'Official' Vectrix lithium conversion

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jamesengland
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'Official' Vectrix lithium conversion

I looked into the costs and specs of an official Vectrix dealer conversion to lithium batteries. Needless to say, it's very expensive. There are two battery specs are on offer.... 30AH and 42AH... both from Gold Peak Batteries, the owners of Vectrix. BMS from the same source. In both cases, the original charger is replaced with a Runke charger. Cost is £3934 or £4977.. a lot of money. But, I notice that the lithium batteries have cooling fans built into the battery casings and a new plenum cover is used.

Matt's lithium conversion, and another that I've seen explained on youtube, don't have cooling fans at all. Can anyone tell me why Vectrix feel it is necessary to incorporate fans? Presumably, their lithium batteries are not much different from any other in terms of generating heat?

The Vectrix dealer conversion "includes the installation of the batteries and requisite software, new wiring looms and filters, new Plenum cover. The bike is returned to the customer in full working order having been tested". "There is a 2 year parts and labour warranty underwritten by Vectrix. All work is carried out free of charge to the customer."

I'm going to do a proper cost comparison between 'official' and DIY conversions. With the DIY method, there seem to be a few drawbacks. Importing about £2,000 worth of batteries into the UK will undoubtedly result in a 20% VAT charge and customs clearance fee. Same goes for importing one of Matt's kits. The kit could just get past customs without being assessed for duty but it's still a distinct possibility which would need to be factored inot the cost. Then, of course, the job itself needs doing and, as far as I understand, there are certain risks... . Presumably, it would be difficult to have a warranty on the batteries or kit? I can't imagine a Chinese manufacturer accpeting a warranty claim an some cells after, say, 19 months........

The only downside of the official conversion is, as far as I can see it, cost. Also, they need the bike for about 3 days, so a bike delivery man would want £100 each way from where I live. I do like the idea of a 2 year warranty, assuming that Vectrix survives long enough to honour it and answers phone. THe dealer told me that the contact for warranty work would be them, not Vectrix.

I'm going to weigh up both scenarios and see what the financial difference actually is. Unless someone else has already done it??

Seiermann
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Re: 'Official' Vectrix lithium conversion

I did the 30Ah LiFePo Vectrix Conversion 3 Months ago at Vectrix Berlin. It was a warranty-conversion so I had to pay only the difference between the costs for the original NiMH (2000€) and the LiFePos (30Ah: 1785€ incl. VAT/ 45 Ah: 2500€ + VAT). The costs in GB seem to be very high...
I didn´t open the VX so I can´t say anything about the technical details. The VX now is about 40kg lighter than the NiMH-Version so it makes more Fun to drive it. The range is now between 50 and 80km = appr. 30 km more...
I´m glad to do the conversion, the VX rides great (now more than a bike instead of a tank)
Seiermann

antiscab
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Re: 'Official' Vectrix lithium conversion

Can anyone tell me why Vectrix feel it is necessary to incorporate fans? Presumably, their lithium batteries are not much different from any other in terms of generating heat?

*snip*

Importing about £2,000 worth of batteries into the UK will undoubtedly result in a 20% VAT charge and customs clearance fee. Same goes for importing one of Matt's kits. The kit could just get past customs without being assessed for duty but it's still a distinct possibility which would need to be factored inot the cost.

The cells used in the official vectrix lithium bikes are too small - so they get hot and need cooling

Even with the 40Ah conversions, it's not ideal if you spend large amounts of time at 100kmh continuously

www.evpower.eu seems to be pretty good for batteries in Europe.
you will need 42 x CALB 40Ah cells
Not sure if VAT would be added, but worth asking the question, you're not the first person in the UK to buy batteries from them
They are based within the Eurozone

The kit itself is £920 inc shipping
There may be VAT added to that once it gets to the UK

Matt

Daily Ride:
2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah
Vectrix 60Ah Lithium Tyres Fuel Registration Insurance cycle analyst 2 x TC Charger & MC
conversion

jamesengland
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Last seen: 8 years 9 months ago
Joined: Friday, October 26, 2012 - 10:07
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Re: 'Official' Vectrix lithium conversion

The cells used in the official vectrix lithium bikes are too small - so they get hot and need cooling

www.evpower.eu seems to be pretty good for batteries in Europe.
you will need 42 x CALB 40Ah cells
Not sure if VAT would be added, but worth asking the question, you're not the first person in the UK to buy batteries from them
They are based within the Eurozone

The kit itself is £920 inc shipping
There may be VAT added to that once it gets to the UK

Matt

Thanks for that. I don't like the sound of cells being too small and heating up.... back to that again! The thing for me about your lithium conversion on youtube is that the fans aren't needed and can be completely removed. That makes a difference in my own evaluation of it all.

I did look at the CALB cells from evpower.eu. Yes, there would be VAT imposed at the point of purchase for items sold and bought within the Eurozone. Re the kit... I've found the imposition of VAT and customs clearance fee to be a bit hit and miss on lower value items but anything with a declared value of £920 will definitely attract attention and have £184 VAT added on to it + a clearance fee of about £8. What shipping method do you use, Matt? I've found that DHL assess every package they import and they are the ones who put the import duty on it and collect on behalf of UK Customs, so no package ever gets through without duty being imposed. I've found UPS and Fedex to be more likely to let things through.

One thing which I must confess.... being new to the Vectrix and coming from a petrol engine background, I'm a little bit, dare I say it?... daunted by the idea of doing the conversion myself. Not from the point of view of fitting everything and connecting up and so on... the bits that bother me are the inrush current limiter bit (because of the dire consequences for the MC if anything went wrong) and, more than that, the idea that having spent a small fortune on all the components, import duty etc and fitting everything, I turn the bike on and get some indecipherable (to me) error message and find that the bike won't work. I haven't got a clue how to programme things ..... Realistically, Matt, is 'your' conversion as easy and successful as you make it seem on the videos? Based on what you've said re the size of the 'official' batteries, need for fans and the cost, it seems to me that your conversion is vastly superior....

antiscab
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Re: 'Official' Vectrix lithium conversion

What shipping method do you use, Matt? I've found that DHL assess every package they import and they are the ones who put the import duty on it and collect on behalf of UK Customs, so no package ever gets through without duty being imposed. I've found UPS and Fedex to be more likely to let things through.

*snip*

the bits that bother me are the inrush current limiter bit (because of the dire consequences for the MC if anything went wrong) and, more than that, the idea that having spent a small fortune on all the components, import duty etc and fitting everything, I turn the bike on and get some indecipherable (to me) error message and find that the bike won't work. I haven't got a clue how to programme things ..... Realistically, Matt, is 'your' conversion as easy and successful as you make it seem on the videos? Based on what you've said re the size of the 'official' batteries, need for fans and the cost, it seems to me that your conversion is vastly superior....

Hi James,

I lodge the parcel with Australia Post as an EMS parcel
I'm pretty sure their delivery partner is royal mail, or for EMS maybe parcel force

It is a bit daunting spending that kind of money and not being 100% sure it will work.
usually in this situation I would put you in touch with someone who has already done a conversion near you, but the nearest "convertee" is in France

I haven't yet had a customer who started out with a working bike and not have one post conversion

I have had several who had issues with their bike not related to the battery before conversion that they thought would be fixed by converting

using the inrush current limiter is rather straight forward.
The conversion is as easy as it looks in the video, it's just putting stuff in and bolting it together

There is an advantage in updating the firmware, but it is not necessary unless you have a specific problem
If it does come to doing an update, I can talk you through it over my skype account, or I can give you my phone number

With my converison kit, if your charger fails, you can use this generic replacement:
http://www.ev-power.eu/Chargers-TC-1-5-kW/Charger-for-LiFe-Y-PO4-120V-10A-1-5-kW-TCCH-H146-10.html?cur=1
instead of having to buy a vectrix replacement

Matt

Daily Ride:
2007 Vectrix, modified with 42 x Thundersky 60Ah
Vectrix 60Ah Lithium Tyres Fuel Registration Insurance cycle analyst 2 x TC Charger & MC
conversion

doctor_of_music
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Joined: Friday, October 16, 2009 - 04:22
Points: 34
Re: 'Official' Vectrix lithium conversion

James – I recently had an official Vectrix upgrade to 42AH Lithium, but as my original NiMh pack failed **just** within the extended warranty period, I was offered the upgrade at a discount. This made the choice somewhat easier – I would almost certainly have done my own 'kit assisted' upgrade otherwise, eventually.

Although I've not used the bike an enormous amount since the conversion (weather's getting a bit miserable now...) I've not noticed any unusually high temperatures in the new pack, even though I enjoy the performance when I can, and often carry a passenger.

I'd guess I have around 50% more range than with the NiMh pack before it became unwell. The new firmware has hugely improved the battery state reporting, making it pretty useful, and removing the 'disappearing bars' problem. Also the performance is back to what it was when the bike was new - possibly marginally better due to the slight weight reduction.

So I'd rate the 'official' Vectrix upgrade as a significant improvement, particularly as with the latest software, the instruments seem to work reliably and report useful information.

The only possible problem I've had has been a few occurrences of the very extended balancing periods reported here by others. They don't seem to have any obvious adverse effects, but I have the security of a two year warranty on the upgrade, so if I'm really unlucky and have a duff Lithium pack, I should have backup from the manufacturer/dealer.

I don't know if you're ever in the area of WR10 but you'd be welcome to drop in and see or ride the converted bike . I'm telling my story here in the hope that it might help to make your decision easier. Or have I, despite the best of intentions, made it more difficult?!?

Mike.

jamesengland
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Last seen: 8 years 9 months ago
Joined: Friday, October 26, 2012 - 10:07
Points: 144
Re: 'Official' Vectrix lithium conversion

James – I recently had an official Vectrix upgrade to 42AH Lithium, but as my original NiMh pack failed **just** within the extended warranty period, I was offered the upgrade at a discount. This made the choice somewhat easier – I would almost certainly have done my own 'kit assisted' upgrade otherwise, eventually.

Although I've not used the bike an enormous amount since the conversion (weather's getting a bit miserable now...) I've not noticed any unusually high temperatures in the new pack, even though I enjoy the performance when I can, and often carry a passenger.

I'd guess I have around 50% more range than with the NiMh pack before it became unwell. The new firmware has hugely improved the battery state reporting, making it pretty useful, and removing the 'disappearing bars' problem. Also the performance is back to what it was when the bike was new - possibly marginally better due to the slight weight reduction.

So I'd rate the 'official' Vectrix upgrade as a significant improvement, particularly as with the latest software, the instruments seem to work reliably and report useful information.

The only possible problem I've had has been a few occurrences of the very extended balancing periods reported here by others. They don't seem to have any obvious adverse effects, but I have the security of a two year warranty on the upgrade, so if I'm really unlucky and have a duff Lithium pack, I should have backup from the manufacturer/dealer.

I don't know if you're ever in the area of WR10 but you'd be welcome to drop in and see or ride the converted bike . I'm telling my story here in the hope that it might help to make your decision easier. Or have I, despite the best of intentions, made it more difficult?!?

Mike.

Hi Mike

Thanks for your input. I'm impressed re the range improvement. You've mentioned the warranty side of things and this does figure in my mental calculations! You have the peace of mind of knowing that you have a couple of years with some backup. No, it's not made things more difficult and I would definitely like to see your bike before taking a plunge, as it were, so thanks for the offer.

At present, the orighinal NiMH batteries in my bike seems fine. I say seem because I did have one instance of a sudden disappearance of bars and power but this was after the bike's first run after being off the road for a while.

I'm thinking ahead re this battery thing and doing my homework now instead of the minute the existing pack goes wrong. I suppose really the conversion falls into 'official' and DIY camps. I'll have to do something like a SWOT analysis or other use another business evaluative tool to help me along!

The thing is, despite having a car and big motorbike, I do find the Vectrix fascinating and it really will be an asset locally. So, I'd like to keep it running.

Thanks for your post and the offer, which I would definitely like to take up nearer D-Day (that's 'Decision Day).

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