With the high cost of gas I have spent the past month looking into alternative transportation. With the Vectrix Electric Scooter getting so much attention locally and nationally I have read and talked to local dealers, trying to determine if they are really worth the investment. For a variety of reasons I have decided the Vectrix Maxi is not worth the price, at least not now.
In my state they are considered a motorcycle and must be treated as such. The same laws that apply to all motorcycle riders in the state i.e. motorcycle endorsement, license and registration, insurance, etc. applies to scooters. This is a good thing, since these vehicles are designed for use in normal traffic and on public roads. As sales for scooters have increased a problem with driver's license endorsement has come to light. The scooters by their very nature and size are far more maneuverable during a road test than larger less maneuverable motorcycles. This makes receiving a motorcycle endorsement easier. People that have no experience with motorcycles sometimes believe, since they have the endorsement, they can simply jump on a larger Harley, Honda, or some other motorcycle and it will be the same experience. Most find out there is a world of difference.
You will find on other sites glowing reviews for the electric scooters but I have found there is more hope and marketing hype than there is truth. Sites like boston.com, nytimes.com, and the Office of the Mayor Providence, RI are not being completely honest. This is also true of the local dealers I have spoken to in my state. It seems they are more interested in making a sale than full disclosure of the capabilities the Victrix Maxi. There are plenty of other misleading ads currently running on youtube.
Sales have risen in 2008 but in 2007 out of
Checking out the official website of Vectrix I discovered the truth may not be the same as all the hype I have read and been told by the dealer. One local dealer told me you could achieve 50 miles on a single charge at 62 miles per hour. He said the hills and mountainous terrain would have no effect on the range or speed. He also lead me to believe the warranty on the battery was 10 years. Here are the facts from Vectrix:
|25 mph||65 miles|
|35 mph||54 miles|
|40 mph||48 miles|
|45 mph||44 miles|
|50 mph||36 miles|
|60 mph||20 miles|
Notice that for every 10 mph increase, your range decreases an average of 11 miles before the battery is depleted.
In the Q and A section the following info came out concerning range:
Q: Does Acceleration Affect Range?
Acceleration is the rate which you are attempting to increase the speed of your Maxi-Scooter. The greater the acceleration the faster you are depleting the energy in the battery pack. The harder and more frequently you accelerate the more adversely you will affect the range of your Maxi-Scooter. Being "first off the line" means you will also be the first to drain your energy supply.
Hard Acceleration = Reduced Range
Q: Does Weight Affect Range?
The Vectrix Maxi-Scooter at approximately 500 lbs plus a 180 lb driver equates to a gross vehicle weight of 680 lbs. If you add 50 pounds of cargo the total weight you are attempting to move is 730 pounds or 7.3% increase in weight. If then you add a 175 pound passenger the total weight is 905 lbs or a total weight increase of 33%! The more mass you are pushing/lifting the more energy it takes to accomplish the mission. Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your Maxi-Scooter since it will impact your range.
Added Weight = Reduced Range
Q: Why Do I Get Less Range at Higher Speeds?
It takes more energy to push a Maxi-Scooter faster because you encounter aerodynamic resistance. The faster you attempt to travel the more important this factor becomes. Also it is a fundamental characteristic of battery energy storage systems that the amount of energy you are able to extract from the battery is inversely proportional to the rate at which you drawing out the energy. If a battery pack is rated for 30 Ah if you draw 10 amperes of current you will deliver more energy that if you are drawing 100 amperes of current. Bottom line is that the more conservative you drive the further you will travel on single charge.
Faster Speed = Reduced Range
It is hard to tell if this type of vehicle will last with the general publics interest or not. At a cost of $11,000 one thing is for certain, sales will not pick up in this area for years to come. These type of vehicles may be fine in Paris, Rome, or Berlin but I don't see a future for them in America.
electric, scooter, motorcycle, technology