Vectrix Electric Scooter

Bikerbob

Pedelecer
May 10, 2007
215
0
Isle of Man
I had a ride on the Vectrix electric scooter today. It is quite large - about the size of a Yamaha Tmax or Honda Silverwing - and weighs slightly more at 210kg. The range is given as about 60 miles and top speed just over 60mph. The one I rode was calibrated in kph but I'd say 60 to 65mph was about right. It was a lot of fun. Sets off almost silently then just surges forward. They say 0 - 50mph in under 7 seconds and it certainly felt quick. Handles like a conventional large scooter but nothing like as well as a Tmax. One feature was regenerative braking. The throttle has a 'stop' at the bottom end of the normal range. Twist it down beyond that and the bike slows down quite quickly which seems to make a difference to the predictive 'distance remaining' indicator on the panel. With a bit of anticipation you hardly need to use the brakes at all. It has an inbuilt charger, you just pull out a thick yellow cable from under the seat and plug in.

The problem is the price of £5500. The makers apparently claim that the NiMh battery cells will last 10yrs. (Hmm...) They also say that in the UK 12000 miles would cost £157 in electricity, so there is a big fuel saving. So much depends on the battery life and the replacement cost if necessary - it would obviously be very expensive but the dealer who lent me the bike had no figures. Much as I enjoyed the ride I didn't buy - my experience of electric bike batteries makes me somewhat doubtfull of the battery life.
 

Blew it

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2008
1,472
97
Swindon, Wiltshire
Thanks Bob

I'll have to admit, it's a very interesting machine. It's very heavy, back in the '60's I rode a Triumph 650cc Tiger 110, With a full tank it weighed 470 lbs, only a tadd heavier than the Vectrix.

The NiMH battery has a life expectancy of 1700 cycles at 80% discharge. I wonder how a 125 volt 30 ah LiFePO4 would compare in the price of a replacement. It would certainly reduce the weight by quite a lot.

Anyway, I'm pleased to hear you enjoyed the test ride, and thanks for sharing the experience with us.

And yes, us E-bikers probably know more about battery technology than your average Joe public!!

Regards

Bob
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,478
23,296
I first met it last year and was also quite impressed, except with the price which was circa £7000 at the time, so it's good the price is heading in the right direction. However, even at that price I've got serious doubts whether they will survive, and I'll only believe the battery life when I see it happen. Even the earlier buyers of the low tech Gee-Wizz car have been getting rude shocks on battery replacement costs, and I doubt this will be different.

It's sobering to reflect that I've been through £2175 of batteries to date in five years of e-bikes, £435 a year, and it's only that good due to the longer lasting Lafree NiMh batteries. In the last two years with higher powered batteries it's been £1355, that's £677 a year. Fortunately for me, I haven't had to pay for £655 worth of those due ín part to testing for the manufacturer which has halved that cost.

When you consider those costs are for a bicycle which is only part powered by battery, we are still some way off a really viable full electric personal vehicle.
.
 

Danny-K

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 25, 2008
281
0
South West
It's sobering to reflect that I've been through £2175 of batteries to date in five years of e-bikes, £435 a year...
Being self-employed I have to keep accurate records not only for the tax man, but for my own control of costs. Each year my petrol driven vehicle costs never falls below £2,500 per annum; last year being the worst at £2,800. (This current year will be through the roof). That's petrol, road tax, Mot's, insurance, tyre replacements, servicing and other consumables.

So, if you cover my mileage of 17,000 miles per year Flecc, I'd say that your travel costs of £435 per annum still puts you well in front for efficiency.

In the meantime check out this 160mph electric 911 from Porche - First-ever electric Porsche announced - Yahoo! Cars UK
 
Last edited:

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,478
23,296
So, if you cover my mileage of 17,000 miles per year Flecc, I'd say that your travel costs of £435 per annum still puts you well in front for efficiency.
No chance where I'm concerned Danny. Being retired I only do 1500 to 3000 miles a year on my bikes, though a bit higher this year. In that last five years it's roughly 9000 miles against that £2175 of batteries. Add the electricity and the bike maintenance and amortisation and the costs rise to over £3900, a bit over 43 pence a mile. Enjoyable but not cheap.

And I also have two cars, but the mileages on those are very low, much less than on the bikes. In my working days I sometime exceeded 35000 car miles in a year, though mostly it was around 15000.
.
 

Danny-K

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 25, 2008
281
0
South West
No chance where I'm concerned Danny. Being retired I only do 1500 to 3000 miles a year on my bikes, though a bit higher this year. In that last five years it's roughly 9000 miles against that £2175 of batteries. Add the electricity and the bike maintenance and amortisation and the costs rise to over £3900, a bit over 43 pence a mile. Enjoyable but not cheap.

And I also have two cars, but the mileages on those are very low, much less than on the bikes. In my working days I sometime exceeded 35000 car miles in a year, though mostly it was around 15000.
.
On another thread Flecc, you highlight the various costs of batteries with the Bionix shocking me at a cost of £550. It set me thinking about some of the mileage returns per cost of battery you've posted above.

Take my 'budget priced bike' set-up. The retailer of my Salisbury states that owners should expect 500 charges before the battery becomes kaput. As I manage 27 miles per charge comfortably, (I'm at the heavy end of rider styles), that should equate to a battery lifetime average of 13,500 miles. Take into account that the battery loses it's capabilities as it a) ages and b) as it approaches the end of it's 500 recharges and let's say 10,000 miles. From your reported figures does that suggest that manufacturer's stated lifespan of Lithium batteries is greatly exaggerated? Or are my figures way out of line?
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,478
23,296
Two years appears to be about it for most lithium batteries Danny, though the very high quality BionX ones are still performing well at past that, some compensation for the price.

In general though, the capacity and therefore the range decline at up to 35% per annum normally, so at two years old probably only half the original range will be available. Therefore for you the range will be the mean of 27 and 13.5, say 20 miles per charge, and removing the optimism and taking 400 charges as being realistic, 8000 miles will be more like it.

Fortunately your bike's batteries are among the lowest cost around, so not all bad news, Powacycle always having that low battery price policy to date.
.
 

Danny-K

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 25, 2008
281
0
South West
Whoo-hoo!!! 8,000 miles per £200 battery. Aye, it'll do me. :) :) :) :)

I retire for the night one happy peddlar, that's if - IF I achieve 8,000 miles.

- (They'll all be wanting one at work tomorrow).
 

Advertisers