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 Post subject: Vectrix Electric Scooter
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:28 
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If you haven't heard of the Vectrix, here is a link with demo - http://tinyurl.com/4nksho

Now, I have some questions for you experienced motorbikers out there!

In view of soaring oil costs, I am considering a vehicle such as this. I'm already confident on two wheels as I have two bicycles (Specialized Sirrus and Specialized Globe) and I do about 5000 miles a year cycling. I also drive about 25k miles a year in my Audi A4 Avant. So why do I need another vehicle?

Well, there are times when I went to travel to a nearby town to do shopping, or get some lunch etc... There are times when cycling there would take too long, plus the fact that I can't carry much on a bicycle. I'm not looking for long distance transport - just a quick and easy way to run errands etc. Maximum round trip would only be about 30-40 miles, which is well within the 70-mile max range of this scooter. Instead of using £5 worth of diesel and paying £1.20 for parking, I could do my errand with about 20p worth of electricity.

Now over to you guys for tips and advice on the following.

First, I'm 53 years old, and without any motor cycling experience. How safe do you think this Vectrix is, particularly in view of my age and limited experience? If I do the CBT course, can I expect to achieve a reasonable standard of competence to ride this thing safely? (Needless to say, I'm only looking for SAFE transport, and not to perform any high risk stunts) Am I being realistic, or am I completely off my chump with this idea?

I'll have other questions later, assuming I don't get stomped on for being so daft! I'm being cautious because of the high rate of motorcycling fatalities that occur in the UK - about the same as the national tally of homicides - and also because I have no way to assess my own ability.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 14:52 
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this should make interesting reading... http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2547-vectrix-reports

I havent looked into the costs but a 125cc motorbike would be very cheep to run.
what is the purchase cost of a 125cc and a vetrix?
If you were to borrow the money from a bank would the vetrix still be as cheep

£6000 compared to £2500 for a 125 honda?
http://www.electricbikesales.co.uk/shop ... &catId=130

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 15:27 
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I have been tempted by the Vectrix to do a 10-12 mile (each way) commute but the price is rather steep at £6/7000, I hadnt come accross that visforvoltage forum before, it makes for some interesting reading.

As an alternative I was also looking at a cheap 125 on ebay, brand new on the road with 12 month warranty for £699

A 3rd alternative would be an electrically assisted bicycle but the range is insufficient for a return journey (and that 125 is cheaper!)

EDIT

It seems that the Vectrix has had its price reduced, it is being advertised for £4995, now that is getting tempting

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 18:31 
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Familyman wrote:
It seems that the Vectrix has had its price reduced, it is being advertised for £4995, now that is getting tempting


£5k for an electric bike :shock:

people, don't think electricity isn't going to increase in price, it is doing and that will make electric bike more expensive to run too.

You can get perfectly servicable cars for £500 that will leave you with £4495 worth of change to buy fuel and running costs compared to a £4995 electric bike.

Alternatively, my 1990 Honda C90 was bought in 2002 for £300, will do 130mpg on a good run, costs £15 to tax £95 to insure and buttons in maintanance (that even I can do myself). That has got to be better than an electric bike, or even £1200 on a generic 125 of unknown quality.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 18:52 
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adam.L wrote:
£5k for an electric bike :shock:

people, don't think electricity isn't going to increase in price, it is doing and that will make electric bike more expensive to run too.

You can get perfectly servicable cars for £500 that will leave you with £4495 worth of change to buy fuel and running costs compared to a £4995 electric bike.


And after a couple of years the £5k bike will still have a reasonable part of its value left but the fuel burnt in the £500 car will be gone forever.

The bikes manufactures recon on 20p for a charge (around 40-50 miles), by the time electricity price rises makes this uneconomical what price will unleaded be?

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 19:15 
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Familyman wrote:
adam.L wrote:
£5k for an electric bike :shock:

people, don't think electricity isn't going to increase in price, it is doing and that will make electric bike more expensive to run too.

You can get perfectly servicable cars for £500 that will leave you with £4495 worth of change to buy fuel and running costs compared to a £4995 electric bike.


And after a couple of years the £5k bike will still have a reasonable part of its value left but the fuel burnt in the £500 car will be gone forever.

The bikes manufactures recon on 20p for a charge (around 40-50 miles), by the time electricity price rises makes this uneconomical what price will unleaded be?


What I'm trying to get at it there are much cheaper ways of pottering about that a £5k electric bike. Electricty and unleaded are likely to be comparable for the forseeable future, they are both going to get more expensive. That is unless we get a load of new nuclear powerstations quick sharp.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 19:24 
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I agree that we need nuclear but until domestic electricity is taxed like road fuel then electricity will always be much cheaper.

I agree that £5k is expensive but when compared to a 400cc scooter £4,499 (Suzuki AN400) its not out of reason

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 12:00 
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I've decided to go ahead with it. I'll be doing my CBT next month. After I get my DL196, I'll be able to ride an electric scooter without L plates. Thanks for the suggestions regarding petrol bikes, but I don't want one. I'm going to get immeasurable satisfaction by moving away from oil completely.

It's not to replace my bicycles, but to replace the car on all those piddling little journeys that involve a round trip of 15-20 miles. I estimate that will be about 100 miles a week, or say 5000 miles a year. The fuel required for my diesel car to make those trips works out to almost exactly £600 per year at today's prices. But then there's tyre wear, extra servicing and depreciation to be taken into account. That's probably half as much again, ie £300. Then there's all the parking charges which are probably another £100 - avoidable with a scooter. As you can see, that's £1000 worth of car expenses I can save each year.

The Vectrix costs about £100 a year in servicing, and will probably use about £60 worth of electricity in a year, as a recharge costs only 20p. There will also be insurance, of course. I still reckon I can offset my motoring costs by about £750 a year - and that's assuming fuel prices will stay as they are, which is unlikely. So the Vectrix will probably pay for itself in as little as 5 years.
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people, don't think electricity isn't going to increase in price, it is doing and that will make electric bike more expensive to run too.

Even if electricity doubled in price, a recharge would only cost an extra 20p, or possibly an extra £60 a year


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 12:09 
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DieselMoment

Please let me know how you get on with it.

I am very tempted to replace one of my cars, unfortunatly for many reasons it wont be possible to get rid of either of them till after September but I may buy a Vectrix in the meantime.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 16:01 
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FamilyMan - of course I will let you know how it goes. I'll add to this thread.

Owing to various holiday and family commitments, I probably won't get the Vectrix until the end of August.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 18:33 
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[quote="Familyman"As an alternative I was also looking at a cheap 125 on ebay, brand new on the road with 12 month warranty for £699[/quote]

I'd go for the 125. The 3K you will save on the purchase price will pay for 60,000 miles of fuel.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 18:41 
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How good is a cheap 125?

What is the top speed and acceleration like?

The Vectrix claims a top speed of 62mph, and 0-50 in 6.8 sec.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 21:23 
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DieselMoment wrote:
How good is a cheap 125?

What is the top speed and acceleration like?

The Vectrix claims a top speed of 62mph, and 0-50 in 6.8 sec.


The operative word is "claim"

They are too new into the market to get a good view on reliability and performance.

The battery is NiMH and claims 10 years and 1500 re-charge cycles (I assume either/or here). This may be true for Hybrids such as the Prius but in deep discharge applications like true EVs the reliability is no where near this good. I would check the cost for a replacement battery.


Pure EVs are rare for good reason. The technology is not proven yet.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:14 
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Well Gizmo, I've read some of your posts, and it becomes clear to me that you don't like change. You don't like or trust development of alternative methods of propulsion, and you don't like anything new. You dismiss man made climate change out of hand for no better a reason than it does not accord with your lifestyle of bike racing. You don't like having to wear a helmet when riding a bike, and avoid doing so where permitted, and you think protective clothing on bikes is for wusses. You feel that you should be entitled to "freedom of choice" in NOT having to wear such items, and if/when that means you end up in hospital you're OK with that - because the rest of us are picking up the tab through the NHS. You would continue burning as much oil even if the price doubled and don't see why consumption should be reduced. You said in one of my threads that you would "never never never ever" drive a diesel car, and that they sound crap. I have offered you a ride in my 150mph diesel car, in which the engine is still not audible at 120mph, but I have had no word of your acceptance.

Well, some of us are different. The case for/against man made global warming is not fully proven either way, but I still think we need to move away from burning fossil fuels. For one thing, it's going to get too expensive to go on as before.

No doubt you're against the compulsory use of seatbelts in cars - I've worn mine always, even in the 10 years before it became mandatory.

I do believe in helmets on motorcycles, and I believe in protective clothing as well. You would too, if you'd heard of the injuries sustained by the daughter of a bloke I used to work for. 4th degree burns - I didn't know burns went beyond 3rd degree, until I heard of her motorcycle accident.

You think diesel engines are crap. The fact that you do indicates that you have not kept apprised of developments in the last 25 years. In the 1980s, they were indeed crap - noisy and slow. But time and technology march on hand in hand. I switched to diesel in 2003, and I'm not going back to petrol.

Back on topic........

We're entering a new age, in which demand for oil (I believe) will keep prices high indefinitely. I'm not going to wait until it becomes $250/bbl and still keep on driving as before. So I will go ahead with this Vectrix scooter. True, I have not completed all my research, but I have read a number of reviews. Incidentally, the scooter has a 2-year warranty, and the battery has a life of 1700 recharges or 10 years/50,000 miles. I would probably do 5000 miles a year. By the way, the Vectrix concept has been 10 years in the making - it wasn't rushed out last April on the back of rising oil prices.

In short, I don't think we can sit back and pretend that there's no problem with burning as much oil as we like and going on as before, then blaming China/India when it all gets too expensive. It's time to start moving away from oil. To do that, we HAVE to begin to trust new technologies.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 20:34 
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DieselMoment wrote:
Well Gizmo, I've read some of your posts, and it becomes clear to me that you don't like change. You don't like or trust development of alternative methods of propulsion, and you don't like anything new. You dismiss man made climate change out of hand for no better a reason than it does not accord with your lifestyle of bike racing. You don't like having to wear a helmet when riding a bike, and avoid doing so where permitted, and you think protective clothing on bikes is for wusses. You feel that you should be entitled to "freedom of choice" in NOT having to wear such items, and if/when that means you end up in hospital you're OK with that - because the rest of us are picking up the tab through the NHS. You would continue burning as much oil even if the price doubled and don't see why consumption should be reduced. You said in one of my threads that you would "never never never ever" drive a diesel car, and that they sound crap. I have offered you a ride in my 150mph diesel car, in which the engine is still not audible at 120mph, but I have had no word of your acceptance.

Well, some of us are different. The case for/against man made global warming is not fully proven either way, but I still think we need to move away from burning fossil fuels. For one thing, it's going to get too expensive to go on as before.

No doubt you're against the compulsory use of seatbelts in cars - I've worn mine always, even in the 10 years before it became mandatory.

I do believe in helmets on motorcycles, and I believe in protective clothing as well. You would too, if you'd heard of the injuries sustained by the daughter of a bloke I used to work for. 4th degree burns - I didn't know burns went beyond 3rd degree, until I heard of her motorcycle accident.

You think diesel engines are crap. The fact that you do indicates that you have not kept apprised of developments in the last 25 years. In the 1980s, they were indeed crap - noisy and slow. But time and technology march on hand in hand. I switched to diesel in 2003, and I'm not going back to petrol.

Back on topic........

We're entering a new age, in which demand for oil (I believe) will keep prices high indefinitely. I'm not going to wait until it becomes $250/bbl and still keep on driving as before. So I will go ahead with this Vectrix scooter. True, I have not completed all my research, but I have read a number of reviews. Incidentally, the scooter has a 2-year warranty, and the battery has a life of 1700 recharges or 10 years/50,000 miles. I would probably do 5000 miles a year. By the way, the Vectrix concept has been 10 years in the making - it wasn't rushed out last April on the back of rising oil prices.

In short, I don't think we can sit back and pretend that there's no problem with burning as much oil as we like and going on as before, then blaming China/India when it all gets too expensive. It's time to start moving away from oil. To do that, we HAVE to begin to trust new technologies.


Oh dear... somebody is not a very good judge of character.

A couple of points I would like to clear up though for the record...

1) In my professional line of work I am involved in a number of electric vehicle and hybrid projects. So I KNOW the problems they have and also the degree of hype that exists. I am able to cut through the bullshit, unlike some

2) I do not believe in man made global warming AT ALL. I do believe we need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel because i do not want to live in the pockets of the Arabs OR the Russians.

3) I do believe in protective clothing, but I also reserve the right to chose. I have always advised my two youngest children (both who ride motorcycles) to use approved helmets as well as good quality gloves and boots.

4) I drive a DIESEL XType Jag, great car, outstanding performance. (still sounds like a tank at idle though)



Ok... Glad we cleared that one up!

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 21:30 
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I'm rather dubious of the 20p per charge. They may be assuming you'll be using an off peak tariff too. Whats the battery capacity?

I'd also not expect more than half the quoted lifespan from the batteries either.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 22:13 
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hairyben wrote:
I'm rather dubious of the 20p per charge. They may be assuming you'll be using an off peak tariff too. Whats the battery capacity?

I'd also not expect more than half the quoted lifespan from the batteries either.


3.7 kW·h capacity would charge at about 50% efficiency so thats about the same as running a 7Kw electric shower for one hour. Looking at standard tarrifs thats about £1.00 at normal rates. I recon a typical 125cc bike doing 100mpg would cost about £2.50 in fuel to cover the same distance. Depends on the duty cycle though.

The big issue of high voltage batteries is balancing the charge accross the cells. Not sure how they do that in this case. Power management (charging and discharging) is the major black art on EVs. Thats why EVs often have a traction battery (circa 400v) as well as a 12v battery for the power supply for the non-powertrain related electrical system that is charged from the traction battery.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 23:51 
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It's a 30 Ah, 3.7 kW-h battery. Rated voltage 125v. The recharge time (80%) is 2 hours. The charger is 1.5kW. Presumably, demand tapers off as the battery reaches full charge? Indeed, one report I read suggests this is indeed the case, but that the charger still consumes 114W - which serves to heat the charger! So it's advisable to use a timer, or turn it off after 2-3 hours.

Anyway, I've checked the Southern Electric website, and their price for one unit of electricity which I assume to be 1 kilowatt-hour is 9.97p including VAT on most pricing plans. So 2 units of electricity would be about 20p.

But whether it's 20p, 40p or 60p - it's negligible compared to the cost of road fuel for a car.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 19:56 
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A 3.7 kW·h battery takes about 7KW-h to charge (including losses) from flat. at 1.5KW thats just over 4.5 hours.

There are other problems with the performance claims.

1) "continuous" power is stated as 7Kw. That will give to 30 mins of running time on a full charge to flat. That is less power than the average 125cc bike which could run at about around 9Kw continuous.

2) "peak" power is 22kW (not bad) but would give you about 9 minutes on a full charge so not advisable to rip the throttle open too often. the battery could not cope with this level of discharge. The stated range is calculated at 25mph...!

The other issue with high voltage high capacity battery packs such as this is self-discharging. These packs are usualy made using surplus manufacturing capacity in the factories making batteries for power tools and use the same type of cells. The hundreds (if not thousands) of cells that are used in the pack are arranged in series and parallel. The result is that they try to balance the voltages out internality so you get a continuous state of internal discharge. The result is that you may have to keep it plugged in on charge (and consuming electricity) all the time it is not un use, such as over night and at week ends. This is the case with other EVs using this technology.

In addition From another article.. "Replacement cost of the battery is estimated to be around $3,000". Worth remembering. Car manufacturers that are developing using this technology are going down the leasing route where the batteries are rented from the manufacturer so that they can be returned for maintenance during their service life.


Sorry to sound negative but there are very good reasons this technology has not taken off before now...... and that is the lack of a good quality high capacity, reliable, long lasting and cost effective battery. And that is not going to be solved any time soon.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 22:17 
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Gizmo wrote:
2) I do not believe in man made global warming AT ALL............


I found this http://www.kusi.com/weather/colemanscorner/19842304.html quite interesting

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