In comparison to other electric scooters, the Vectrix has a longer range (between 2-3 times longer, which translates into 35-55 miles/55-90 km per charge, depending on the driving speed), twice the acceleration speed, and a double top speed. In addition, its center of gravity is lower and it has a longer wheel base, making it safer to drive and easier to handle.
The Vectrix scooter has a multi-function throttle with “regen motor braking”. By simply using one hand to twist the throttle, one can stop or accelerate the scooter, depending on the direction in which the throttle has been turned. When braking, the throttle activates a regenerative braking system that reverses the polarity of the electric motor so that energy is directed back into the batteries. This process charges the batteries and extends the vehicle’s range by up to 12%.
This electric scooter is composed of only 250 parts (as opposed to about 2,500 incorporated into most gasoline-powered scooters), bringing maintenance and production costs to the minimum. The gearbox, prototyped by the German manufacturer Getrag Gears, provides efficient gear reduction between the motor shaft and the road surface so that no gear shifting is required. This single-stage, planetary gearbox is integrated into the rear wheel of the scooter.
The motor featured in the Vectrix scooter is an advanced brushless DC motor, which uses energy stored in the battery pack to drive the scooter’s rear wheel through the gearbox. The battery pack was developed by Vectrix and Gold Peak Batteries. It is an integrated 30 Ah, 125 volt, Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery pack designed for up to 1,700 full charging cycles. The battery has a rated battery capacity of 3.7Kwh and is supposed to last between 10 to 15 years based on 5,000 miles (8,000 km) per year.
The scooter’s electronic control system serves as the interface between the battery pack and the motor. It integrates the scooter controller into the motor controller and uses a six-pack configuration of the electronic switches (IGOTS) to reduce the size and weight of the scooter. The motor controller incorporates digital signaling processing (DSP) technology as part of the proprietary electronic control system (ECS). Unfortunately, all this cutting edge technology comes at a cost, as the Vectrix scooter’s retail price is $11,000.
In 2006, TFOT covered the Japanese company Axle Corporation’s new model of an electric powered motorbike named EV-X7. In 2007, TFOT covered the Yamaha Tesseract - a hybrid quad-bike with a powerful V-twin engine and an electric motor.
A short video depicting the Vectrix scooter can be found here.
More information on the Vectrix electric scooter can be found at the company’s website.