Official lithium-ion conversion?
Does anyone know if Vectrix has any plans to offer a lithium-ion conversion package for the old NiMH bikes?
Contact your dealer!
Have no idea about this. Waiting for updating
There are official Vectrix conversion packs. Ask your dealer. We tried to make a simultaneous conversion of 10 units for a good price in Barcelona, BUT we couldn't have a good price: Seems that the li units still have problems, and the dealer nearby don't want to have 10 damaged vectrix 6 months after the conversion. Really astonishing.
Yesterday I tested an official 30Ah reconverted vectrix. I could travel 72 km at 70km/h. With NIMH that mark was impossible. But that GP lithium seems less powerful than the NIMH (or seems fully "BMS" protected).
You can find pricing information in this thread.
Dear Jesus, should I convert? If only I could receive my answer from above. A local man is doing yeoman's work trying to bring a viable Vectrix service center to our town. I had promised him I would do a Li upgrade to 42ah on my 2007 VX-1. Then I started reading this forum--a week of compulsive study here has given me grave doubts despite my almost completely carefree experience with the motorcycle (and I learn that I have abused the battery considerably). For me, the question has come down to whether Vectrix is likely to still be supporting these bikes in a couple of years. The information on this forum is scattered and often consists of highly technical exchanges that I can barely follow. I hope to ask a few questions here and get to-the-point opinions without starting a big argument. But first, since someone asked about pricing, this is what we hear from Vectrix via Dana via my friend:
The 42 ah lithium batteries are in stock (in New Bedford , MA from Gold Peak in China). Our group is high on the list to get access - there's more demand than supply right now. The 30 ah batteries are also available, and are less expensive.
They're going to be driven cross country from New Bedford MA to Irvine CA in the next couple of weeks.
After that, Dana will fly out and we will be his first stop (of 3) in CA. No firm dates yet. So we're looking at late April at the earliest for the big upgrade.
I asked about allowing access to the service portals for you all - answer was definitely not (proprietary info).
Here is the pricing info:
Part Description Cost
S00606 Li Conversion Pack 30Ah $4,389.00
S00607 Li+ Conversion Pack 42Ah $5,825.40
Trade In Bike age from sales date Mileage Credit
0 to 24 months Unlimited $2,128.00
25 to 36 months 0 to 20,000 km $1,463.00
25 to 36 months 20,000 to 60,000 km $1,064.00
37 to 48 months 0 to 20,000 km $1,064.00
37 to 48 months 20,000 to 60,000 km $665.00
25 to 48 months Above 60,000 km $0.00
49 and over months Above 60,000 km $0.00
If I understand correctly, these numbers include neither labor nor dealer markup, which is between $1,000 and $1,200.
And now to my questions:
1) Is there any recourse other than Vectrix or used bikes should the motor controller fail? Are there any other parts whose failure would mean the end of the motorcycle unless one could find a replacement from Vectrix?
2) What is the current state of assisted upgrades to Li via the incredible people on this forum? From watching a few videos, I get the feeling I could handle this with enough guidance, but I have a hard time discerning the current state of the art. I see a steep learning curve ahead, but perhaps it's time for me to become another amateur expert in EV technology. As regards this, reading this forum and seeing the kinds of things that are possible is quite inspiring. Bravo/a to everyone!!!!!
3) Without mounting arguments or becoming contentious, perhaps folks could weigh in briefly on their views concerning the likelihood of keeping these fun machines on the road with and without the existence of an at-least-sometimes-reliable New Vectrix.
I have read a lot here over the last week. Nonetheless, I may be asking for material available elsewhere. My apologies if this is the case.
$5,825.40 Is a lot cheaper then buying a new Zero DS, Brammo or Vectrix. I would have no issue paying that if I got a full two year warranty.
As for the post on this forum, as with any product forum you are going to hear a lot more from the people having problems then the one not having problems. Go to the most reliable scooter maker (Honda) forum and it will be filled with people having issues as well. As a case in point out side of not having enough range, I have never had an issue with my Vectrix in the 3 years I have owned it. And out side of tires, it has cost me nothing in up keep. It has easily been the most reliable bike I have ever owned. It make my Kawasaki Versys look like a problem child. As far as I can tell there was only one common issue with the origonal Vectrix and that was it ship with a bad BMS profile for NiMh batteries which mostly effected people that live in places with hot summers. Replacing the NiMh with lithium batteries would remove the most likely thing to fail on your scooter, the NiMh batteries. So I say go though with it, as long as you get at least a two year parts warranty.
And let the rest of us know what if any warrenty we would get with this upgrade!
Thanks for the encouraging response, Yamez4u. I do think you're right about forums, and the price is not outrageous for essentially a new ride. Like you, I have had great luck with the motorcycle. It has saved me a lot of money and the environment a lot of degradation. It really helps to hear a positive report. Even so, marcopolo's diatribe in another thread about the evil behavior of the original Vectrix at the corporate level and about the impure motivations of Gold Peak was quite convincing. (It would have been more-so had he not included an allusion to Margaret Thatcher as a champion of keeping industry in Britain rather than outsourcing--that strains credibility.) I assume that he was largely correct on the shameful facts, however. The Zero and Brammo look awesome, but they are a different kind of machine. I'm not really a motorcyclist--I got my license just to drive the Vectrix. I want comfort, storage, and reliable range. So the choice I am struggling with is between continuing to support Vectrix, having a warranty, and having a bike that is fully integrated vs. taking control myself, buying a likely better made battery with greater capacity while jury rigging the bike with all the headaches that can create.
I have inquired about the warranty on the upgrade and whether the upgrade includes a new charger. I'll let you know when I get the answers there. If there is no new charger, that may make the decision for me, because I think I can convert the battery myself and integrate just fine and I have little faith that the corporation devoted time to creating a proper charging profile for extending the life of the new battery. I fear GP is simply grabbing an opportunity to sell batteries until they let the company sink. Still, they did release a new motorcycle, so that shows some interest in the future. My friend who is starting a dealership test drove it and the range was as advertised. The other person who was thinking of adding Vectrix to his dealership eventually gave up because of their lack of responsiveness. They need to sell motorcycles. The Zero dealership in the LA area has sold 30.
I'm still hoping to get more feedback on the forum.
I was one of the "lucky" ones who recognized their failing packs before the bankruptcy was final and received a replacement NIMH pack for free. The replacement was a newly build battery with fresh cells from GP batteries as opposed to "good" packs pulled feom Li conversions. I have logged about 4000 miles on it and it works flawless thus far. Justs today, getting the bike out of hibernation I managed to get 40.2 miles in pretty hilly terrain going about 40-45 mph. So for now I am a happy customer. I do agree that may be we are only discussing the bad bikes on this forum. Mine clearly was bad when I bought it new as I never managed to get more than 32 miles.
Keep us posted on you successes with the factory Li conversion. Sooner or later many of us will face the same decision.
That is lucky. I guess that shows us what these are capable of when functioning correctly.
I learned a couple of new things. The conversion does include a new charger and a new battery harness as well as a warranty. We don't know the terms of the warranty yet.
I just met the guy I've been talking with on the phone. He's committed to a dealership here, as well as providing service. We'll be working with a current scooter dealership whose mechanic is a committed ev guy. I've decided to go ahead with the conversion. I just checked and found my 2007 motorcycle doesn't even have the up-to-date software, yet it still performs fine with diminished range. I'm decided to do the conversion to support Vectrix, to support EV in my area, and because I can always take responsibility for my bike AFTER Vectrix goes under. I just hope that enough gurus on this site deconstruct the new Li models so that there is as much detailed knowledge as has been developed for the original models. Until then, I feel like I'll be flying blind regarding such things as Vectrix' chosen charging program and battery protection for the new batteries. I have no faith in them.
Thanks for the feedback. Given that it was only two people, it made me irrationally optimistic. Time will tell. I'll definitely report on my experiences. Meanwhile, this forum has caused me to commit to educate myself generally regarding the vehicle power sources of the future.
And what about the new LI, original Vectrix?
The new software is good for batteries?
The temperature is ok in charge?
Good question. My main reason for choosing the official conversion over diy is having Vectrix work out the charging issue for me, assuming they did. I have learned that the conversion includes a new charger and battery harness, so I assume that means a different charging profile. That is my big question about a diy conversion, how do you manage getting the charging right? I wonder if Matt or anyone has explained that anywhere.
Now I'm changing my mind about the conversion. Suddenly my mileage has gone up again--I think the severe problem was because of lack of use. I just pushed it to the red battery light and got 34 miles, which suits my needs. If I replace weak cells, I can get more. I hate to do this before I have to. Otoh, it's a chance to have it done as part of a training with Dana doing the work, so it would probably be done well.
I have found this in Youtube:
Temperature very strange in a original Li+....
Pack 1 and 2 27º, 3- 32º and 4-34º....and few seconds later, all 20ºC....
There is a delay in the temperature measurements when the scoot is first powered on, during which "20degC" is displayed. The original BMSs equalization bypass resistors affected the cell temperature measurements, so during this delay the SW keeps the resistors off to make sure that the cell readings are not corrupted. If the bike was charging, then you unplugged and immediately turned on the scoot with the key, and the delay was not there, its possible the sensors would think the cells were hot if the resistors had been ON when charging. The BMS layout was changed to alleviate this.
I see...but it seems now this bike have less range...after light of temperature...and smell like burn...http://prius-pt.com/cafe/forums/t/3503.aspx?PageIndex=23
Another li vectrix with range problems...
Are the GP cells bad?
I think so!!!
"and smell like burn" : it might as well be the controller board which has nothing to do with batteries... It has happened. Again, we have to remain scientific and not jump to conclusions all the time.
For the time being, we have no certainty that official Li have problems on a large scale. Mine is perfect ; the ones I know as well. In France, with the help of the Polish plant we have converted a dozen or two to Li and Li+. Now, they are running fine. We need more time and more units to tell if there are problems, and at what scale. For many years, NiMh packs where changed and people thought they where the problems; but they killed by faulty chargers very often... We need time, patience and honesty to draw conclusions.