The truth about removing a speed limiter on an electric scooter | LOCO Scooters

Intro

Are you wondering how to make your electric scooter go faster? Or how to remove a speed limiter on a Xiaomi e-scooter? We often get asked questions like this from people who aren’t satisfied with the speed of their electric scooters. Electric scooters often have the ability to go faster than their programmed speed but there are consequences to removing the speed limiter on your electric scooter. In this article we look at why electric scooters are capped at certain speeds, what a speed limiter is, and our opinion on why it’s not such a good idea to remove them.

Why do electric scooters have speed limiters?

A speed limiter on an electric scooter is software that limits how fast an electric scooter can go. It is programmed onto the controller (the brain of the e-scooter) which powers the motor and tells it how fast it can go. Speed limiters are a safety feature which are used to stop an e-scooter going so fast it’s not operational. They are also used to comply with regulations for a country's top speed. Popular electric scooter brands such as Xiaomi and Segway are programmed to a region's top speed at the time of manufacturing. Regions such as Europe (where manufacturers programme e-scooters to the requirements of the German market) have speeds capped around the 25km/hr mark. This is because electric scooters are legalised for use in countries such as Germany, and in order for manufacturers to sell to these countries the speed has to be limited. There are other e-scooters which are solely for use on private property and have speeds set in excess of 25km/hr. E-scooters such as the Kugoo G1 Pro have a max speed of 70km/hr. Its speed has been limited so that the e-scooter can operate without causing failure on both the mechanical and electric components of the e-scooter. You can imagine that increasing the speed beyond the manufacturer’s max speed would make the e-scooter uncontrollable and the increased power requirements will burn out the motor and controller.

Removing speed limiters on e-scooters

Change speed settings using apps

There are apps which remove an electric scooter's region status on the firmware. These apps can be found on google. When they remove the region it will only give the max speed that the manufacturer has specified. For example this might boost a Segway Ninebot G30 Max P up to 30km/hr. 


Flash / rewrite firmware on the controller

There are ways to rewrite or flash new firmware onto your electric scooter to make it go faster. This will void your warranty and may brick your controller and render the e-scooter useless. These methods usually push the e-scooter past the maximum speed limit on the e-scooter. 

Why we don’t recommend removing speed limiters

At LOCO we don’t carry out this service or recommend people mess with the speed limits on their e-scooters. 

Where people hack their electric scooters they run the risk of causing harm to themselves or to the e-scooter. Below are some of the key reasons why you shouldn't try to make your electric scooter go faster.

Stability:

An electric scooter that is programmed to do 25km isn’t physically manufactured to allow for speeds of 50km/hr. Visualise going 50km/hr on a Xiaomi (or similarly designed e-scooter) and having to turn suddenly to avoid an obstacle or pothole. The steering system would not allow for a smooth turn and you would likely crash causing serious harm. If you were to hit the pothole you would smash the front of the scooter (bearings, fork, steering pole and handlebars) and go straight over the handlebars (not desired). If you were to hit the brakes at that speed, the brakes would fail (as they are not designed to be used past the max speed). Again, where an electric scooter is specified to do 25km/hr the e-scooter won’t be safe to use at speeds in excess of this.

Bricked Controllers:

Where you try to alter the firmware on an electric scooter you run the risk of bricking your controller. This could be the result of a mistake such as missing a step in the process of rewriting / flashing the firmware to your electric scooter. The controller will simply stop working and the changes can’t be reversed. In this instance you’re going to have to get a new controller and/or someone to fit it for you. Expensive for what could have been a simple mistake in the 

Reduced Range:

Increasing the speed by 5km/hr on a Xiaomi electric scooter can greatly reduce the battery life and e-scooters long term performance. This means that your battery will deplete faster and need to be charged more often which is bad for the battery’s health. This leads to charging cycles happening more frequently and you’ll reach the end of the battery’s expected life sooner. The 5km/hr may not be worth shorting the expected lifespan of your electric scooter.

Burnt out components:

By increasing the speed of your electric scooter beyond the manufacturer’s specifications you run the risk of melting wires and damaging control boards as well as other electrical components of your e-scooter. By increasing the speed you are telling the motor to go faster which pulls more power from the controller and battery to the motor. The increased power generates heat which can melt wires, controllers and other parts. Where wires are melted they need to be repaired, and where a controller is damaged it needs to be replaced. So for the short term reward of having the electric scooter go faster it can lead to repair costs down the line. It can also create a fire hazard if wires inside the electric scooter ignite.

burnt wiring on an electric scooter

Warranty:

Where you alter the original manufacturer parts in any way you void warranty. This includes changing firmware or interfering with the electronics in any way. Even if you open the base of the electric scooter you void the warranty. Firmware changes can be tracked using apps and the manufacturer can establish that you’ve tampered with the e-scooters settings. Again can be costly when you brick a controller on an expensive electric scooter.

Conclusion:

You may have come here with the intent of removing the speed limiter on your electric scooter. As you can tell we hope that you don’t. For the short term gain in getting small increase in speed you’ll likely damage the e-scooter and be left with a costly repair. Our advice would be to buy an electric scooter that is manufactured to do the speed you’re looking for. The difference in cost between selling your electric scooter and upgrading to a faster one could well be the same as repairing a bricked e-scooter. In either circumstance we carry out repairs on bricked / damaged electric scooters with issues arising by trying to make your electric scooter go faster. If you’re looking for something that’s really fast, the Kugoo G1 Pro is a beast and is excellent value for the e-scooters spec. 

Kugoo G1 Pro electric scooter


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