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Effects of Controller Mods on Zenn's AC Motors

by Jaspen
(Nevada City, CA)

I'm considering buying an '08 Zenn that has an AC motor. My understanding is that the controller (Curtis?) can be modified to remove the 25mph restriction. Is that right? If so, will this affect the AC motor's capacity, performance and/or longevity?

Are there other things that I should know about performing this modification in terms of how it will affect the car's performance? Would this modification cause other special maintenance issues?

Hi, Jaspen!

Zenn. If they haven't changed their ways, then the motor the car comes with is JUST BIG ENOUGH to power their cars at 25 mph.

Yes, you can program the controller to allow the motor to call for more power than the manufacturer intended. This is something we Washingtonians and Montanazoids have been doing for years now...but we've also learned in the process that you really need a bigger motor; )


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Yes, you have to remove the front bumper!
by: Neal Graves

It turns out that to remove the motor controller, the front bumper must be removed first. After being freaked out by this, I settled and got my mechanically inclined neighbor to look at the problem in a rational manner. He got the bumper off with little problem. Then I got the controller off with some ordeal, but better than I expected.

I've shipped it off to Ontario, CA - hopefully it's the right piece, and hopefully it will come back ready to hum at 35 mph.

Speed increase for the ZENN
by: Neal Graves

There is a dealer in Ontario, CA, who upgrades the motor controller. I'm trying to find out how to take out the controller in my 2009 ZENN and can't figure it out. My local dealer and the service provider both say it's really easy but won't give me any instructions. They both just say to take pictures of what I do. However, it looks like I need to remove the entire front bumper to get access to the controller, and I'm sure that's wrong.

Does anyone have any advice or information about how to remove the controller?

AC Zenn 35 MPH
by: Anonymous

I recently purchased an 08 zenn with the AC motor. I would like to buy the package for increasing it's speed to 35 mph but I'm not sure if it's made for the DC model only. If so do you have one for sale for the AC model with I believe a "Curtis" controller?

Hi -
I don't sell packages. It's legal to upgrade your Zenn in WA and MT, so check with a Zenn dealer in those states for best practices. They'll hook you up.

Update: Zenn is not making their little NEVs anymore, so there aren't any more dealers for them.


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