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What Makes a ZEV, a ZEV?

What makes a ZEV ?

“- ZEV has been quietly building high quality electric scooters for more than a decade now, including the fastest and longest range electric scoots in the world—that frankly put the rest of the industry to shame.” NEWATLAS Jan 2017.

ZEV Designs and Manufactures

  • The world’s longest-range production electric motor scooters in standard battery pack configurations at real highway speeds. (To 283 km / 150 miles measured at 55 mph / 80 kmh). More range is available with range extender packages in some models.
  • The world’s fastest electric motor scooters with speeds over 150 km/h (93 mph) in any of our standard LRC scooter.
  • The world’s most powerful electric motor scooter with up to 20,000 watts of continuous power and 30 kw performance mode.
  • The world’s most fuel efficient vehicles with 630 MpgE at 55 mph and to over 1200 MpgE at lower speeds within our scooter and motorcycle line. In the 130 mile 2016 Vetter Challenge, the stock ZEV LRC ran less watts per mile power use than two ZERO based streamliners in the competition (which each had larger battery packages), beaten only by 3% by a purpose built streamliner.
  • The world’s fastest production electric bicycle. 34 mph
  • A full line of cargo and delivery 2 and 3 wheel vehicles.
  • The world’s only highway capable trike tilting electric motor scooter.

All ZEV Products are

  • USA DOT certified
  •  Designed in the USA, Assembled in the USA.
  • Available with EEC certification through our UK location.
  • Titled and documented with USA VIN numbers (VIN WMI code 1Z9——–354—)

ZEV is the oldest electric motorcycle or highway capable scooter company in the world. The operation started in the spring of 2006.

Motor Inside the Wheel Design (Hub Motors)

  • ZEV is the only company in the world to use oil-cooled hub motors inside the rear wheel. This extra lubrication radically increases motor life and cooling for the longest possible life.
  •  Hub motors (also called wheel motors) eliminate belts or chain drives for more efficiency yielding higher range. This design gives us the lowest total or moving part count for maximum reliability and lowest maintenance.
  • ZEV is the only company in the world with models having dual hub motors in the rear drive wheels for maximum power and flexibility.
  • All of the 13, 14, 16, 17 inch hub motors have an extra set of hall sensors already built into the motor and pre-wired as a redundant standby set.

Multi-Speed  Electronic transmission

  • Each bike is installed with an electronic 3 speed controller that acts like a transmission. A no clutch controller, which boosts range up to 50% and hill climbing ability up to 35% over competing vehicles. This controller varies both the amps and the volts at the touch of a button.

Lithium Batteries

  • Our largest standard battery pack has a capacity of 10 Kwh, the largest battery pack available in any scooter. Available to 12.9 Kwh
  • Each battery pack is built to standard sizes so that as new battery technologies become available, your ZEV is ready to upgrade. No ZEV customer will ever be locked in to a single battery supplier.

Our scooters and motorcycles are hand-built. Every single bike is test-driven and test-charged three times over several days before shipping. Not one other company in the world invests that time to ensure your bike arrives without defect.

ZEV are designed by highly skilled aircraft and race vehicle engineers and assembled by aircraft mechanics. They are tested on airport test tracks and on race tracks where they can be pressed to find any limits. Then they are run over the rough mountain roads of W Md, West Virginia, and Pa in the USA to ensure durability. They are driven daily by customers around the world as their “go to work vehicle”

ZEV bikes are “engineered” bikes, not accounting or finance driven. We put our development money in performance and reliability first and foremost.


We are the world’s most efficient highway motor vehicles with MpgE of 636 at 55 mph, and 1270 at 35 mph. This is all due to the following:

ZEV uses actual on the road testing to obtain real world range results that a customer can duplicate. Flat East Coast roads such as the 141 miles between Ocean City, Md and Norfolk, Va on US-13-S (55 mph testing) or sections of Southern coastal I-95 are used along with shorter sections found to be flat in other areas.

HUB MOTORS, also called wheel motors, that put the motor in the rear wheel to eliminate chains and belts and free up chassis space for more battery capacity. Power to 30 KW continuous in single stator motors (to 50 kw in testing). These are the highest efficiency motors available.

ZEV has an all aluminum hub motor and wheel (competitor wheels are generally steel and none have the internal and external cooling fins nor the one piece rim and motor housing). The advantage is not just the lighter weight and better ride, but the far greater heat conduction of the aluminum to remove heat from the hub motor. The steel wheeled motors of competitors are plagued with heat problems resulting in magnets coming loose in the housings. The competitors also cannot hold full rated power continuously due to heat issues.

These factors help make the ZEV motors the highest efficiency motors available. To put that in prospective,

(1) We run more range with our LRC than the ZERO SR which has a much larger battery. At the 2016 Ohio Vetter Challenge the stock ZEV LRC ran less watts per mile power use than two ZERO based streamliners in the competition (which each had larger battery packages), beaten only by 3% by a purpose built streamliner.

(2) On the race track, in purpose built efficiency cars, teams using the power train from the ZEV LRC state “The fact we are using only 70% of our allowed power and crushing the competition tells me we are on the right track. We were the best on the track lapping everyone”. T Nusbickel, CHS

USA ELECTRONICS COMPONENTS. Especially all of the critical MOSFET in the controllers of all cycle and scooter over 3600 watts are USA made power transistors for maximum reliability.

VERY HIGH MOSFET COUNT to prevent controller overheating and shutdown. Our standard controller of 3600 watts and up have 36 USA made high power/amp Mosfet rated at 150 v/225 amp. Hot transistors do not live as long as cooler running ones. More Mosfet mean less on time per Mosfet and less heat to the components for the longest life (and not shutting down in the middle of a hill).

OIL COOLED AND LUBRICATED MOTORS cool the motors and disperse heat from hot spots, keep the rust out off of the iron core and magnets, and lubricate for longer life. No ZEV motor has ever failed. Our motors consistently run up to 100 degrees C lower temperatures than others in matched conditions and rarely more than 25 degrees over ambient temperatures.

DOUBLE SET OF HALL SENSORS are in all of the 13 and larger inch motors for long life. If and when the first set ever go bad, the second set is prewired and ready to go.

EVERY BIKE IS ROAD TESTED MULTIPLE TIMES before shipping and charged multiple times. We are the only company in the world that test drives each and every bike multiple times before shipping.

UNUSUALLY LONG SWING ARMS that allow the pivot point to be under the rider’s seat to smooth out the ride and follow the road better. Ride and handling are significantly improved.

MORE RAKE, TRAIL, AND WHEELBASE than any other brand of motor scooter for radically better handling at speed.

Black center wheels with polished rims front and rear matching the new, black, Gen IV modular motor. Everyone else just paints the rims over to save money.

HIGH SPEED, HIGH LOAD, MAXIMUM SAFTY MARGIN TIRES rated for 150 kmh / 94 mph and with test speeds of 150 mph / 241 km/h in the 13 inch motor scooter wheels. These give the maximum possible safety and handling in keeping with the speeds of the new bikes on all models in power over 3600 watts in all 13 inch rim bikes. The load capacity is also an outstanding 60 tire load index for 531 lbs / 250 kg of load capacity. We believe you should run the best tires you can find. These tires are also why are braking distances are so good compared to others. These tires also add to the range of the bike with low rolling resistance.

EXCEPTIONALLY HIGH BATTERY CAPACITY. No other electric motor scooter company in the world has a model that can hold over 12 Kwh like a ZEV.

RARE EARTH MOTOR MAGNETS ARE neodymium-iron-boron magnets.

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RIGID CHASSIS. All ZEV bikes use a aircraft construction style, steel tube frame where the battery box acts as a structural frame member for extra stiffness.

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Every ZEV motor scooter or motorcycle comes with a side and a center stand. Most of the extremely expensive bikes like a ZERO do not have a center stand.

LARGER BRAKES than any competitor in the weight class for shorter stopping distances and longer brake component service life.

HIGH END GAS SHOCK suspension standard on all bikes over 3600 watts.

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BMS (battery management system) is built into the bike to keep track of the cells charge and discharge.

BATTERY PACK DESIGNED to allow repair. ZEV does not use a single monolithic battery pack like virtually every competitor. We use battery modules to that if a cell goes bad, you can remove only that module and put a new module in.

BATTERY CHARGERS all fit into the under seat luggage box with room to spare. Take the charger with you for your longest trips

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Different controller and motor options to best match your driving style and needs from range to maximum acceleration.


Lots of company brag about the energy efficiency of their motors. But the potential for saving energy is far greater than that factor. An energy efficient motor can only save 10% over another design at constant load. But electronic speed controllers like the ZEV three speed can reduce energy 30% (even before it goes into sine wave clipping mode that other controllers cannot do). Optimizing the mechanical systems can save another 60%. Consider where the torque bulge is and how large is it. A low rpm torque monster like a ZEV motor has little or no torque lag response to throttle. A higher rpm motor running through belts or chains or even direct, lags the throttle causing a lot of wasted amps. Every second of rolled on throttle and little or no jump in rpm and vehicle speed means wasted energy. Consider the heat shedding ability of the motor and controller. Every bit of heat makes the parts run more inefficiently. At ZEV, we dwell on the minutia of every factor affecting the performance of our systems.

This is why we are the world’s most efficient road vehicle. Nobody else even comes close with a car or a bike. With 140 mile range at 55 mph, that is 636 MpgE even on the large LRC (and more on the more streamlined M-S motorcycle models. While our 140 mile on a charge was under dead flat coastal road conditions, we have customers reporting 124 miles achieved in actual daily commuting conditions.

Go a little more slowly, and customers report to 206 mile range on the LRC driving along coastal flat roads on the 10 kwh battery pack.

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