Thursday, July 16, 2009

Vectrix Closing Doors

by Ron Spangler

Remember way back when?

The economy started its rapid decent and oil prices started climbing to unbelievable new highs.

The answer coming from the left and the Obama supporting public was new technology like electric means of transportation will save us all. The idea was nothing new but the sales hype and marketing scams that took advantage of the high cost of gasoline convinced the public that there really was new and better technology available for electric cars and motorcycles.

One of the biggest marketing scams was the Vectrix Scooter. It was even featured on cable news sites like FoxNews and CNN as the way of the future for motorcycle enthusiasts. Things have changed a little since I first blogged about the Vectrix fiasco. In my blog dated August 4, 2008
, Vectrix Electric Scooter Another Failure?, I laid out the facts not only about the Vectrix but also questioned if this type of technology was something that was feasible for America. Very few news organizations are reporting that the answer to that question, especially as it relates to Vectrix Corporation, is beginning to be answered. Vectrix is closing the doors. As reported by Vectrix has laid off most of its employees and looking to sell the company or go into bankruptcy.

Obama supporters and the 'greenies' will say its simply the economy and sells are down because of lower gas prices and people have different priorities due to high unemployment. They will probably point out that motorcycles and motor scooters are not meant to be the sole means of transportation but are more like a luxury item similar to yachts and other sporting goods.

The truth is really this, the technology for electric vehicles is still a dismal failure for America.

In America one size does not fit all. What's good for the cities may not be good for rural America. President Obama as the new CEO of Government Motors, previously known as General Motors, is counting on this type of technology to save the American auto industry. By doing so I'm afraid we will find ourselves witnessing another Vectrix fiasco.

If you did not read my blog way back when, then read it and think about whether or not the new electric cars that are heading our way will be nothing more than another Vectrix false promise and marketing scam that will cost the new owners of Government Motors, you and me, more than we will ever know. Will it turn the American Auto industry into another Amtrack?

Before I am attacked by all the 'greenies' remember this, the same technology behind the Vectrix Maxi and similar electric scooters is the same technology President Obama is counting on in the new and improved auto industry of the future.

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  1. As a conservative journalist you have some valid points. This country(USA) is a along ways from adopting,even if mandated, incentivized, or beaten to, alternate energy transportation. This country is huge in geographical size with sprawling cities, counties, rural farms. No one model will fit all.

    I do take great issue with your discription of the Vectrix all electric, zero emmissions two wheel vehicle as a "Marketing Scam" . Rather I suugest within 5 yr Vectrix will be known as the all electric legacy vehicle. IMO there are roadblocks that must first be cleared for wide mass USA acceptance:1. Battery technolgy must produce more power & range with LiH and beyond that are affordable 2. A new national alternate energy psychology ( polution, non-carbon dependency, fewer road miles)3. MSRP for the masses.4.healthy,job secure, low tax economy

    As one of the more than 165 former Vectrix employees I submit that the VX-1 is a suberbly engeneered bike, 5 years ahead of its time. The Vectrix branding efforts were excellent and honest. It is only a shame you write without authentic riding proof. Torque, quietness,'s very impressive.Ask one who rides one!And they really do the #s as advertised.

    As Mike Jackson of Auto Nation states, 70% of prospects come to showrooms to talk hybrid or alternatives... only 1% really buy. At $4/gal people seek an $2+ back to same old same old.

    After 13 yr of hard work & development, life is bitter sweet, and Vectrix will always be a proud company that identifiied and brought to market, a quality US designed, alternate transportion product well before it became PC.

  2. I feel sorry for the employees that have lost their jobs, the same as every employee that is continuing to loose their jobs across America today. However, I stand behind my statement that "the sales hype and marketing scams that took advantage of the high cost of gasoline convinced the public that there really was new and better technology available for electric cars and motorcycles." was a marketing scam.

    This was not the fault of the vehicle it was the media, the environmentalist, the dealers and the marketing department of Vectrix that were not being totally honest with the general public.

    I only used Vectrix as an example of what can happen to General Motors if President Obama forces them to come out with a new version of the same old electric car. They have been there before and the technology today hasn't improved that much.

    America cannot afford to gamble on unproven technology. When it comes to batteries and electronics there is and always will be limitations.

    I not only have experience with electric vehicles I am also an avid motorcycle fan with years of riding experience.

    Be it a motor scooter or car no battery today or in the next 10 years will be able to withstand the constant amperage draw and subsequent charging it will require to replace the gasoline or diesel engine with an electric motor.

    With unemployment still rising and the country facing bankruptcy from government over spending, zero emissions is the last thing Americans should be concerned with.

  3. .... and yet no-where do you mention having actually ridden a Vectrix - or driven any other EV for that matter. Who ever said the Vectrix or any other particular EV will suit everyone... any more than one particular ICEV would? EV's generally, however, are perfectly capable of serving the needs of roughly 80% of Americans for 98% of the time.

    Speaking as someone who has ridden a Vectrix - daily and for 18 months - I am qualified to say that you haven't the faintest idea what you are talking about. Your blatently anti-EV stance has utterly undermined whatever journalistic standing you once had and I encourage everyone who reads your tripe to treat it with the comtempt it plainly deserves!