Dealer-sanctioned battery repairs

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eraserbones
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Joined: 08/27/2009
Points: 14

My 2007 VX1's range is dramatically degrading, and I'm lucky enough to have an official Vectrix dealer (scooterville MN) in town. So I just spoke to them about possible repair options. The scooterville people called Vectrix, and came back with the following suggestions:

- Full replacement of both NiMH battery packs. Estimated cost $4800 + labor (maybe another $500). New packs come with a 2-year warranty.

- Shipping the bike to Vectrix HQ where they will selectively replace damaged cells. (Price unknown, although they suggested that it would cost '$700 each way' to ship the bike, which implies that the factory may be on the moon.)

- They'll replace my battery packs with 'refurbished' battery packs for $1800 + labor. No warranty on refurbs.

- They'll send a tech out here to do a Lithium upgrade. The lithium batteries cost 'about the same' as the NiMH packs, and for an upgrade they'll give me a $1800 credit for the old batteries. Warranty info on the Lithium packs is so far unclear.

Obviously those stories don't quite add up... why would they give me a credit for an upgrade but not for a replacement? Still, if the last option is real, that suggests that they'll upgrade a nickel bike to Lithium for around $3500.

I'll report here as I learn more. In the meantime... has anyone done any of these things? And, is there reason to think that lithium packs will be even shorter-lived than nickel ones?

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antiscab
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Joined: 07/07/2007
Points: 1585
Re: Dealer-sanctioned battery repairs

eraserbones wrote:

- They'll send a tech out here to do a Lithium upgrade. The lithium batteries cost 'about the same' as the NiMH packs, and for an upgrade they'll give me a $1800 credit for the old batteries. Warranty info on the Lithium packs is so far unclear.

This is outstanding value - maybe they think the nimh packs are more trouble than they are worth to them...

I would go for the upgrade to Lithium personally, $1800 trade in for a nimh pack with problems is the best I have ever seen.

Matt

__________________

Daily Ride:
2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah
Vectrix 60Ah Lithium Tyres Fuel Registration Insurance cycle analyst replacement TC Charger
conversion
Spent so far: $5800 + $7000 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost to do it again: $2500 + $5600 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost for a Petrol bike:$6000 + + $1440 + $6000 + $800 + $1400 + $3200 servicing
Total spent: $17260
Total to do again: $12560
Total to have used a petrol bike: $18840
Total distance travelled so far: 79'120km

eraserbones
Offline
Joined: 08/27/2009
Points: 14
Re: Dealer-sanctioned battery repairs

OK, here are the updated numbers (quoted from Megan @ Scooterville in Minnesota.):

There are two lithium batteries you can purchase.
The first is a 30amp hour battery at $5500.
The second is a 42amp hour battery at $7000.

Depending on the condition of your current battery the trade in value is up to $1500. Paul at Vectrix estimated
that your battery is probably in good condition and you should get about $1000 toward the new battery. I'm not
sure where or how he came up with that but he volunteered this info and I am just letting you know.

There is a 2 year warranty on the new batteries, which is the same as on the old.
Each battery gets 1750 cycle charges. These cycles are considered from complete depletion to complete recharge.
For example:
If the battery has only been ridden a short amount and then charged, that amount may equal up to .25 of a cycle.

So, despite the price being more than I anticipated, I'm still leaning strongly towards the 30amp lithium upgrade. My main reservation is, of course, battery life. With my current usage, I'll only go through a few hundred recharges during the first two years of use, which leaves me 'trusting' Vectrix about the remaining 1500 battery cycles that they promise. Aggravating.

I've asked to see the specific warranty language; maybe I can make a warranty claim even if the range is only slightly degraded during those two years...

PzlPete
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Joined: 06/22/2009
Points: 157
Re: Dealer-sanctioned battery repairs

I have 40 amp Lithium cells in my 4000li. I turned 11,000 miles (18,333 km) this weekend with zero problems over those 11,000 miles and still have a 40 mile range. This bike has been a dream. Plug in and ride. The 4000li is also 200 lbs lighter than the vectrix, which is a huge advantage when it comes to range and longevity. Mine has the 40a cells. But I would think that an upgrade to even 30a lithium would be a huge improvement over nimh. I have owned nimh in the past and they had a very short life. I still have another 8 months on my lithium cells warranty and will see how they perform by the end of the 2 yr warranty.

yamez4u
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Joined: 01/30/2010
Points: 50
Re: Dealer-sanctioned battery repairs

The second is a 42amp hour battery at $7000.

Depending on the condition of your current battery the trade in value is up to $1500.

So basically to upgrade my scooter to a li+ will cost me $6000 and I get a two year warranty. This works for my. So anyone here have a li+ and can tell me the range at highway speeds? Can a li+ do 35 miles at 70mph? If so this upgrade would be worth it for me.

eraserbones
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Joined: 08/27/2009
Points: 14
Re: Dealer-sanctioned battery repairs

PzlPete wrote:

I have 40 amp Lithium cells in my 4000li. I turned 11,000 miles (18,333 km) this weekend with zero problems over those 11,000 miles and still have a 40 mile range.

What you wrote sounds good, except for this first bit. The 42 amp battery pack is rated as having a range of '55 to 85' miles, and the 30 amp as '40 to 60'. So if you're only getting 40 miles from your 42 amp pack then... that bodes ill for the 30. Unless you're getting 40 miles @ 68mph?

antiscab
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Joined: 07/07/2007
Points: 1585
Re: Dealer-sanctioned battery repairs

eraserbones wrote:

There are two lithium batteries you can purchase.
The first is a 30amp hour battery at $5500.
The second is a 42amp hour battery at $7000.

*snip*

So, despite the price being more than I anticipated, I'm still leaning strongly towards the 30amp lithium upgrade. My main reservation is, of course, battery life. With my current usage, I'll only go through a few hundred recharges during the first two years of use,

I would wonder how they determine how good a nimh battery is
the individual capacity test I do is fairly labor intensive, and costs ~$500 in labor

anyway, back to the lithium:
do you ride at 60mph continuously for much of your daily commute?

If so, I recommend going the 42Ah, simply because the larger battery has a longer service life when supplying the amoutn of power needed to maintain 60mph continuous.
Particularly if it involves a hill.

If you are 50mph or under the vast majority of the time, the 30AH should be fine

Matt

__________________

Daily Ride:
2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah
Vectrix 60Ah Lithium Tyres Fuel Registration Insurance cycle analyst replacement TC Charger
conversion
Spent so far: $5800 + $7000 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost to do it again: $2500 + $5600 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost for a Petrol bike:$6000 + + $1440 + $6000 + $800 + $1400 + $3200 servicing
Total spent: $17260
Total to do again: $12560
Total to have used a petrol bike: $18840
Total distance travelled so far: 79'120km

antiscab
Offline
Joined: 07/07/2007
Points: 1585
Re: Dealer-sanctioned battery repairs

eraserbones wrote:

There are two lithium batteries you can purchase.
The first is a 30amp hour battery at $5500.
The second is a 42amp hour battery at $7000.

*snip*

So, despite the price being more than I anticipated, I'm still leaning strongly towards the 30amp lithium upgrade. My main reservation is, of course, battery life. With my current usage, I'll only go through a few hundred recharges during the first two years of use,

I would wonder how they determine how good a nimh battery is
the individual capacity test I do is fairly labor intensive, and costs ~$500 in labor

anyway, back to the lithium:
do you ride at 60mph continuously for much of your daily commute?

If so, I recommend going the 42Ah, simply because the larger battery has a longer service life when supplying the amoutn of power needed to maintain 60mph continuous.
Particularly if it involves a hill.

If you are 50mph or under the vast majority of the time, the 30AH should be fine

Matt

__________________

Daily Ride:
2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah
Vectrix 60Ah Lithium Tyres Fuel Registration Insurance cycle analyst replacement TC Charger
conversion
Spent so far: $5800 + $7000 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost to do it again: $2500 + $5600 + $1720 + $960 + $320 + $720 + $140 + $600
Cost for a Petrol bike:$6000 + + $1440 + $6000 + $800 + $1400 + $3200 servicing
Total spent: $17260
Total to do again: $12560
Total to have used a petrol bike: $18840
Total distance travelled so far: 79'120km

HarryS
Offline
Joined: 10/08/2008
Points: 341
Re: Dealer-sanctioned battery repairs

That's a lot of money for these batteries. Let's face it, your still installing these in a used bike that's a few years old. Controller board and all kinds of components can fail. 2 years warranty isn't very long at all. For most of us it took about 2 years to figure out that our batteries had failed. I get 40 miles out of my new NIMH pack every time. I am surprised that the Li would not give a better range.

pcarlson1979
pcarlson1979's picture
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Joined: 02/20/2011
Points: 459
Re: Dealer-sanctioned battery repairs

Wow. That sounds like a lot of money. I paid $5500 and got an eRider 8000w scooter with 50Ah lithium pack. CHL cells, not thundersky. I can get about 80km and my wife can get about 100km on a charge. But the hub motor uses more power than the vectrix. I've just passed 6,500km now and only had a minor computer problem. Batteries haven't missed a beat.

__________________

------------------------------
eRider 8000w Scooter - PDT Version
72v 50AH CHL battery
350A Sevcon controller

24km: Delivered - 24 September 2011
2490km: Installed dual 35w HID lights Bi-Xenon Projectors - 27 November 2011
8313km: Installed BMS - 13 October 2012

"Scrappy" - Custom 48v Electric Dirtbike Conversion
20 Feb 2012: Bought 2005 Suzuki DRZ-400SM Motorcross Bike for $100
Motor: MARS ME0708
Controller: Alltrax AXE4844 400A controller
Battery: 16xCHL 50Ah LiFePo4 = 48v

Lionstrike
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Joined: 12/19/2011
Points: 74
Re: Dealer-sanctioned battery repairs

I would not go $5500 for batteries. I only paid $3000 for the entire Vectrix, that includes the guy getting it to me, insurance, title transfer and all.

If I had dead batteries and it cost me more than 1-2K to replace, I'd do something else. A gas motorcycle can be converted to an EV for 2K, batteries (albeit lead acid) included.

Lionstrike
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Joined: 12/19/2011
Points: 74
Re: Dealer-sanctioned battery repairs

Oh yeah, and that included taxes too. If I remember correctly, I think the guy sold it to me for like $2500.

It's actually got me thinking more along the lines of converting bikes. Most of the conversions are 72v conversions. Even using lithium, that's easier on the wallet than 125v 30+ ah batteries. I really only need a 13 mile range for my commute.

PzlPete
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Joined: 06/22/2009
Points: 157
Re: Dealer-sanctioned battery repairs

eraserbones wrote:

What you wrote sounds good, except for this first bit. The 42 amp battery pack is rated as having a range of '55 to 85' miles, and the 30 amp as '40 to 60'. So if you're only getting 40 miles from your 42 amp pack then... that bodes ill for the 30. Unless you're getting 40 miles @ 68mph?

I think it is well documented that manufacturers tend to exaggerate range. I have 20 thundersky 40ah cells in my 4000li, and 18,670km on them over 1.5 yrs. The best range I have ever seen was 47.6 miles, but I consider my cells low long before they are at 2.5v, and I have never once reached low voltage cutoff on this cycle. The lowest voltage I have seen, ever, at the end of that 47.6 miles, was 57v under load, or 2.85v per cell. That was around 61v at rest, or 3.05v per cell.

Could I have gone further? Yes, I am sure I could have. Do you risk damaging the cells? Yes. But that is also probably why I am at 18,670 km and going strong. My cycle is also very light at 295 lbs, which helps tremendously.

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