Vectrix Owners - New & Prospective
I'm new to the site, based in west Central Scotland, and in the final stages of considering the purchase of a VX1. One thing that hasn't been addressed (as far as I can see) is that of insurance. I have called for quotes and been unimpressed with the responses. Vectrix boast of discounts of 33 to 50%, yet my current scooter insurer won't cover 'electric bikes'.
Calling the suggested AA and Lehman (sp?) brokers resulted in the first telling me it was a 'grey import' (!) asking to explain, she said it wasn't MADE in the UK. I said on that basis 80% of the cars in the UK must be grey imports. Saying it was made in the EU didn't persuade her otherwise. The other shower weren't much better, quoting £220 fully comp (I'm currently paying £110 for a 500cc Piaggio X9 500). There was also a condition, when the bike is left parked unattended (ie 'wheels not turning'), it has to be chained or a disc lock applied.
I'm expected to have it locked when not moving and pay a premium of 100% on my existing insurance? Sorry, this is what is killing me - not the initial high start up costs.
What have other UK owners found?
I too did not find the claimed 33 to 50% cheaper but just put it down to the high value of the bike
I got a few quotes around the £200 fully comp mark but went with my current broker who got me a good quote, my broker is http://www.adelaideinsurance.com/ see if they can help
Here in Italy we can subscribe a so called "plug-and-go" contract with Vectrix which, at the cost of 550€/year (around 430GBP or 863USD or 917 AUD or 874,5 CAD) includes servicing, insurance, street recovery and extension of total warranty: I subscribed this for a period of 3 years. In the whole deal this brought the price more or less back on level with the list price. I found it to be a sensible thing to do facing the fact of Vectrix being a new product on the market with a technology yet to be proven.
The claim of saving up to 50% savings *might* be OK for Italy. I start believing that the fact of Vectrix Europe being based in Italy brings some sort of "provincial bias" in the claims made LOL!
Plug and go seems a bit expensive.
AA in UK do apparently insure Vectrix but I do not know for how much. My current petrol scooter has a tpft cover for £230 a year (NOT with AA) and I wouldn't expect to pay that much for Vectrix. The only thing extra one should consider is a basic road recovery ie tow me home if V dies on the road or replace a punctured tyre, then Vectrix HAS to come round and fix problem on the standard Warranty. After standard warranty lapse may of course make sense taking further cover.
Plug & Go is a nice idea, but as Hermes notes, it is very expensive if this is supposed to be paid annually (rather than a one-off). Following another comment, I don;t think Vectrix are going to bail anyone out for a puncture or a wheel change (unless I'm missing something). I have personal RAC cover which covers me for anything I drive (Motorhome, Car, Scooter etc) so getting home isn't an issue as I've enough alternative transport methods available. Incident;y, for my £120 I have TWO 500cc Piaggio X9's on cover, and they allow me up to 4 on the same policy, which is why I'm so aggrieved that they won't even look at the VX1 and I have to start afresh with another policy!
Funontwowheels - I agree with your Lexham comments, I too was unimpressed with their quote and expectation of a disc lock/chain, I'm assuming that your policy doesn't insist on this for all your bikes becaose of the lack of/need for comp cover? I may consider switching from my current broker (eBike) who are otherwise excellent in pricing and service because of their interest (lack of) in insuring electric products. By voting with my wallet, perhaps this will change (but not in the short term).
Thanks pyjohnson - I did try Adelaide, and whilst Vectrix was a bike option to select, trying to get a quote for a bike yet to be bought was a pain, taking many attempts at revising answers to complete the process. Once done and requesting a quote, a page comes up saying;
"Unfortunately we are unable to provide you with a quote with the details provided.
Adelaide Insurance Services Ltd. is able to offer policies from a wide range of insurers which may suit your individual needs.
We may be able to progress your enquiry further if you call our dedicated motorcycle insurance team on 0906 7533 448* we will be happy to assist you.
*calls cost 75 pence per minute."
The fact they expect me to pay THEM 75p/min to process a request for new business is frankly apalling. I'll not be pursuing them on that basis.
In the meantime I'll look at alternatives brokers perhaps more deserving of business, but until Vectrix nail this aspect properly, instead of blithely expecting the AA and Lexman brokers do the business, they'll not shift many machines.
Adelaide have a direct line number for UK bikers 028 9033 0142 (local rate)
Everyone I have spoken to there is a biker and really friendly and helpfull, I have never done a web quote with them always spoken to them.
Thanks Peter, I'll call them tomorrow and let you know what transpires!
On a different topic: My local area (Glasgow) does quite a bit for bikers, providing dedicated M/c bays all round the city (free) and the promise of free spaces at council-owned car parks). Following funontwowheels's news that Inverness is now providing street power sockets, I contacted Glasgow's Roads Department to discover whether they would provide a few electric bike recharging points. Their direcor of services responded, saying that they were aware of the issue but currently they have no plans and are not in a position to provide this. Shame really. I did recall that NCP's car parks are all providing at least a single recharging point for free (did I learn that from here?) but this could be a useful fall back - as I won't be able to travel from Glasgow to Edinburgh as I'll need a top-up before the return journey, and an NCP solution may be quite useful....
Now got some (rather depressing) figures for insurance - I'll post these in the new thread.
Well, plug-and-go is a bit expensive, but it has an higher level of coverage than a "minimum level" insurance, and two shop maintenance are included as well: so you should compare the whole packaging and, not to forget, towing service not only in case of mechanical failure but also if you are beached on the sidestrip with no battery left. I don't know in detail the coverage level of the insurance: it is no "kasko" anyway. I'll research a little on the subject and let you know how much it would cost to make a basic level insurance here in Italy.
Hi George, I am one of the UK early adopters, having bought mine from the UK launch last April. I have done nearly 2000 miles on it so far. No major problems as it gets used for local shopping 5-15 miles and once or twice a week a round trip of 21 miles which it does without re-charging....just! It is very throttle dependant, welly it and watch the range go down fast! I cruise into work at 6-30am at about 30mph enjoying the view. Coming home at 4-30 pm amongst all the traffic, keeping up with it at 30-50 mph I get home with about 9 miles left showing.
The bike has been back for two software upgrades and has just come back from having a new battery pack fitted. This was a recall due to early bikes having a possibility of loose internal connections causing a possible fire hazard. It only came back yesterday so I've only had one run on it. The new software threw me completely as the estimated range remaining fluctuates wildly instead of slowly decreasing.
I spoke to Steve Scott (remember the name, he is the technical director) this morning. He said it varies according to the driving technique and is re-calculated every kilometre and is much more accurate than previously...Watch this space. The only other thing is I have fitted a windscreen extension as I am bit taller than most. Details will be posted on the Range forum this site when I have time to take the pictures.
Ray, when you said it 'went back' - where it it go...? with not national dealer network, I'm concerned that the promoted twice annual services are going to be impossible to achieve....
Brett came up from Eastleigh and delivered it, collecting the demonstrator loan bike to use whilst mine was being sorted. He then went on up to Newcastle to help set up a dealership there, didn't get the name of the dealer unfortunately. In all the cases where I needed a software update they collected/delivered.
The new software threw me completely with wildly changing range left indications but I am assured this is normal and it gives range estimate updates every kilometre based on riding technique at the time. We will see. Mean time I am watching the battery level like a hawk!!
Thanks - the box looks good - did you order this before delivery....? And as it looks that good, I assume it cost an arm and a leg...?
Hi Raymond, I have just dug out the original invoice:-
Date of purchase:24 July 2007...delivered on 1st of August to take advantage of new registration date.
Cost of the bike: £6839.00
Registration cost: £50.00
Cost of the top box:£160
Cost of mounting bracket:£55.00
Cost of centre stand: £70.00
Insurance (via Lexham) £224.00
Yes its a lot, but we have no kids and I'll be if we leave any money to Gordon Brown or any other government!...(This means we have lots of toys!!)
These include VAT, delivery was free. Every software upgrade and recall for the battery change was pre-arranged and a loan bike was always offered.
Everyone down at Eastleigh was always courteous and helpful, although sometimes the right person was away at an exhibition or sales demo somewhere.
I'm with British gas for both Electricity and Gas. The average cost per KWH is 10p. The bike uses 4.83kwh for a full charge.
Elsewhere on the forum someone says 3kwh.. not in my house!
Cost per charge..48.3pence. Mileage per charge, keeping up with the traffic and speed limits..30 to 35 depending on traffic.
Maintenance, nothing so far, just keep the tyres pumped up to latest tyre pressures issued and wash crud from the motor gearbox carefully , ensuring the vent stays un blocked... its in the manual.
Total Mileage so far, 1800.
Riding experience..brilliant. Very stable, will out accelerate most cars (but watch the range!)
Lights more than adequate for winter riding. As a tall chap I fiitted a windscreen extension myself, with the approval of Vectrix. This was a Vario VTA3, German, cost £89.00 plus pp from Germany. It made a difference to the wind noise round the head but not much to the range.
Hermes, if you are reading this, ring the guys at eastleigh direct and get a test ride. Harrods are catering to the Chelsea tractor brigade, hence the prices, and there at least 4 other dealers in London. Look at the Vectrix corporate website for a full list, which is updated weekly and growing.There is also a map showing the growing number of charging stations.
Hope that this helps, my experience has been pretty positive as opposed to the guys down in the Antipodes. If you will live half way up a mountain then unless a vehicle is 100% efficient then you will never get the same range downhill as you do going uphill, especially if you are riding it to the max, although I must admit is tempting to do so. The look of surprise on some peoples faces is a joy as you whistle past them with leaving any exhaust fumes!!
Ray - I can't thank you enough... that was an incredibly useful post and has given much room for thought (and further calculation!). I'm also in full agreement, spend it and stop Gordon;s pals enjoying even more of your money - and providing you're enjoying yourself in the process, there's no harm! I'm on a par (just) with your electricity supplier, so these costs - it would seem - to be the same across the UK. That said, I also use white meter and already have a power circuit in place to feed a Vectrix that ONLY goes live 0000-0830 without the need for a timer, any my KWH cost during this period to be 2.65p (pence).
Your insurance quotation from Lexham interests me greatly - the figure is identical, and I'm assuming it is fully comp but for the life of me I cannot understand why they (Vectrix) quote this to be 33/50% less than other petrol equivalents - this is grossly incorrect, and in my case is provided at a 100% permium. This annoys greatly, as it would be better to ignore this 'feature' and let me find out for myself, rather than mislead. Can you advise whether Lexham issisted the bike be additionally locked (using an Abus or similar) wheel lock or chain when not being ridden? THis final demant (on top of the doubling of insurance) that put the brakes on my enthusiasm!
I had a 2 hour test ride when Vectrix came up to Glasgow last Autumn to show it to Strathclyde Police (they bought one!). The accelleration is dmooth and a joy, and getting used to the resistive brakeing took no time to get to grips with.
Was the top box an after-market purchase, or supplied and fitted at Eastleigh before delivery?
This is very useful information. Thank you. I did think about the test drive, it would be a good occasion to ask plenty more questions directly to the Rep. I feel a bit awkward to go for a test drive at this point, simply because due to financial reasons I will have to wait for my Petrol scooter to retire before switching I'd say by the end of the year.
I am very surprised about the insurance! I shouldn't get to excited though as it will be more expensive in London. What you pay is what I currently pay for TPFT (not fully compr) with my Vespa.
I'd be happy for a similiar quote even at (again) just tpft.
Do you know if that insurer takes in consideration No claim bonuses from previous insurers?
There is a company with many unsold scooters, and several thousand batteries, and
I feel a bit awkward to go for a test drive at this point,
Get a grip, take a ride, don't expect the salesperson to know a bloody thing. Get the important info somewhere else.
Then, please, tell us about it.
I sooo hope thats not too colorful a language...
Hold your horses Mik
I go for a test drive, I like it, the Rep is going to say " I'm going to knock £500 off the sale price". I'm not going to be able to say "yes please, I buy it now", I still have questions to ask and primarily I HAVE to say, "definitely in 8-9 months time" I can't now.
You have said in other posts you're lucky enough to be better off than others and took the challenge. And I'm very greatful you went to great lengths to test drive it in "the real world". But didn't you just announce you were smelling burnt recently? didn't you have to argue extensively with Vectrix? The bike was never your ONLY means of transportation. Then you say that "if only they fixed your bike they would have wonderful feedback from Queensland".
I'm not having a dig at you, and I'm very greatful for the info you put on here, it's fantastic, don't have a go at those dithering.
Yep, If the bike is left unattended, outside of a garage, you have to have a wheel lock. The top box was supplied and fitted at Eastleigh. Glad to be of some help. Whilst I appreciate there may have been some problems with other peoples bikes, I think with all due respect, it is mainly the people with problems who subscribe to a web site like this and the larger numbers of satisfied riders wouldn't bother!!
Hi there, not sure about previous no-claims discount as it didn't apply in my case, but if you have a CBT or a full bike licence it doeas cut the premium a little. The high cost is due to the value of the bike more than anything so I was told, and "with increasing numbers coming onto the market it will get cheaper, eventually" unquote!!
Go on, have a test ride, at least then you will have more of an idea, but remember the real range of the bike, not the government quoted figure of 62 miles at 25 mph...really! The finance deal I was offered was quite good value but I did'nt need it. I seem to remember, something like about £100.00 a month but not too sure.
Hey Mik, where is this company and if they've got thousands of batteries I will get in touch and get myself a spare to put in the boot and double my range, via a suitable switching circuit of copurse!!
Hey Mik, where is this company and if they've got thousands of batteries I will get in touch and get myself a spare to put in the boot and double my range, via a suitable switching circuit of copurse!!
the Company is of course Vectrix Corp. itself.
15 January 2008
('Vectrix' or 'the Company')
Unaudited Preliminary Results for fiscal year ended 30 September 2007
Cost of Sales also includes a Battery Excess Inventory Charge of US$2.0 million,
related to excess quantities of nickel batteries located in our inventory in
Wroclaw and Excess Battery Purchase Commitment of US$4.0 million related to
batteries located in the supplier's (GP) warehouse. See Notes 2 and 3 for
NOTE 3 - Battery Excess Purchase Commitments
The Company reserved an additional US$4.0 million for excess non-cancellable
purchase commitments for nickel batteries from GP. In calculating this amount,
the Company included an amount of batteries that may not be used under
reasonable circumstances, based on our current sales forecast. Our current sales
forecast is based on historical sales figures and observed sales trends. Should
actual sales differ from the Company's current forecast, the amount of
realizable value of these batteries could change.
Well, maybe I exaggerated and that makes only 1000 batteries (at US$4000,-).....
But if Vectrix Corp. pay US$2000.- per battery that makes 2000 batteries.
Unfortunately the 2 batteries in a Vectrix are not identical, one has more cells than the other.
They are also connected in series I believe.
You would need both of them to have the right voltage added to your existing pack.
About 90kg added somewhere would destroy the excellent handling of the Vectrix.
Maybe a trailer? But I would rather put a small true sine wave generator on a trailer than more batteries. That would cost about AU$2000.- and weigh 30kg, plus costs and weight for the trailer.
Anyways, I doubt they would sell you the batteries!
Hold your horses Mik
I go for a test drive, I like it, the Rep is going to say " I'm going to knock £500 off the sale price".
I did not say buy one, I said take a ride.
You do not have to buy it even if you like it a lot.
But you could suss out the sales and technical teams expertise and attitude, and ask them a few tricky questions that a prospective customer who is well informed might be entitled to ask.
Maybe they are more inclined to answer you than those who have already taken out a loan and transferred the money to Vectrix?
Questions I would ask in your position would be:
a) where would any repairs be done if needed?
b) will the Vectrix battery already be conditioned before delivery or picking up, so you do not risk incremental fuse damage or carnage whilst crawling around in traffic with insufficient power?
c) would they provide you with default software / Canbus setting so you can have the Vectrix serviced and repaired even it the mother company goes bust, or by a garage of your choice once the warranty period is over?
d) will they let you test the actual Vectrix that will be handed over to you before signing a final contract? The differences between them appear to be significant, particularly the gear box noise levels.
There are many more pertinent questions of course.
It might easily take you as long as the remaining "life" of your current scooter to get satisfactory answers.
I am looking forward to hearing from anyone what the answers to these questions were....
Ladies and Gentlemen
I have just come back from my test drive. And before I go any further, anyone in or around London, Vectrix are at Canary Wharf motor expo until sunday 15th. Go and meet the bikes.
Where shall I start...
It's bigger than I thought and I felt a bit daunted. The full colour range is available and they had one in black there.. only comparing the model Black V Metallic Red, I will opt for Red.
It's an incredible smooth ride compared with a petrol equivalent. I found myself going faster than I thought I was..you just don't realize the speed for confort.
It is incredibly quiet like advertised. Although the bit of sound it produces reminds that of a trolly bus. But I like that.
The range counter fluctated during ride like you guys said, but at the end of the trip it did indicated the exact miles.
The Regen braking takes a little getting used to, as I was aware of the possible wheel block if used with the standard break. It's with time and experience one will be able to assess which one to use...
Side stand: Looks a bit flimsy for a 250kg bike, but it does hold steady.
Side mirrors: Bad point, I found them too small.
Reverse gear: Mmmm, it's a bit jolty, not what I expected.
Storage: Seems big enough, but I'm used to having a hook at the front as well for my groceries bag.....
Woud I recomend it?
YEEEESSSS ! IT'S FFAAAAAAAAAAABBB !
Will I buy?
If in december the price is £5000 still, Absolutely and without a shadow of doubt.
If they take the price back to just under £7000 like it's "rumoured" they going to do, maybe and sadly not. I simply will not be able to afford the offset cost.
Feel the force Luke, feel the force! :)
Hi one and all. Back on the forum and feeling a bit cheesed off....not with the Vectrix, its going great, up to 3200miles no problems.
How is this for a ripoff. My insurance was up for renewal..Lexham quoted me £167.42. The actual insurance is a company called Grouparama.(never heard of them). By accident or design the insurance documents had the actual price of the insurance........£117.42!!! yes that is a £50.00 mark up. On querying it I was told it was a brokers charge!! What a ripoff. Unfortunately I have had to stick with them as I could not find any one who would insure it....usual "grey import?, what cc? etc.
Anyone know of a good direct insurance company for the Vectrix?
I've known of Grouparama for many years, but as far as Lexham is concerned, they benefit from beinf promoted by Vectrix in the UK (as well as the AA) yet offer an unrealistic restriction, you MUSY have the bike wheel locked when you leave it unattended. For my money, a totally unreasonable requirement.
I've previously listed my travails in getting a decent UK insurance policy (seatch for the thread), and can recommend;
Gary Mills and Andy Mller are the specialists and they know all about Vectrix!
So interesting was this forum I had to join.
I am realising that many of the concerns expressed here are exactly the ones I have.
I have been motorcycling for many years and at present have two motorcycles. One a BMW R1100RT and the other, their freaky little roofed scoot, the C1. The C1 I bought as I love the extraordinary, the weird or down right radical. My, I've had lots of stick for having one and I've known even adoring owners sell theirs soley because of the taking they've suffered.
I made the purchase of the C1 after a lot of soul searching after hearing that they we not very reliable (they're not too bad if used just for commuting, no prolonged high speed runs), that they were very expensive to service (Oh yes!) and that BMW were going to pull the plug on production, (they did).
I did of course proceed with the purchase and have had a pretty good experience with the strange little vehicle. But it's nearly 5 years old now and it already is getting hard to obtain parts.
As much as I love it, BMW have not come up with a "Son of C1" so I have been getting myself all hot under the collar about the Vectrix.
On the surface, a it's perfect replacement for me.
My big worry is of course the fact that the company shares are very low at the moment and sales seem to be equally low. That it seems a bit hard to find a proper dealer in the UK. All this is a little concerning of course, as much as I am really bursting to buy one.
The last thing I want is another "C1", i.e. diminishing or little support for the product, but they are so tempting, what with the promise of low maintenance and running costs, not to mention all the other obvious benefits, it's perfect for my 25 mile return journey to work through London's suburbia.
Well, I'll probably end up biting the bullet and buying one, especially now since they seem to be in the sub £5k bracket. I bet those who bought them last year are not too pleased about that! I saw a secondhand one for sale on gumtree for £5,500! That may take some time to shift, poor guy.
Anyway, introduction over, thanks for your time and I hope to join in soon with the Vectrix discussions.