Couple of interesting updates I've heard or seen from Vectrix.
First, I talked to the sales rep at ScuderiaWest here in SF, and he said Vectrix is now recommending 3 deep discharges, rather than the 5 they previously recommended, and that they now officially support the use of an extension cord of up to 8 feet in length. Sounds like people have been using extension cords for awhile without any problems, but it's good to hear Vectrix give their official stamp of approval.
Next, I found this in their recent Interim Announcement regarding battery technology:
At the end of H1 we entered into a strategic agreement with GP Batteries International Limited (GP Batteries) of Singapore. The agreement provides that GP Batteries will develop and be able to supply by the end of 2008 lithium ion batteries for future Vectrix ZEV models. Vectrix will be the exclusive GP Batteries' customer for the class of lithium ion batteries to be developed for use in two and three-wheel ZEV's. We currently have prototypes of these batteries and early testing is providing positive performance results. In addition to our GP lithium program, Vectrix continues to evaluate, test and develop on board energy systems which will enhance the performance and value of our products to our customers.
It is the Company's intention to use multiple battery technologies to provide our customers with both cost efficiency and performance. Available in the market today we feel we have a breadth in battery chemistry to match the mission and scope of use designed into our family of scooters. In some cases using SLA (sealed lead acid) with new silicone electrolyte that is more environmentally friendly provides a superior price performance option. In other cases technologies including NiMH and Lithium will offer the best price performance. Longer term we see Hybrid battery technology using combinations of battery technology and ultra capacitors to produce lower cost, lower weight and higher performance.
To support this expanded point of sale network with exciting Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV), we plan to expand our product portfolio with the introduction of the 2009 model year in October. This expanded product offering will include a refreshed Maxi Scooter and a new lower entry point version of the Maxi Scooter. In addition, the introduction of new ZEV models in the equivalent petrol 125cc to 350cc markets will significantly expand the markets for our dealers. These new offerings will be developed within the reduced cost structure of our R&D group, capitalizing on existing product technology and lower cost manufacturing options. With our planned new product offerings we expect the available Scooter/Motorcycle market opportunity will grow from approximately 15% to 40%. This expanded product line creates a Product Family Strategy that provides consumers an entry level, mid-range and top-of-the-line selection. Vectrix is positioned in the market as a high end product offering with exceptional technology, performance and quality. Our strategy of a "family of products" will build on the current Vectrix brand image, positioning our products in a similar way as automotive companies, like BMW and Daimler, have with their family of vehicles.
Should be interesting to watch Vectrix over the coming year and see what they deliver in terms of battery options and models.