Price of the Vectrix

10 replies [Last post]
knabo
knabo's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/18/2008
Points: 131

There are numerous posts around the Vectrix section about how expensive the Vectrix is and how Vectrix better lower their prices if they want to stay in business etc etc etc

Looking around the web at other bikes though it seems this is not actually the case.

For a summary you can go here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_motorcycle

This list is not all inclusive but it does represent what I have seen.

The price of the Vectrix is about average for its performance.

So maybe Vectrix gets singled out because they are out front, but it does not look like they have much to worry about in the price area from their closest competition. As the technology evolves I imagine the prices will follow.

__________________

Luther Burrell, Petaluma, California, USA
Rides: Super Motard electric conversion from ElectricMotorSport.com
ZuumCraft from zuumcraft.com
Previous Rides: Blue Vectrix Maxi scooter

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
TangentStar
Offline
Joined: 01/22/2008
Points: 46
Re: Price of the Vectrix

Ya they are priced right now, but the price has only been down for a month or two...

I payed the $11,800.

My 2 cents:
Vectrix has the best looking product on the mmarket,
However Vectrix as a company leaves something to be desired.
But again I can't compare to oth EV companies.

retrodog
retrodog's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/10/2008
Points: 115
Re: Price of the Vectrix

Some of the comparisons are really to do with scooters/motorcycles in general.

My take on this is that Vectrix has really targeted car drivers, as opposed to motorcycle drivers. That allows them to show greater energy efficiency levels in the comparison. It also makes the bike look much less expensive ($8k as opposed to $20-$30k for a Camry or whatever).

Direct comparison to a gas powered scooter would not result in such an advantage for the Vectrix. The Suzuki Burgmann 400 has greater performance, costs $6k new (just 2/3 the price), and gets about 65 mpg. At current gas prices, that $3k difference is almost 50,000 miles worth of fuel. That just might be the life cycle of either bike. There are more appropriate scooters in the 250cc size that might be a better comparison but they are even cheaper and might not have the life expectancy of the others, but would have more similar power to the Vectrix.

I test drove a Vectrix on Saturday at Austin's Alien Scooters. It was a very very smooth ride and had great pickup. I'm still thinking about buying one. But for me it's more of a fascination with the technology as I'm an Electrical Engineer. I already own two other motorcycles but just want an electric one to drive quietly around.

jdh2550_1
jdh2550_1's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/17/2007
Points: 2338
Re: Price of the Vectrix

+1 for what retrodog says. Even in the "entry level" world of the XM-3000, Z-20, Zapino et al. the price comparison for a similar quality gas scooter shows that electric isn't there yet in terms of the most economic transport. However, when you factor in other advantages and the psychology of the "feel good factor" folks are usually OK with the price.

This is based on the US market - of course at $10 per gallon the equation changes further in favor of electric.

__________________

John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas. No Worries." - JDH, CuMoCo || "Make Volts Not War" - anon.

DaveD
DaveD's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/16/2008
Points: 86
Re: Price of the Vectrix

I'm not sure that Vectrix "targeted" anyone with their pricing. I'm pretty sure that it's price reflects COGS + profit, plain and simple. Recent pricing reductions may be all out of the profit part, or they may be selling each one at a loss.

Vectrix was in development for ~10 years. Here's an 2003 article on them: http://www.designnews.com/index.asp?layout=article&articleid=ca315354&stt=001&text=vectrix, when they were pretty far along with the electrical and mechanical design. (side note: there's a note at the bottom of the article about how it's designed to accept a fuel cell from Parker Hannifin in it, which explains some of the symbols shown on the LCD display at startup time). This article doesn't mention the price, but I recall back then, when I first read about them, price points of $6000-8000 were being rumoured. That's not far from the cost of your typical maxi-scooter.

jdh2550_1
jdh2550_1's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/17/2007
Points: 2338
Re: Price of the Vectrix

DaveD wrote:

I'm not sure that Vectrix "targeted" anyone with their pricing.

I would imagine they did. If they didn't then it was a HECK OF A BIG GAMBLE - "here guys, lets build an electric motorcycle it should only cost us a few tens of millions", "who will buy it?", "I don't know, I'm sure someone will"
;-) (sorry, couldn't resist)

Quote:

I'm pretty sure that it's price reflects COGS + profit, plain and simple.

It's never that simple - what about the 10 years of development costs for example? I've always felt that the Vectrix "needed" to cost $12K to recoup the price of a "from the ground up" development effort. I've also always felt that "from the ground up" development is not the way to go - precisely because of the price issue. I suppose if I were rich and didn't know about the alternatives then I might buy one. However, as soon as you know about the alternatives then it starts to look really pricey.

Quote:

Recent pricing reductions may be all out of the profit part, or they may be selling each one at a loss.

AFAIK they weren't selling well at the prior ($12K price) and this is an attempt to "jump start" the market. I've no idea what their cost basis is.

Quote:

Vectrix was in development for ~10 years.

I often hear this (and I know it's true). But it always makes me think - what took them so long? ;-)

__________________

John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas. No Worries." - JDH, CuMoCo || "Make Volts Not War" - anon.

retrodog
retrodog's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/10/2008
Points: 115
Re: Price of the Vectrix

DaveD wrote:

I'm not sure that Vectrix "targeted" anyone with their pricing. I'm pretty sure that it's price reflects COGS + profit, plain and simple. Recent pricing reductions may be all out of the profit part, or they may be selling each one at a loss.

Vectrix was in development for ~10 years. Here's an 2003 article on them: http://www.designnews.com/index.asp?layout=article&articleid=ca315354&stt=001&text=vectrix, when they were pretty far along with the electrical and mechanical design. (side note: there's a note at the bottom of the article about how it's designed to accept a fuel cell from Parker Hannifin in it, which explains some of the symbols shown on the LCD display at startup time). This article doesn't mention the price, but I recall back then, when I first read about them, price points of $6000-8000 were being rumoured. That's not far from the cost of your typical maxi-scooter.

Well I guess we could discuss who they are marketing to for quite a while and still never be able to get anywhere because we could only cite examples that indicate the point that we're trying to make. But that's not really the topic here.

The point of the matter is that the Vectrix is priced 45.8% more than a gasoline powered superior performance scooter. That's the closest that we can get to doing an Apples-to-Apples comparison (Vectrix vs. Burgman 400). And while it's true that most people care about the environment, that's still an extra $2,750 (over the $6,000) for less performance. I think that most would gladly pay $1,000 (maybe even $2,000) extra for that good feeling but the appearance of 50% more just won't sell to the scooter crowd too well. And I think that's why they went after the car crowd. Bigger fuel savings and cheaper vehicle cost.

Case in point, I've had two different Vectrix salesmen tell me that they were targeting the car drivers. They are very use getting people in who don't have motorcycle licenses, so they just let them drive them around the parking lot. I showed up on Saturday with a motorcycle license and proof of insurance on my Honda Valkyrie (1500CC) and Kawasaki GPZ1100. I told them that I wanted to go on a real test drive. They were ill-prepared to deal with me, as in they didn't know what to say and couldn't come up with an adequate excuse not to let me ride. I finally got to go on a ride but it was rather limited.

But if we didn't experience the recent increase in gas prices, along with the resulting increased interest in used scooters, we'd even have to take into account all the used market offerings out there, and that would indicate even a much larger difference in price structure.

In a nutshell, I think the Vectrix is overpriced for the general market, in the motor scooter environment, and that has led them to targeting the automotive world.

I'd still like to get one though, and just might do it, but the price is the main reason that I haven't bitten the bullet yet... as I think an electric maxi-scooter would complement my other bikes just fine.

Morrison
Offline
Joined: 07/07/2008
Points: 151
Re: Price of the Vectrix

As a firm believer in the reality of oil depletion, I purchased my Vectrix for a simple reason. Within 3 to 5 years there are going to be actual supply shortages in areas. No matter how much money you have, the gas station may be out of gas for period of time.

The Vectrix and other forms of EV transportation provide flexibility to fuel your ability to move around on a daily basis.

I understand that is hard for Vectrix to work into their marketing because many people just whine about high gas prices, but don't understand the geology of Peak Oil. But the simple fact is that there is not enough oil on the planet to power China, India, North America and Western Europe.

The only solution is going EV.

Take the superior performance of a slightly cheaper gas scooter. When you are out of gasoline and there is no more till next week, then who has the superior performance?

Mik
Mik's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/11/2007
Points: 3727
Re: Price of the Vectrix

Vectrix were initially aiming at the scooter market and announced that quite clearly in their statements.

But then they managed to sell next to no scooters to the Italian scooter market, which they thought would be the major market. A major flop and lesson it was!

I sent them an email and maybe they did listen to me once:

On 23-12-2008 Mr. Mik wrote:

I do not believe that there is a very big market for selling Vectrix' to current petrol scooter owners; much more so for first time ever scooter buyers. This is because the running cost differential between a car and a Vectrix is so much bigger than the running cost differential between a petrol scooter and a Vectrix.
It would take some time to recoup the comparatively high purchase cost of the Vectrix when it replaces a petrol scooter.
But one would save money immediately when buying a Vectrix instead of replacing a car with a new car, even if keeping the old car registered and using it occasionally. And one gets the benefits of being stuck less in traffic and being able to find a place to park the Vectrix. Petrol scooter riders already have these advantages, and they do not face the prospect of spending $10,000.- to $40,000.- or more to replace their vehicle when it gets old.
Before purchasing my Vectrix I carefully calculated the likely costs, including everything I could think of, and came to the conclusion that it will take about 5 years to recoup the purchase price; this is including the cost to keep an old Toyota Camry, replace it every 3-4 years or so with another old car if needed, and drive it to work about once/week instead of the Vectrix. I assumed AU$1.50/l as the petrol price and AU$0.14/kWh for electricity in the calculations.
Higher petrol prices would shift the advantage rapidly towards the Vectrix option, even if electricity costs rise proportionately to petrol costs.
Of course it also depends on what the actual battery life span and servicing /repair costs for the Vectrix turn out to be over the years.
In other words, if the servicing costs etc are as advertised and fuel prices do not go up, I will own both a 5-year old Vectrix and an old car outright in 2012 without having spent any extra money compared to continuing to drive only a used car.

Of course, they might have come to this conclusion all by themselves. It ain't that hard!

Mr. Mik

__________________

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

There is always a way if there is no other way!

retrodog
retrodog's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/10/2008
Points: 115
Re: Price of the Vectrix

Morrison wrote:

As a firm believer in the reality of oil depletion, I purchased my Vectrix for a simple reason. Within 3 to 5 years there are going to be actual supply shortages in areas. No matter how much money you have, the gas station may be out of gas for period of time.

The Vectrix and other forms of EV transportation provide flexibility to fuel your ability to move around on a daily basis.

I understand that is hard for Vectrix to work into their marketing because many people just whine about high gas prices, but don't understand the geology of Peak Oil. But the simple fact is that there is not enough oil on the planet to power China, India, North America and Western Europe.

The only solution is going EV.

Take the superior performance of a slightly cheaper gas scooter. When you are out of gasoline and there is no more till next week, then who has the superior performance?

I agree with pretty much everything that you've posted here. But it's applicability might not be the point. It takes a bit of forethought to come to this conclusion and then decide to spend that much extra on a product that appears to be overpriced. And you don't need to prove it to me. I'm not the subject here. We're more or less talking about the general consensus. Your points have not been broadly accepted. If they were, we wouldn't be discussing it here. And even if I buy into your 3-5 year time-line, I'd suggest (only while playing devil's advocate) that you purchased it 3 years early. All evidence is that more companies will start to produce them and prices will continue to fall. If we're really going to attempt future telling, we'd need to put the big players into the equation (Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, etc... along with the car companies). I think that as we get closer to the real need (oil supply problems) new economical electric motorcycles and cars will be produced by these established companies. Vectrix will either be bought out or close down, or both.

At this point in time, it is indeed overpriced (for the general public). Speculation about the future is truly speculation. I was originally going to build (convert) a gasoline motorcycle to electricity. But then I decided to look at the Vectrix as a possibility when it came down to $8750. I'm still tempted but I might do the conversion instead. My GPZ1100 is just begging for an electric motor.

What I find interesting was that I was watching one of those introduction videos on the Vectrix web site or Youtube and when the Vectrix rep was asked the question, "Is that a little expensive for a scooter?"... he responded with something like, "We feel that we've priced it in an appropriate point that the market will support." So he never actually claimed/said that it was or wasn't expensive, just that they thought they'd be able to sell it at that price. I suspect that there is some unknown (to us) price that is truly the minimum they'd be able to produce it for. We won't get close to that price till they need to sell them. And as long as the price of gasoline keeps going up, they probably won't have to drop them very far.

In any case, as I'm done playing devil's advocate for the moment, I'd just like to say that I was truly impressed with the Vectrix that I rode on Saturday. I found the quiet and smooth operation very appealing. And to the point that I'm still thinking about buying one. I really really liked it. And I, in no way, want anyone reading my posts to feel like I think they overspent on a scooter. I would have no trouble at all with justifying this purchase. There's still the whole "zero emissions" thing that is really cool, along with an overall really cool feeling when riding it. :)

Morrison
Offline
Joined: 07/07/2008
Points: 151
Re: Price of the Vectrix

retrodog wrote:

I agree with pretty much everything that you've posted here. But it's applicability might not be the point. It takes a bit of forethought to come to this conclusion and then decide to spend that much extra on a product that appears to be overpriced.

At a price of $8,700 there is only a small premium over gas powered maxi-scooters. I agree that the Vectrix was overpriced at $11,900, but the new price is what got me off of the fence to buy recently.

retrodog wrote:

And you don't need to prove it to me. I'm not the subject here. We're more or less talking about the general consensus. Your points have not been broadly accepted. If they were, we wouldn't be discussing it here. And even if I buy into your 3-5 year time-line, I'd suggest (only while playing devil's advocate) that you purchased it 3 years early.

In my opinion there is no such thing as too early on this. The supply of EVs and PHEVS won't be able to meet demand once the supply shortage of gasoline becomes apparent.

My concern is that once gasoline/diesel start showing real spot shortages, no matter how high the price, it will be too late to get any electric vehicle. The waiting lists will be so long that most people have no options but to suffer. Toyota cannot currently produce enough Prius cars to meet demand because of lack of batteries. The local Toyota dealership has a 3 month waiting list and has temporarily stopped taking orders. This is now when gas is only $4.50 per gallon. Wait until the real panic starts with spot shortages in some areas of the planet that are at the end of the supply pipeline chain.

retrodog wrote:

All evidence is that more companies will start to produce them and prices will continue to fall. If we're really going to attempt future telling, we'd need to put the big players into the equation (Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, etc... along with the car companies). I think that as we get closer to the real need (oil supply problems) new economical electric motorcycles and cars will be produced by these established companies. Vectrix will either be bought out or close down, or both.

That is likely true. I am hopeful that larger players like Honda, Suzuko, Yamaha all start putting their R&D into this sector. But it will take them a few years. As far as I know, they have not even seriously started. Someone might buy Vectrix to get the patents and the technical knowledge.

retrodog wrote:

In any case, as I'm done playing devil's advocate for the moment, I'd just like to say that I was truly impressed with the Vectrix that I rode on Saturday. I found the quiet and smooth operation very appealing. And to the point that I'm still thinking about buying one. I really really liked it. And I, in no way, want anyone reading my posts to feel like I think they overspent on a scooter. I would have no trouble at all with justifying this purchase. There's still the whole "zero emissions" thing that is really cool, along with an overall really cool feeling when riding it. :)

I also think it is a really cool feeling to ride it. The zero emissions and electric aspects are why I bought it. The huge fun factor is a huge bonus. Also, the fact that is purely electric and highway legal makes it a unique toy that is really grabbing a lot of attention when others see it.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Customize This