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Monday, June 08, 2009
Vectrix Scooter Test Drive
Image: © 2009 theirEarth.com

We Road Test The Vectrix Electric Scooter In Southern France

CANNES, FRANCE - We recently tested a 2009 Vectrix Scooter on a route that took us from Monte-Carlo, Monaco through to Cannes, France and back along the famous lower French Alps Maritime mountain route called the 'Moyenne Corniche'. Our test rider was able to put this high-technology state-of-the-art electric scooter through its paces and his overall impression gave the bike top marks.

Vectrix Electric Scooters have become a fashionable item and are in vogue both in the USA and Europe. The Vectrix Electric Scooter is a fully rechargeable 'sports' scooter with performance specifications equivalent to a 400cc gasoline (petrol) powered maxi scooter. The Vectrix 2009 VX-1 has a top speed of 100 km/h (62.5 mph) and accelerates from 0 to 80 km/h (50 mph) in 6.8 seconds, and 0 to 50 km/h (31 mph) in 3.6 seconds.

The Vectrix Scooter is made by the Vectrix Corporation, which was founded in 1996 in the United States with a mission to develop a zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) on a two-wheel based platform. Vectrix's headquarters and manufacturing facility are located in Newport, RI, with their Test Facility and Engineering Development located in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Climbing onto the Vectrix's seat and positioning against its very comfortable lower back support, you have in front of you a well laid out instrument graphics panel, with controls that clearly provide the battery status, speedometer, and multi-function display, all framed with high quality stainless steel trim rings. After turning the starter key, the display silently lights up with 'GO', identifying that all systems are functioning on the Vectrix. Applying the throttle, and with barely any sound, the Vectrix's high torque electric motor had us accelerating like we were leaving the starting grid of a Grand Prix F1 race, and the scooter hit 50 km/h in just over 3 seconds, just as advertised.

The batteries on the Vectrix Scooter are Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) and are rated at 125 V and 3.7 kWh. The electric Vectrix has a range of 56-88 kms (35-55 miles) depending on your driving style and road conditions, and this equates to approximately 5 hours of continuous urban driving. The scooter's two battery packs are stored in tandem, and directly below the seat in the centre of the bike's frame, providing a low centre of gravity. Negotiating sharp turns on twisty streets at speed, the Vectrix gives an immense degree of stability and rider confidence. It even has a reverse gear,  which is excellent for parking the scooter in tight spots.

The Vectrix transmission, which is integrated into the rear wheel, delivered instantaneous acceleration up steep inclines, and also from a standing start. At each traffic light, we had many interested onlookers viewing the bike and in some cases stopping us to ask questions.

The Vectrix's ventilated disc brakes (front and rear) are designed and manufactured by Brembo, and the tires are Pirelli GTS 23 (120/70-14) on the front, and Pirelli GTS 24 (140/60-13) on the rear. Additionally, there is built in regenerative braking that charges the lithium-ion battery packs during deceleration. We found the stability of the Vectrix in cross winds to be excellent, and it maintained its low noise footprint even in high gust wind conditions.

The 2009 Vectrix VX-1 Scooter is a redesigned upgraded version of the 2008 model, and there are new graphics, and it is available in four vibrant colours (White, Green, Blue, and Red). The advanced technology multi-function throttle allows you to accelerate and slow down with a simple twist forward or back, and this gives the rider a precise controls feedback. Vectrix says that the battery packs have a lifespan of 10 years, based on an average usage of 8000 km (5000 miles) per year operation.

In Europe in France, the 2009 Vectrix VX-1 Scooter has a list price of 8990 Euros (including taxes), and in the United States, the Vectrix VX-1 sells at a list price in New York of $8495.00 (excluding sales tax).

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