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Thread: SmartDrive MX1 vs MX2 (Distance/Range)

  1. #1

    SmartDrive MX1 vs MX2 (Distance/Range)

    Hi All!

    I have the SmartDrive MX1+ and I also have the MX2. I really love the portable factor of the MX2 and the lack of a bunch of wires and things to connect

    HOWEVER, the range is simply atrocious!!! Ive done various tests with my first MX2 and then I had it replaced, and I also tried a friends MX2 --- and each time, I could not get over 8-9KM which is about 5 miles. This is simply useless for my needs and purposes. I am also using it on flat, smooth surfaces, and barely any uphill. I tested it indoor in my university (which is huge, and my classes are far apart) and clocked about the same range -- 9KM/5.5 Miles maximum. My method is I am using my Smartphone to track the distance via GPS and it is extremely reliable so I know the numbers are accurate.

    The thing is... the manual says we are supposed to be getting like 12miles.... and when I call MAX MOBILITY they say the same thing. I've sent my unit in and they've replaced it and its still the samr range.I'd be less stressed if they justy admitted it doesn't have much range. And it CANT have the same range as the previous one because the MX1 had a large external battery.

    On the MX1 I would easily get 12-13 miles (20KM) and more, even.

    Im super stressed out because this device has become a huge part of my life. I love keeping my manual chair and having an electric assist so as to save my shoulders....

    has anyone had similiar experience with the range? if you dont have the MX1 to compare to, then do you know approximately how much distance/range you are getting with your MX2? I'd really appreciate some thoughts!

    thank you!

    PS. It would be AMAZING if I could have the option to attach an external battery to my MX2+ in addition to the internal battery. Then I could double or triple my range! I dont know why that's not an option!!! if its about making money and not allowing us to use the MX1 battery, hell, I'd be willing to buy an MX2 external battery!

    //rant over

  2. #2
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Vancouver WA USA - - Male T4 ASIA B incomplete
    I know this is hardly helpful ... but as a work around, how about carrying the charger and charge the unit up while you're in class ?
    Love my MX1

  3. #3
    You are correct in my opinion. I have done a bit of purchasing and researching lipo batteries for trikes, bikes, and wheelchairs and own two MX1's. Considering the weight reduction alone even if MM switched battery types, they would have lost amp hours and range in the MX2. Here is the information MM has published:
    Website: MX2 battery: 36V Lithium Iron Phosphate
    Owners manual: MX1+: battery: 24V Lithium Iron Phosphate 10 Amp Hour

    Amp Hours is what gives you milage.

    I need to explain some about these batteries. They are an array of small cells like flashlight cells. In fact they are similar to a flashlight in that it takes many to make up enough voltage and current for the desired result. The second thing is that in order to increase amp hours, they use two set or more sets of these battery arrays wired side by side to boost the capacity. For example one set might add up to 5 amp hours at 24 volts but when the second set is added you get 10 amp hours, but still at 24 volts, (when wired in parallel).

    MM jumped to 36 volts for the MX2, that's not going to help Amp Hours without additional cells, but the added voltage should allow slower speeds and less battery draw which is might be what they were thinking. It also eliminates using the MX1 battery without a step down transformer.

    The other thing I wanted to say is that I think they have an error on the website in the type of lithium battery. I suspect they meant to say "Lithium Colbalt Manganese" as it is reported to be much lighter and higher capacity than the Iron Phosphate.

    So where I am going with this, is due to size, and reports, no matter what Lithium type has been selected by MM, I suspect they are running a battery system close to 5 amp hours. I'd like to be wrong.

    EDIT: Just as I went to close MM website I saw the MX2 Amp Hours listed at 3.4. So that explains everything. Compare 3.4 against MX1's Amp Hours 10.0.
    Last edited by nonoise; 03-15-2017 at 07:47 PM.
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  4. #4
    Well that is disappointing. I was thinking about getting one, but five miles indoor on a flat surface is nothing. If I need a power boost it's gonna be because I'm planning on going 10 miles or more on relatively hilly terrain. I guess I'm stuck waiting for the MX3???

  5. #5
    They should simply develop an optional plug in add on battery pack for longer trips. It would be simple for them to do.
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by nonoise View Post
    They should simply develop an optional plug in add on battery pack for longer trips. It would be simple for them to do.
    If they're unwilling to make the battery pack on the next version larger, they could make it removable and sell spare battery packs for like $1,000 or something (assuming the obligatory cripple 1000% markup) so people could carry a spare or two if they were going farther (or leave one charge at home/in the office while they used the other).

  7. #7
    @nonoise -- exactly! 3.4 vs 10.0 -- and yet, calling their support, they still claim it is suppose to be 20KM range. They refuse to admit it. It's kind of frustrating!!

    @Funklab -- yup, sorry to disappoint, but you would be more disappointed if you got it and it didn't suit you. The range sucks! if you want range stick to the MX1... I've seen it sold on this forum and ebay for like 2500-3000$. Although, it has a lot more connections and its heavier.

    >> And yes! I would literally pay upto 1500$ maybe even 2000$ if there was a spare battery (the size of the MX1) that I could connect to my MX2 and gain more range. So the 5KM from the internal battery + say 20KM from a large battery .... that'd be amazing!!!! I really don't get why they don't have that option. Max Mobility, if you're listening, please do it for the MX2 or the MX3.... we want additional batteries! some of us want more range!!!

  8. #8
    Senior Member smokey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Massachusetts, USA
    I am looking at the MX2+ spec sheet and the range is 12.3 miles (level, no resistance conditions). Gee, it's hard to imagine Max Mobility would make that claim if it is truly 5 miles.
    Last edited by smokey; 03-16-2017 at 03:41 PM.

  9. #9
    I have done some pretty steep hills in SF and my guess is that 3-5 miles is a reasonable estimate based on how steep the incline is. I don't know why people are complaining, it seems pretty amazing that something that small can deliver that much power. I also take my charger with me in my backpack and charge when I eat lunch, stop for coffee or am in a meeting.

    If you want more range and power and range get a ZX-1, otherwise the portability of the MX2 is a tradeoff for range vs weight.

  10. #10
    Senior Member grommet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    One reason I have stayed with my MX1+ is because of the range. I tested and I repeatedly got 10 miles on a charge. The two-part system isn't as convenient but I want distance, I do not want to lose power while I am out. I love the design of the newer version but until there is better mileage it wouldn't be an option for me. I am curious about the performance features of the latest SmartDrive because my biggest complaint with the MX1+ is not being able to control the speed. I am stuck having to go max speed every where because if I go slower it only kicks the speed up if it hits a bump, a tiny downhill slope or I adjust myself in the seat. Also, I still get stuck in intersections a lot! Trying to get the motor to engage in some areas is very hard. I push and push with the extra weight of the drive hurting my shoulders, trying to get the motor to help. Other places it will engage whether I want it to or not. Getting the boost feature back would be a game changer for me and if the throttle switch works as I am hearing it is supposed to it would be heavenly.

    The SmartDrive is an amazing invention and changed my life. Very portable, pretty easy to take on and off so I can get in the car, it's great. Also, I never get over how powerful it is or bulletproof it seems. If I had better control I would be doing much better. So maybe a newer version will come that has the high mileage and better control and has the single unit design. I hope so. Until then I will keep with my original model. Geez I wish they would offer improved programming for the older models but I think their R&D is focused on the new stuff, understandably.

    By the way, my customer service experiences with MM have all been very good.

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