Vectrix Real World Range on Flat Terrain

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Mik
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Vectrix Real World Range on Flat Terrain

I sacrificed a Sunday today and drove my Vectrix to the flat tourist strip on the Gold Coast, Australia. After recharging it fully I rode it around on the largely flat floodplains around there.
I did not baby it, but about 1/5th of it was very slow traffic around 20-30km/h.
A few brisk accelerations when needed.
Speed rarely got up to 70km/h but there were some parts with 70km/h in it.

I stopped very frequently to investigate recharging options and found several.

Overall the riding style would have been comparable to a mail delivery vehicle or pizza delivery service.

I am certain I could achieve the same range almost any time when riding in that area and without trying very hard.

Ambient temperature was about 27-28DegC.

The payload - including the lot - was about 111kg.

Total range was 54km under these conditions.

I stopped riding when the my Vectrix was still able to maintain 40km/h max speed on the flat.
It still claimed 4/17th left in the battery and 12km range or so on the instruments.

I consider 40km/h max speed un-roadworthy though, and any range obtained by riding further at that speed does not count in my books.

I had received one brief error message shortly before speed dropped to 40km/h:
Battery symbol together with "buSVLt" whilst trying to accelerate further at about 60km/h.

So overall, I specify the range of my Vectrix as between 38km and 55km under real world conditions with 111km pay load.
(See my previous posts for more details http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2547-vectrix-reports )

Designing particularly tough conditions will reduce the range further, and unrealistic conditions can extend it further (like my ride at 40km/h on 25-12-2007, achieving 67km range.)

My guess is that riding in hilly terrain reduces the range by about 15-20%.

Below is a picture of a VERY EXPENSIVE RECHARGING STATION:
S4028611.jpg

I found AU$300.- ticked on my scooter when I returned from eating a pizza.....
And to add some insult, the ticket person called it a "moped".
.
.

This spot might have been a lot cheaper, if a heavy duty extension cord had made it possible to keep the Vectrix out of the park....

S4028651.jpg

.

A very long cable could have worked here:
S4028676.jpg
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and a medium one here:
S4028685.jpg
.

This one takes the price for today:It's under a shopping center in a most convenient location...wonder what the penalties for borrowing electricity are....
S4028702.jpg

Hopefully the center management is a bit more agile than my employer and lets me use that power point. There is a post office ,restaurants, bank, supermarket, newsagent, coffee shop, optometrist, remedial massage place, hairdresser etc etc just above that power point....
I'd be leaving more money than could possibly be sucked out of that power point!

Mr. Mik

andrew
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Re: Vectrix Real World Range on Flat Terrain

I agree, that is a pretty expensive recharging station. Did they unplug it for you?

This is a classic range dilemma for electric vehicles. Unfortunately, Vectrix may not have make it clear in their marketing. Long before the Vectrix hit the market I had calculated the real-world range to be at least half of that advertised.

Apparently they are getting a few complaints. I just noticed this page up on their redone website:
Range Info

BTW, advertising double the real-world range is standard in the business. It is sort of a way to get a tough sale. It does make for easy calculation though. Take the advertised range divided by 2, and this is the optimistic range.

[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/587-my-kz750-electric-motorcycle-project]KZ750 Motorcycle Conversion[/url]
[url=/forum-topic/motorcycles-and-large-scooters/588-fixing-my-chinese-scooter]900 watt scooter[/url]
Pic from http://www.electri

ratatouille
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Re: Vectrix Real World Range on Flat Terrain

So overall, I specify the range of my Vectrix as between 38km and 55km under real world conditions with 111kg pay load.
...(like my ride at 40km/h on 25-12-2007, achieving 67km range.)

It's so bizarre :

Vectrix claims a range between 35 and 55 miles in real conditions
and a range of 68 miles at 40 km/h.

Would have they confused miles and km/h and mixed confused data in their documents??

And now they can't go back to the truth ??

Jean-François

Jean-François

Mik
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Vectrix Real World Acceleration on Flat Terrain

I also tested the acceleration on truly flat ground on the way home from the floodplains:

With 111kg payload, at sea level, with a very slight tail wind, the acceleration of my Vectrix from 0-80km/h takes about 8.5s.

Deceleration from max speed to zero by regen braking takes about 12s.

Mr. Mik

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

PJD
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Re: Vectrix Real World Range on Flat Terrain

That is sad.

I get irritated when they call my little e-max a "moped" - much less a $5-digit Vectrix.

But, of probably 50 to 80 opportunity charging experiences so far, I've never gotten a ticket, but have been unplugged a couple times by security guards or parking garage attendants.

The range you are getting is comparable to what some ordinary, $1900, 60 to 70 kph, 48 or 60 volt, lead-acid powered, Chinese scooters get in flat areas.

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Real World Range on Flat Terrain

But, of probably 50 to 80 opportunity charging experiences so far, I've never gotten a ticket, but have been unplugged a couple times by security guards or parking garage attendants.

They did not unplug it, the issue was "Bring a motorvehicle onto a park or reserve".

Mr. Mik

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

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Real World Range on Flat Terrain

The range you are getting is comparable to what some ordinary, $1900, 60 to 70 kph, 48 or 60 volt, lead-acid powered, Chinese scooters get in flat areas.

But they do not have the grunt and top speed required. Nothing but target practice if you get on the roads here and you cannot flow with the traffic.

Mr. Mik

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PJD
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Re: Vectrix Real World Range on Flat Terrain

But they do not have the grunt and top speed required. Nothing but target practice if you get on the roads here and you cannot flow with the traffic.

Yes, but my point remains that it appears you can't actually use the Vectrix's top speed without the range diminishing even more severely.

Also, for the sort of urban use that scooters are designed for, I found that 70-80 kph/45 mph is plenty of speed. It probably helps that I live in an old, unfashionable city in the US Rust Belt that never wished to emulate Los Angeles or Atlanta. I assume you still have to avoid freeways or motorways - as even 100 kph would be too slow for them anyway.

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Real World Range on Flat Terrain

Yes, but my point remains that it appears you can't actually use the Vectrix's top speed without the range diminishing even more severely.

Also, for the sort of urban use that scooters are designed for, I found that 70-80 kph/45 mph is plenty of speed. It probably helps that I live in an old, unfashionable city in the US Rust Belt that never wished to emulate Los Angeles or Atlanta. I assume you still have to avoid freeways or motorways - as even 100 kph would be too slow for them anyway.

No PJD, I can go anywhere on the Gold Coast except for a short strip of highway with a 110km/h limit. And that is still possible. I can also reach any destination here, but need to charge before going back from the outer 1/3rd of the area I live in.
I am not prone to produce hype, therefore my reports often sound critical, but they are the honest truth. And as far as I can see no other available production EV bike comes close!
And the Vectrix only just makes it into the class of vehicle useful to me. So it is the only EV useful for me for now.

I have the luxury of living just at the edge of the Vectrix' capabilities, so to say:
A 40km return commute in hilly country, most of it at 80km/h, the rest 60-70km/h with frequent stop-and-go at a rapid pace! No frost or snow, cyclones are rare, bush fires also rare, what more do you need?And the longest ride-able wave in the world (from Snapper Rocks to Kirra) in EV range...

Any longer a commute and I would need to move house to avoid the waste of time whilst driving around.

One day I might even feel safe enough to start listening to podcasts etc whilst riding the Vectrix, like in my car. But it needs to behave itself well for quite a bit longer for that to happen. And a heck of a lot longer before I take a passenger along willingly.

It's slowly dawning on me that this is the perfect vehicle for my situation, despite the discrepancies between the advertising hype and the real world performance.

Once I get over documenting what it can and cannot do (and spending all this time writing about it on "V"!!!) it will be a great commuter for my purposes. There appears to be no alternative other than building/converting your own at this stage.

If it continues to break despite my efforts then I might try an "electrification a la Andrew" on a working ICE bike. I might just try it anyway...

A cargo box will soon be in order to carry a LONG extension cable and body surfing equipment for those trips to the beach (without further AU$300.- tickets).

It all depends of course on the claimed reliability of the Vectrix, which has so far been disappointing. But the hypothesis about incremental fuse damage might be correct and then it might be reliable...
http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2977-open-letter-vectrix-corp

Show me a better bike that can be registered and insured (at least for third party damage) in Australia and I'll do my best to find some money to buy it and check it out.

I have clocked up about 800 incident free kilometers since the last breakdown (albeit noisy ones!).

Mr. Mik

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

jdh2550_1
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Re: Vectrix Real World Range on Flat Terrain

And as far as I can see no other available production EV bike comes close!

I agree with you - but only at the moment. I really hope the XM-3500 can give the Vectrix a run for it's money in the performance department - it should have similar top speed... Yeah, I know this is a thread about the Vectrix - but I couldn't resist - boy am I looking forward to testing out the XM-3500...

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.

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Re: Vectrix Real World Range on Flat Terrain

I really hope the XM-3500 can give the Vectrix a run for it's money in the performance department - it should have similar top speed... Yeah, I know this is a thread about the Vectrix - but I couldn't resist - boy am I looking forward to testing out the XM-3500...

I hope it will not get delayed as long as the Vectrix, otherwise it will be years before you get to do your testing!

Promises, promises...

Mr. Mik

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

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Re: Vectrix Real World Range on Flat Terrain

This post was originally posted at http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2819-anywun-wide-twike
but I'll double it up in here because of it's relevance to the Vectrix topic.

To see the entire post please follow this link.
.

The post explains how 50-80% of US-Americans could use a Vectrix for 80% of their daily driving and save enough money in the process to get a US$30.000,- Twike for free....

The real world range of my Vectrix covers the area below the 50% arrow without recharging on the go and covers the area below the 80% arrow with a recharge during the day:

driving_habits_graph.jpg

Mr. Mik

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

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Re: Vectrix Real World Range on Flat Terrain

Hi from the UK. I am one of the UK early adopters. I have had the Vectrix for nearly 8 months now. It gets used for local shopping and more relevant to this forum on a round trip of 29 miles once or twice a week. In order to acheive this I had to condition the battery over several longish journeys. The first run in and out of Oxford was nerve wracking to say the least! On the way home (there are no charging stations in Oxford and my office is on the 3rd floor!) it registered "0" charge and slowed right down 2 miles from home. I nursed it for another mile and a half and had to push it the rest of the way.
The journey is mainly open road, slight hills apart from the last 2 miles into and out of oxford. I admit I did cane it !

Subsequently, by keeping the speed down to 50kph into work at 6-30am in the morning (little or no traffic) I can cane it on the way home keeping up with the traffic and sticking to the speed limits...mostly! I can get home with 6-8 miles left showing and one bar left. If I cane it for the last bar the mileage immediately drops to zero and its slow for 1 mile and then stop. This give me an effective range of 35-39 miles at sensible speeds. One trial I did keep to 40kph there and back, mainly due to traffic and arrive back home showing 18 miles and 3 bars giving an effective range of 45 miles.

Total mileage so far is 1800. Driving at night, the lights are adequate for 30-40mph, no more. A bigger, more powerful bulb will overload the voltage regulator and cause other lighting problems. A similar effect was noticed plugging a portable light into the cigar socket in the glove box. Before I became a pilot I was an electrical engineer so am quite up to speed with the technology involved.

Problems....none. Except it has just been recalled to have a new battery pack fitted. Aparently some early batteies had poor internal connections although I cannot say I noticed any heating problems. Temperature is usually around 21 to 25 c on charge and with a probe on the battery casing it was about 30 c, so the temperature indication is a bit suspect unless its a cooling air temperature. Charge cycle 80% about 3 hours and full charge about 5 hours so the manual is a bit off there as well.

I weigh, kitted up 115 kg, 6 ft so I fitted a windscreen extension. (Vario..VTA3..from germany). It made quite a difference to both wind noise/buffeting, but not a noticeable difference to the range.

I bought the Vectrix to avoid using the car, (diesel here is now £5.00 a gallon), avoid using park and ride, for which they charge. If I park in Oxford city centre ..cost....wait for it...£28.50 a day!! dearer than central London!

I hope any one finds this useful, as I say, I wouldn't be without it but I do wish I could get a spare battery and then swith them with a relay. There is room under the seat but a spare battery...I was quoted around £1500.00.
All the best form a cold wet UK...6 degrees and windy!
Ray

Ray

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Re: Vectrix Real World Range on Flat Terrain

Problems....none. Except it has just been recalled to have a new battery pack fitted. Aparently some early batteies had poor internal connections although I cannot say I noticed any heating problems.
......
Driving at night, the lights are adequate for 30-40mph, no more. A bigger, more powerful bulb will overload the voltage regulator and cause other lighting problems.

Ray

Thanks for that report, Ray!

When did they put the new battery in? Do you know anything more about that battery recall?

I assume they would have updated your software at the same time and you might notice some changes.

One important change for you might be that both high and low beam can now be used at the same time, much better light that way. Only works whilst riding to avoid overheating of the lamp.
Pull the leaver that turns the high beam on momentarily until the horn beeps once after a few seconds. You need to have low beam on whilst doing this. When you then flick to high beam both high and low beam come on.
If you hold the momentary high beam switch for too long then both high and low beam are turned off, be careful...

Mr. Mik

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

MattFish
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Feedback from an Oakland, CA early adopter

Hey folks,

Sorry to hear about the various troubles some riders have had with the Vectrix.

As an early adopter of the Vectrix here in Oakland, CA, I have nothing but positive news to report. This includes:

1. Bought the bike in August 2007. Have put in about 2600 miles so far with zero maintenance.
2. My electrical recharge cost over six months has been $35 instead of $500 gas costs for 6 months in my car last year. Yes, that's 35 vs 500.
2. Early on I had two recharges that didn't go to completion. Disappeared after the software update. No other problems since, except that I've asked the Vectrix people to consider revising the charging code to allow for shutdown of the (somewhat) noisy cooling fan when not needed (which is most of the time when charging during chilly Oakland nights).
3. My distance per charge when driving at highway speeds (Oakland to SF and back) averages 32-35 miles.
4. My distance per charge at slower local speeds, driving aggressively, is about 38 miles.
5. My distance per charge at slower local speeds, driving for efficiency, is about 40-42 miles.
6. Highway speed is the #1 factor that affects range. Greater than 50mph burns electrons much faster.
7. Tire pressure is the #2 range factor. Make sure to keep them as tight as they're rated.
8. Driving style is the #3 range factor, but it doesn't make that big a difference, surprisingly.
9. Hills are the #4 range factor, but I've got to say that there is no hill anywhere in Oakland or SF that I haven't been able to climb from a standstill and accelerate. I'm talking crazy steep hills here, including a few hard-packed dirt fireroads in Tilden park.
10. The Vectrix bike has almost completely replaced my car. Economically it doesn't make sense to buy the Lithium battery pack circa 2009, but I'll probably do it anyway. The bike is really that fun (and useful) to ride.

Regards,

Matt Fishbach
Oakland, CA
fish771 [at] yahoo.com

raytheham
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Re: Vectrix Real World Range on Flat Terrain

Hi there,interesting about the headlight switching. The engineer collected the bike on Thursday so I am expecting it back early next week. They did leave me a demonstrator so I am not without wheels.
Here's the script from Vectrix:

On a small quantity of bikes there is a potential for battery module interconnect cables to become loose at the terminal. If loose there is a potential for the battery to overheat causing a potential (they love this word!!) fire. My bike was one of those identified. I have had no problems with overheating.

They go on to say...."Do not charge the bike without someone in attendance at all times, especially at night in a garage or other structure until the battery pack is replaced.
If you notice heat or a burning odour do not ride the the bike or park it in a garage or other structure. Contact your dealer immediately.

They phoned to collect the bike before I received the letter!!

Guess I must have been lucky because I put it in the garage, plug it in and leave it, sometimes for a day or more.

Incidently, on one of the forums the gut talks about current consumption once the charge cycle has finished. Mine reads about 1/2 amp on my meter as opposed to 7 1/2 when initially charging.

I will have to condition the battery pack before I run it in to work. The guy who complains about only 30 km range appears to live half way up a hill. I notice my charge state goes down quickly if I hammer it up a hill and does not recover much using the regen on the downslope, not enough to register any way.
Regards
Ray

Ray

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Re: Vectrix Real World Range on Flat Terrain

They go on to say...."Do not charge the bike without someone in attendance at all times, especially at night in a garage or other structure until the battery pack is replaced.
If you notice heat or a burning odour do not ride the the bike or park it in a garage or other structure. Contact your dealer immediately.

That complicates the charging process ever so slightly...!

Here is one of the sites that Google finds when you type Vectrix battery recall:

http://www.erecalled.com/guestConsole/recallalert_ad.asp?alert=753
.
Does anyone else believe it might have been MrEdLancelots Vectrix that started the recall??

http://visforvoltage.org/forum/3245-my-bike-died

.
Mr. Mik

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

Erik
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Re: Vectrix Real World Range on Flat Terrain

To add to the thread, my bike in Atanta, GA USA died on 4/3. A tech was to fly in on Friday 4/11 to fix it over the weekend, and I found out on Tuesday 4/15 that they would need to ship my bike up to New England for the battery recall. So I did not get a mail recall, only found out due to the other issue.

Mathieua
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Re: Vectrix Real World Range on Flat Terrain (from France !)

Hello,
I have been testing a Vectrix in Paris since a week, and I must make my decision tomorow about buying one. The Vectrix I'm testing has 2600 km (1 year old, coming from Italia where it was used for the road show). This morning, I test it on highway with full throttle all the way long. The speedometer indicate more than 100 km/h except for 6 kilometers (way in and out of the A3 highway). When I reached home, I had 2 kilometers left, and 46,5 km done. Good range at this speed, but when I rode in the traffic inside Paris, I was not abble to range more than 55 km (with a little hill to reach "place de la Contrescarpe").
By the way, I'm a light french guy : 75 kg for 1,76 m. It helps for the range.
Excuse my poor french, and thank you for your contributions. I think I'll join the club.
Mathieu, Montreuil (east of Paris) France.
Jean-François, si tu habites en France, dis-moi dans quelle région STP.

Mik
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Re: Vectrix Real World Range on Flat Terrain (from France !)

Hello,
I have been testing a Vectrix in Paris since a week, and I must make my decision tomorrow about buying one.

Great idea to buy a Vectrix you have tested for a week.
Also, after a few thousand K's most of the weak points might have failed and with some luck you might have a very tough and reliable vehicle for several 10,000km's.
(I hope there are not to many common faults that appear any later than 2000km....)

If the Vectrix you tested can handle your commute, and if you can sustain your transportation needs if it is down, than GO, GO, GO!!!

Do not buy a different Vectrix without testing it first, if you can!

Good luck!

Mr. Mik

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

ratatouille
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Re: Vectrix Real World Range on Flat Terrain (from France !)

Hi Mathieua,

yes, i live in France, Fontenay-le-fleury (west of Paris).

Thanks for your test ride report. I'm as tall and heavy as you are and you unfortunately confirm that the Vectrix can't handle my commute unless i could recharge at each place, what is not possible.

Jean-François

Mathieua
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Re: Vectrix Real World Range on Flat Terrain (from France !)

It's done Mik. I bought it yesterday. Thanks for your advice and see you soon on this blog !

Mathieua
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Re: Vectrix Real World Range on Flat Terrain (from France !)

Hello Jean-François,
Is there absolutely no way to plug at workplace ? All you need is a standard socket...

ratatouille
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Re: Vectrix Real World Range on Flat Terrain

I asked, they refused... And several others commutes are out of range, so may be the lithium will match my needs.
Let's come back to the subject :
You bought one, so now i'm looking forward to reading your real world range reports !

Jean-François

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