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Vectrix Electric Scooter

By James - 4/26/2007

I recently got a press release from the Vectrix Scooter company and while I generally ignore press releases, this one excites me. I am trying to build an electric motorcycle and have been struggling with the speed vs range limitations. The Vectrix seems to have solved this problem and may offer an alternative to a build it yourself electric scooter.

The Vectrix Super-Scooter: Electricity Moves Fast
The electric motorbike that performs like a petrol model is here

- Vectrix is green - but it accelerates from 0 to 50 mph in just 6.8 seconds
- No petrol, no emissions, no noise, no Congestion Charge - just twist and go
- Simultaneous world launch takes place in London and Milan this month

Got a green-minded conscience but don’t want to be left at the traffic lights? The Vectrix is the answer. The first electric motorbike to perform like a petrol-fuelled machine, Vectrix is set to transform the way we look at green commuting. It’s emissions-free and quiet but - vitally - it’s designed for motorcyclists rather than simply for environmentalists. The first speedy, good-looking, reliable and fun alternative to the petrol bike, Vectrix hits London’s streets on April 30th.

Equivalent in power and size to a 400cc maxi-scooter, the Super-Scooter runs equally on innovation and electrical current. Conceived by former members of Lockheed Martin’s aerospace division and developed over ten years by Vectrix, the Super-Scooter is packed with pioneering features such as DAaRTT throttle technology, whereby twisting the throttle towards you allows smooth acceleration and twisting it away from you allows you to slow down smoothly. Regenerative braking recycles energy back into the battery as you slow down, extending your ride. The innovation is backed by solid performance - the Vectrix’s torque is as strong as that of a Ducati 900, enabling riders to weave swiftly through stationary traffic and overtake with confidence. With a top speed of more than 60mph, you’re looking at life in the fast lane - and, when you’re finished riding, parking is a breeze with the slow-speed reverse function.

Convenience is fitted as standard. You can ride the Vectrix for 68 miles on a mere two-hour charge from a standard electrical socket. There’s free meter and pay and display parking in many city areas and, for a nominal yearly administration fee, London Vectrix owners will receive unlimited recharging at any of the 300 recharging points that are set to become fixtures on London’s streets by the end of 2007.

It’s not just the earth that benefits when you switch to a Vectrix - you do too, as the Vectrix is exempt from road tax and the dreaded London Congestion Charge. And, maintenance-wise, we’re looking at few moving parts - which translates to less repairs and an extended vehicle life.

Alex Bamberg, MD of Vectrix UK says: “Vectrix is a global first; an electric vehicle like no other. Its speed, long range and responsiveness give it all the benefits of a traditional motorcycle without the noise, pollution and excessive maintenance.”

Vectrix is:
- No gimmick: Ten years in the making, Vectrix is built with world-class components from manufacturers like Brembo (suppliers of brakes to Ferrari), Getrag Gears (suppliers of transmissions to Mercedes, Audi and Porsche) and Pirelli, the Vectrix Super-Scooter holds its own on the road.

- Cheaper to run: see running costs below.

- Convenient and reliable: ride for 68 miles on a two-hour charge from a recharging station or any regular three-pin electrical socket. An electric brushless air-gap motor means minimal maintenance - and the battery is designed to last for a minimum of ten years.

- Green: Vectrix is emissions-free if you buy your electricity on a green tariff. The quiet electric motor is the answer to a city choked with smog and noise and a way to combat climate change. A Vectrix Super-Scooter has by far the lowest carbon footprint rating of any similarly-performing vehicle.

Vectrix Running Costs - it makes sense to your pocket

20 pence’s worth of electricity at home gives you enough charge for 68 miles

That’s less than 1/3 of a penny per mile - or 1000 miles for less than three quid.

Vectrix is exempt from road tax and the Congestion Charge, and you can park it for free in electric vehicle parking bays - more of which are appearing all the time.

Free meter and pay and display parking in many city areas

Unlimited recharging at London recharging points for a nominal yearly fee

Vectrix hits the road on April 30th with simultaneous world launches in London and Milan. To see the future of city transport for yourself, come along to New Spitalfields Market where you’ll have the opportunity to watch the Vectrix Super-Scooter in action and to take one for a spin (or enjoy a pillion ride) on a specially constructed indoor track.


EV Daytona Electric Motorcycle

By James - 2/27/2007

I finally found an electric motorcycle that makes no comprise in performance or range compared to a regular gasoline motorcycle. Here are the specs:

Maximum Cruise Speed: 93 mph
Zero to 60: 2.9 seconds
Range: 143 Miles Economy -OR- 49 Miles Street Rodding
Weight: 457 pounds to 550 pounds with batteries

Electric Motorcycle

I would have to chop that windshield, although it is supposedly for aerodynamic reasons. This is exactly what I need, maybe more. Unfortunately the asking price, $77,770USD, made me hurt more than laying my bike down at highway speeds. It makes sense, for that kind of range you need expensive batteries and an expensive charging system, not to mention a custom built bike.

Electric Motorcycle Batteries

So I continue on, although with some more hope that it is possible to create an electric motorcycle that will travel 40 miles at 55 mph. The interesting thing for me is the size of the rear sprocket. It seems too large based on the innate torqiness of electric motors. But if it works for them there must be a good reason for it.

Electric Motorcycle Sprocket

You can see more of the evDaytona here.


The GomiCycle Electric Motorcycle

By James - 2/20/2007

Jesper at HelmetHair found a terrific video on how to convert your motorcycle from gasoline powered to electric. They convert a Rebel into an electric motorcycle and show the whole process. The details were left out but if you are thinking of doing one of these conversions yourself you will definitely need to read up on your electrical physics.

The Rebel is a common bike used for conversions. It has a low pricetag and is lightweight, although the downside is that it is hard to find a Rebel engine that is in bad shape. Those things run forever. The other common conversion is the Ninja 600. There are blueprints for converting the Kawi bike that map out everything you need to do.

Alas, the batteries are what are holding me back from starting my project. Range and speed are dependent on eachother and for my commute, it is stretching the limits. For a cool $20K I can get some Lithium Ion batteries that will last 32 miles at 55 mph, but that is out of my price range right now.


Electric Motorcycle Project

By James - 2/8/2007

I saw the DVD “Who killed the Electric Car” last week and was immediately inspired to build an electric motorcycle for a commute vehicle. There are several reasons for this. First, the DVD is a great story. GM and Ford built electric vehicles for a mandate that California had in place in the ’90s and everyone loved them. Once the mandate went away, the companies didn’t let the owners renew the lease and destroyed most of them. It is confounding why a company would spend so much research and development to create a great product and then destroy it. We all know how hard GM and Ford need a vehicle that sells. I won’t ruin the movie for you but I highly recommend it. But back to me and my project.

I have been trying to work out what electric components I need, how many batteries, what voltage to run and what kind of bike to convert. My knowledge of electricity comes from my college physics class, which I have remembered more than I have forgot. But once I start connecting wires to terminals we will see how good my equations are.

My commute is 16 miles one way, 15 of those miles are highway miles. I can’t plug in at work, so my range has to be greater than 32 miles. That comes out to 4000 watt hours, which is a lot of batteries. Lead Acid batteries are the heaviest and cheapest. NiCD batteries are more expensive and lighter, around $6K for what I need. Lithium Ion batteries will cost about $20K. It seems that some petroleum companies have bought the patents to LiIon batteries and are limiting the research and licensing of the technology.

One roadblock after another but I am determined to get this project off of the ground. Let me know if you have an electric vehicle and if I am crazy for attempting this. I will keep posting about my progress and one day, I hope you can kiss my amps.

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