedance.
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Re: Mitch bought a 2006 ZENN for $2,550

Post by Hillhater » Feb 05 2014 6:42pm

Or.....keep an eye open for some of those recycled leaf or volt packs that are showing up cheap. !
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Re: Mitch bought a 2006 ZENN for $2,550

Post by dnmun » Feb 05 2014 9:35pm

i'm cheaper than cheap. that's why i end up at those auctions. the humanity there would astound you. so many languages and nationalities. one of the guys who regularly buys cars for his junkyard is somali and there are so many russian speakers you would think they won the cold war.

anyway. i have about 117 of the 38120 headways so i may try to get a few more and build a 72V 50Ah headway pack and i am building two ping packs to 72V now from salvaged batteries i bot here, one is 20Ah and the other 15Ah. these are the newer v2.5 signalab pouches. then i have 4 or 5 more ping packs from the v1 era when they had the super narrow tabs and are only 1C capable but i think i can build up to 72V 30Ah from them so i should be able to get close to 110Ah of lifepo4 with all the batteries i have on the shelf now. but this battery may perk up when the temperature climbs since it was 23 overnight and 23 again now so maybe in march or april i can see how far it will go and maybe in the meanwhile investigate those lead acid battery rejuvenators.

bill bates had bot some SLA for his Gizmo a while back but then went to using the CALB cells so i am gonna contact him and see if he will sell me his SLA packs to get some cash back in his hands for them.

amazing how short the lifespan is for these big AGM batteries though. this is the second pack. they are Deka AGMs, 3061 miles since they were installed so the original set of AGM batteries also lasted only about 3400 miles too. the guy who donated it to the OPB for the auction had spent $2500 on the current battery pack so that is $2500/avg 3200 miles or 78 cents/mile. so if ever there was an argument against using SLA batteries, this would be right up there.

i am gonna google up those lead acid batteries using silica/silicon though, to see how they are made.

too cold to take a picture so here is the auction link:

http://auctions.speedstowingauction.com ... _i18856386

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