Car Buyer’s Notebook reports that Vectrix is preparing to launch its VXe plug-in electric scooter internationally. The $10,000 rechargeable electric scooter will go on sale in Europe first, late this year or early in 2006.
The VXe combines a 30 Ah, 125 volt Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery pack and a 20 kW electric motor that delivers 65 Nm (48 lb-ft) torque. The battery pack has a rated capacity of 3.7 Kwh and is designed for up to 1,700 full charging cycles.
The scooter also uses a throttle-activated regenerative braking system to capture some of the braking energy.
The VXe offers a top speed of 60 mph and a range of about 68 miles (110 km) at 30 mph. Recharge time is about two hours.
The company is also developing a fuel-cell series-hybrid scooter, the VXfce, using components and systems from the VXe mated with a Protonex NGen fuel cell.
The 500-watt NGen continuously tops off the charge of the battery, which in turn provides the power for the electric motor. The fuel cell shuts off automatically when the battery is fully charged.
With its on-board fuel cell, the VXfce should have more than twice the range of the VXe—155 miles (250 km) instead of 68 miles.
Protonex specializes in portable fuel cell applications, especially for military use. In partnership with Millenium Cell, for example, Protoenx just delivered to the U.S. Air Force the industry’s first fully-integrated 30 Watt portable fuel cell power system fueled by chemical hydride cartridges.
Vectrix is working with both hydrogen-fueled and methanol-fueled versions of the NGen stack, although currently the methanol-fueled stack produces only up to 200 watts.