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Vectrix to Launch Electric Maxi-Scooter in November

23 October 2006

Vectrix
The Vectrix Maxi-Scooter.

Vectrix has announced that it will launch its high-powered electric Maxi-Scooter (earlier post) during the 64th International Motorcycle Exhibition in Milan in November.

The Maxi-Scooter combines a 3.7 kWh Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery pack and a 20 kW electric motor that delivers 65 Nm (48 lb-ft) torque. The battery pack is designed for up to 1,700 full charging cycles. Recharge time is about two hours.

The scooter also uses a throttle-activated regenerative braking system to capture some of the braking energy. The all-digital throttle also controls a slow-speed reverse function.

The scooter offers a top speed of 62 mph and a range of about 68 miles (110 km) at 25 mph (40 kph).  Acceleration from 0-60 mph takes 5.8 seconds.

The company is using the core design to support the development of fuel-cell hybrid and three-wheel models of the scooter as well.

Assembly of 50 pilot scooters began this summer in the New Bedford, MA facility, which has a production capacity of 12,000 units per year. Vectrix plans to shift full-scale production to Wroclaw, Poland by the end of the year. That plant has a capacity of 38,000 units per year.

(A hat-tip to John!)

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October 23, 2006 in Electric (Battery) | Permalink | Comments (39) | TrackBack (0)

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Huh. 26 horsepower but 0-60mph in 5.8 seconds? Well, regardless, it sounds like a very impressive offering as far as EV's go. I'm sure they will find many happy owners.

Suzuki Savage LS650 (now known as the boulevard C40 or something) has ~30hp on a single 650cc cylinder has almost the same 0-60 time (and a 15 second 1/4 mile time) so if this scooter is close to the same weight (360lbs dry weight) then it seems like a completely reasonable acceleration time. Especially since it has significantly more torque than the Suzuki Savage. 68 miles is great for the type of vehicle, but I wonder what the target price will be?

Sharp-looking machine. I first read about it a little over a year ago. Glad to see them finally ramping up to production.

Other conventional maxiscooters in the market are: Honda Reflex (250cc, the model I have), Silverwing (585cc twin), Helix (244cc), Suzuki Burgman 400, 650 twin, Yamaha Majesty (400), Morpheus (250cc). I've routinely hit 65mpg on my Reflex, and have actually done some freeway riding.

Impressive (all around) electric vehicle. Kids could leave the Hummer, Camaro, Charger, Mustang, etc home and use this electric scooter to go to school-university and drive around. Ladies could go shopping and take a child or two to school with the three-wheel version.

Assembly in Poland, with Chinese made parts, is a smart way to keep the price within reach.

The Big Three could learn something here.

It is 68 miles at 25 mph.

Noone would drive a scooter like this at 25 mph.
What is the milage at 40 mph or 50 ?

On the other hand maxi-scoots are a very good thing in terms of personal transport. They are more comfortable than motorbikes and faster and more comfortable at speed than vespa style "mini-scoots".

It looks very like a Piaggio X9 / X8 (only electric).

Don't confuse horsepower and torque. Electric motors don't behave as ICE engines, and stronger torque is available at low rpm.

This motorcycle is great, especially because the best electric scooters available were/are too weak. EVTs are reliable, for example, but lack power and range.

What the market needs is more scooters using advanced batteries like NiMH or Li-Ion.
It's a pity that the price of this machine is simply unreasonable. I have seen several quotes going near $9000.

An scooter between the e-max/evt and the vectrix is needed!

I would really like to buy a high quality factory built EV. When I contacted vectrix to ask how much it would cost to get one of the first ones built they told me it was going to cost 12,000.

That seems a bit high when you can buy an 883 Harley Sportster for 6,595.

Anyhow I hope they bring the price down someday to a reasonable level.

LMAO ... every time I buy a vehicle ... a better one enters the market. Mine has a 2kW motor and gets arround town just fine. (I'm going to upgrade it for hills) This one should fly.

Nice. Hope they price it soon.

it should do well in some niche markets in europe b/c of tax incentives, zero pollution areas in italy, no london congestion charges, free parking and charging in paris, etc.

i doubt it'll serve too many people in the states very well, though. too expensive, too short range, and too much a scooter.

$8,ooo-$12,ooo? That's outragous pricing. And it's only a scooter. You can buy the GEM EV for around $7,ooo with four wheels! Great marketing strategy.

Richard -

this is intended for European city driving, where streets are much narrower and parking much harder to find. There will be certain markets in the US (e.g. Boston, SF) where this applies as well. Consumers in densely populataed areas in Asia might be interested as well.

Mahonj -

in the target markets, you'll actually be lucky to average 25mph on your morning commute. There are also legal speed limits regarding the type of driver' license, registration and insurance required for a powered vehicle.

Nice machine, ideal for short range quick trips when gas motor doesn't get warmed up. Short trips are bad for ICEs, so you'd be saving your car for longer service life. Less maintenance and hassle (gasoline, oil,...) than ICE bikes. Actually, hardly any maintenance is required, I guess.

On pricing, hmmm, tough call. You have cheaper "fuel" (electricity is much cheaper than gasoline), less parts (no chain, motor oil,...) less wear (on breaks, less break pads),.... So the savings might add up to pay for the extra money (ICE vs this one). The again you have other expenses ICEs don't. Batteries last 5-10 years, electric controllers last ????

After all you don't spend that much on ICE bikes maintenance either. Still for city, especially living in a building without a garage (no tools), certainly less maintenance is appealing.

I've been wanting one of these, but it sounds like they will be priced well out of my range.

200 mpg equivalent at full discharge and 68 mile range.

If you don't have your own garage, basic hand tools, and a bike lift the cost of maintenance for a motorcycle is exorbitant (I'd imagine it would be similar for scooters as the only sellers and maintainers of scooters I have seen around here are also motorcycle dealerships). $50 for an oil change on a motorcycle...and that is for only 2 quarts of oil with an oil plug that is much easier to get to then the one on a car. Motorcycles usually are expected to be maintained after fewer miles than a car (and if it is your commuter vehicle that means it will need maintenance more often then your car).

I can't help thinking that they might be better off putting a smaller motor on each wheel. 20kW is overkill for going 50kph on the flat. (It would only take about 3kW to maintain that speed) If the front motor were on a switch then you could turn it off for cruising speeds on the flat and you would extend the range. I know that may be counter-intuitive for EVs but my experience is that the smaller motors are more efficient. Comments from the engineers?

Neil -

you need the higher power rating during acceleration and especially, during recuperative braking. Electric motors aren't equally efficient at all points in their torque-speed map but given that this is a brushless model, the difference is fairly small. This is in marked contrast to an ICE, which suffers from substantial internal friction losses in part load.

Adding a second electric traction motor would add cost and weight but yield little by way of vehicle energy economy. Switching to Li-ion would make more sense but apparently, the initial cost is already very high anyhow.

Btw, Micah: the standard ways to get around the financing problem are dealer loans and leasing. There is no reason why these could not be applied to scooters. As G points out, you have to compare alternatives on the basis of total cost of ownership.

Raphael: I was thinking in terms of two 10kW motors on each wheel, with a switch on the front wheel so that you can turn it off for cruising and conserve battery.

Waiting for Godot done in Italian with pictures of an electric scooter. Someone needs to read the Vectrix people "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" story.

Rafael - yes they offer leasing. www.asifinance.com is the company doing it. its just that you can get a comparable 250cc gas scooter that gets 60-70 mpg for 4000-5000. This will cost twice as much. Still considering it though.

Economically, it's a very long payback period -- 151,000 miles without considering the cost of battery replacement (which I assume is net negligible, since other service and repair costs are likely lower for the electric).

The biggest advantage is obviously the zero emissions at the tailpipe, since the major drawback for motorcycles and scooters is that they are relatively dirty compared to other motor vehicles, mile for mile. One could also power using carbon-neutral electricity.

At 6,000 miles/yr, the electric's going to cost about $1.13 more per day. For me, that's worth the money.

Plus it's good to keep some perspective. A basic Civic 2 door with an automatic will cost $31K over a 5 year period, compared to under $8K for the Vectrix. And that's before accounting for parking costs.

It'll do really well in places like San Francisco, LA, Seattle, NY, Miami, and Portland.

$50 for a motorcycle oil change?!? Yeah, if you take it to a stealership...and if you take a motorcycle to a stealership for an oil change you probably can't even change a burned out light bulb yourself.

Great for countries with $11 gas but the US needs ethanol scooters instead.

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