Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Vectrix electric scooter

I came across this on Northwest Cable News this morning. These scooters are just becoming available in the Seattle area.

This rig is billed as an electric maxi-scooter. Here's some quick statistics.

The battery pack is NiMH and is expected to last approximately 10 years figured at an average mileage of 5000 miles per year. Charging is accomplished by plugging the thing into a standard 110/120 volt receptacle. Two hours will put the battery pack into about an 80% charged state.

Top speed is claimed to be 62 mph ( 100 km/hr ). It is suppposed to do 0-50 mph in 6.8 seconds. DC motors usually have a lot of torque anyway. What's the range, you might ask?

Range is listed as about 68 miles. The kicker is that this is figured at an average speed of 25 mph. What is that, about 40 km / hr? Interestingly, the range can be extended by up to 12% depending upon how much stopping a rider does. There's a regenerative braking system that adds a little charge to the battery. Storage is comparable to other big scooters.

List price is $11,000 ( U.S. dollars ).

This would be a perfect commuter vehicle. Forward movement would be twist and go. Emissions would be zero. There would be no noise ( not that most scooters are noisy in the first place ). Just the gleeful giggling of the rider. Although, there's this kid in our neighborhood with a Spree that screams like a chainsaw. I'm torn between not wanting to hurt a two wheeled creature and my desire for peace and quiet!

I'm not sure I would buy one of these. I keep thinking of how much more performance I could get for that kind of money. Motorcycles are already a lower emission vehicle. There's those who might argue differently. It depends on how you look at it, I guess. That discussion isn't the purpose of this post. I can see an advantage to the Vectrix in that there is no oil changing, no valve adjustments, no tune-ups, etc. Keep it clean and on good tires and enjoy. The cleaning part is even optional. Probably ought to keep good tires, though! Come to think of it, there's still a drive belt and transmission to maintain.

Want to take a look for yourself?

http://www.vectrix.com/Portal/1/Language/47/Page/1/Home_(US).aspx

Miles and smiles,

Dan

6 comments:

Darren said...

Dan,

When you call an electric vehicle that's charged from an electric outlet "zero emissions" - and I'm not blaming you for originating the reference - I think it's a bit disingenuous.

Sure, the vehicle itself doesn't directly generate emissions, but how much coal/gas is burnt by the power plant to generate however many kWh of energy? (Unless, of course, your area is served by hydroelectric or nuclear power - both of which still have associated environmental costs. I suppose geothermal power would be even better, but since relatively few of us live in Scandinavia...)

Sorry to sound critical, as I don't mean to be and love your writing, but the promotion of such vehicles as if they have no environmental footprint seems dishonest to me. Less of a footprint, yes. Maybe not all that much less if you consider projected life of the bike, battery, etc and the associated costs of construction/destruction at the beginning and end of its life.

Electric said...

Darren is saying he rides a horse...

All interested parties who fell out of their chair at the $11,000 price tag should mosey on over ( w their horse ) and look at FalconEV dot com

irondad said...

Darren,
I agree. Like I say, I most likely won't be a customer for an electric two wheeler. Manufacturing anyhting; bikes, wheels, tires, seats, etc., consumes resources. I've found that a lot of folks who buy hybrids and suchs may have a sincere reason. They also don't hesitate to let the rest of us know what they're doing. Granted, not everyone's that way but it sure seems that the majority are.

Maybe this should be the advertising motto:

Less smog, more smug!

irondad said...

Electric,
I read somewhere that scientists are saying that cows are some of the most prolific producers of methane gases which cause a rise in greenhouse gases. Would horses be similar?

It really goes to show that we need to just do the best we can to help take care of our Earth!

balisada said...

I would be interested in an electric motorcycle, but it would have to have longer range and higher speeds.

Balisada

Bryce Lee said...

Speaking of different machines,
did your son finally receive an operational foreign constructed motorcycle, that works?

Or is it still a shop queen in the bed of a pickup truck?