Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

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EdInPa
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Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

I saw a Vectrix up close last weekend and although it seems to be a top quality, truly road-worthy electric scooter with local dealer support, it's hard to see how I could rationalize (to me, or to my wife(!)) spending something like $10K on one of them. That's a lot of cash! more than I could ever recoup in gas/mileage savings on my car (which of course I would still need). It's a lot from ANY perspective I can imagine (ev evangelist, saving the planet, etc).

So a poll, for those of you who have made the leap: What did you tell yourself that made buying a Vectrix the right thing to do?

Ed

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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

Mine was easy. I just got out the calculator, and the Vectrix, for me, will pay for itself.

My primary transportation is a full size V8 Chevy truck, which is a necessary "tool" for where I live and what I do to maintain mine and a couple of other households. However, at 13 mpg, it sucks for daily work commuting, and putting an average 20 miles per day on a big V8 engine at 3 to 4 mile intervals is a great way to kill an expensive vehicle!

So, I got out the calculator and here's what happened....

My average year round daily work commute is 20 miles.
I used 5 bucks per gallon as a consistant fuel cost figure (we ain't there yet, but it will happen). Therefore, my anual daily commute is costing me 7.80, or 2847.00 per year. I can use 365 days as a commute figure because when I'm off work, I often make much of the same distance in errands, and some work days, I make as much as twice that mileage, due to call backs.

My goal for the Vectrix is 150 days per year. We have riding weather here in Alabama all year, but there are a lot of days that rain makes it unsafe or very unpleasant.

150 days at 7.80 equals 1677.00 anual fuel expenses saved.

The Vectrix's battery pack, although replaceable, has a guestimated life span of 10 years. Multiply that by 1687 and we've SAVED 6 grand over the initial cost of the bike during the life of the battery. That 6 grand will be put back into insurance, tags and tires over the same period, so the bottom line is, at ten years, I break even, and have saved a LOT of wear and tear on my beloved and necessary truck. Now I can happily retire the truck to do the things that trucks are made for and not wear it out hauling my butt back and forth to work.

I can charge the bike at work, so there is NO "fuel" cost for my bike, to me.

I've looked at many other options, including hybrid cars, cheap gas bikes, etc, and the Vectrix is the only thing out there that will actually NOT cost me anything to own, and if I keep it more than ten years, drop a new $2000 battery pack in and run it another ten years, then it's bonus money in my pocket from then on.

I might also mention that currently I have and do use my option of riding my Harley Road King on a daily basis, to try to curb my fuel costs, but I hate commuting on an expensive bike that is suffering the same fate as my truck (short trips on a cold engine).

I was practically a shoe in for the Vectrix, as my daily needs are well below the output of the bike, and I love the idea of not having to shift gears, which is a constant nag on my Harley, since all my 3 miles or less movements are in traffic and have multiple stops and turns. I'm constantly shifting up and down the gears, and almost never maintain any given speed.

I looked for a while at the Myers Motors NMG, but it would never recover its exorbitant cost, and being boxed in with no air conditioning in my area is a death wish, not to mention it's way-too-out-of-the-ordinary-for-me looks.

Mik
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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2819-anywun-wide-twike#comment-18741

But that was of course after I had already bought it...

The calculations here are assuming petrol prices that we have already reached by now:
http://visforvoltage.org/forum/2547-vectrix-reports#comment-13249

Mr. Mik

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

AndY1
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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

I saw a Vectrix up close last weekend and although it seems to be a top quality, truly road-worthy electric scooter with local dealer support, it's hard to see how I could rationalize (to me, or to my wife(!)) spending something like $10K on one of them. That's a lot of cash! more than I could ever recoup in gas/mileage savings on my car (which of course I would still need). It's a lot from ANY perspective I can imagine (ev evangelist, saving the planet, etc).

So a poll, for those of you who have made the leap: What did you tell yourself that made buying a Vectrix the right thing to do?

Ed
------------
n/a

As far as I'm aware, there's a promotional price until the end of July, which is 8500 US$.

Buzby
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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

I was reaching the tipping point - what clinched the deal was a strike that shut the local refinery. Motorsits panic-bought with queues getting longer until the tanks ran dry. I thought that this was the final strat, and I placed my order.

- Raymond

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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

I consider my Vectrix to be an insurance policy. Expensive gasoline is just stage one of the Peak Oil energy problem. Within a few years there may be actual oil shortages. That means there could be no gasoline at any price. There could be brief periods where the local gas station has nothing for a few days.

I am in the process of getting my entire family on electric vehicles. I have a 2005 Prius for myself and I have a 2009 Prius on order for my wife. I plan on adding the Hymotion Plug-in upgrade to one of them. That will enable the Prius to get 30 to 35 miles in pure electric mode from the electric grid, then it would switch over to being a normal Toyota Prius. At any speed below 35 mph, the car stays in electric mode.

It is not about saving money, because it is doubtful that the gasoline savings will ever be recovered on that $10,000 upgrade for Hymotion. Since I understand the full ramifications of Peak Oil, this is about having the ability to get around even when the gas stations are empty in a few years.

I will never buy a car again that is limited to only gasoline as an energy source.

By my calculation at current gas prices, the Vectrix saves me about $4 per day in gasoline costs. I believe I can also use it about 150 days per year. So $600 per year in gas savings. Minus the $200 per year in insurance. So an overall savings of $400 per year. Plus the saved wear and tear on my Toyota Prius. I have only driven my Toyota Prius two times in the past 3 weeks. There is some value in that.

In addition to those factors above, I am having a blast riding my Vectrix. It is a ton of fun and it is causing many people to stop and chat about it. Many people are recognizing it is electric and want to know more.

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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

I think that from now on there are going to be many more strikes(oil related) and maybe some shortages.
For example, in Spain we had a 12 day Transport Strike and that included Trucks that took oil to the Petrol Sations.Oil was over for 6 days or so.
There also seems to be a shortage of Diesel refining , but for the moment there hasnt been a shortage by a very short margin.

rontivo
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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

I think we're at an interesting cross-road. Given the price of the Vectrix and the price of gas today, does it make economic sense to buy a Vectrix or not? That's a complicated question and you'll see different spins on that in this forum. How do you factor in insurance, maintenance (on both the Vectrix and whatever would be driven instead of the Vectrix), and the eventual cost of replacing the batteries. The Vectrix doesn't have the performance capabilities to replace an existing vehicle, so this all has to be looked at in terms of how it compares to owning your gas-powered alternative. Economically the Vectrix may or may not make sense. The fact that gas prices and technology have evolved to the point where we can engage in this conversation is a huge step forward.

My guess is that if you boiled it all down at the end of the day you'd have less money in your pocket if you bought a Vectrix then if you stuck with just a single vehicle. While I believe that oil shortages and higher gas prices are inevitable, we really don't know when those will hit. As gas prices increase, the Vectrix makes more and more economic sense. If your motive is purely economics, however, you can wait until gas prices increase and buy a Vectrix at that time.

For me the decision to buy a Vectrix boiled down to a desire to invest in emerging technology that will help us burn less gasoline. While owning a Vectrix may not save me money, I think it's close enough to a break even that I'm willing to make the investment. It's nice knowing that if gas prices go up I'm protected, and even nicer checking out the reaction the bike gets and chatting with people about it. For me it boils down to:

- Economically it's close enough to break even
- The real-world performance characteristics of Vectrix make it a viable alternative, particularly for in-town commuting.
- To a lesser degree
- I'm protected against rising gas prices
- It's fun owning new technology

Now that I own the bike, I'm also enjoy the pure joy of riding it, and have had several positive reactions and conversations from people when I've been out riding.

-Ron

Mik
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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

I consider my Vectrix to be an insurance policy. Expensive gasoline is just stage one of the Peak Oil energy problem. Within a few years there may be actual oil shortages. That means there could be no gasoline at any price. There could be brief periods where the local gas station has nothing for a few days.

Yes, I agree. As I wrote before:

When the majority of ICE fuel guzzlers are permanently stranded in lineups in front of empty fuel stations, then any EV will be king.

But not for long if you cannot repair it without a technician jetting in with a replacement part and top-secret software....

Mr. Mik

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

Vectrix-NH
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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

Hi
The cost was not a factor for me . I beleave we need to change the way we live . I enjoy the things we have .
And hope that the next generation can also enjoy the same and more . If we change the way we do things and the fuel we use . We can continue to advance .
As with every new thing we have done, people think its cost too much and brakes down . New fangaled gagets , tv ,phone ,car , train, plane ,and now its space travel . But then again electic cars and bikes are not new . but I think it Is part of the future.

Yes I know that people say the electicity comes from coal or oil . but it also is nuke ( I do not like ) , wind or solar as I do . The sun is great .

I live on solar power, I us led lighting , chest refrig. ( uses about 80 watt a day. ) lcd tv , small microwave .
and charge the Vectrix.

But if you want to talk about cost, I have not had an electic bill in 6 years (that helped me buy my Vectrix ). now almost no gas in the summer because of the Vectrix , ( gas was only $2.75 when I got my Vectrix now it over $ 4.10 ) Start up cost may seam high , As you invest in renewable energy ,but over time they pay off. and we can all breath a little easyer too.

Now that I have had the Vectrix almost a year. ( yes I got the first one sold at the corp. store in Newport RI USA) It is a great ride .It just fun ! I have other bikes but as long as its in range I use the Vectrix the power is smouth and The regenerative Brake makes it great in traffic.

Happy riding , Herb

Morrison
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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?
I consider my Vectrix to be an insurance policy. Expensive gasoline is just stage one of the Peak Oil energy problem. Within a few years there may be actual oil shortages. That means there could be no gasoline at any price. There could be brief periods where the local gas station has nothing for a few days.

Yes, I agree. As I wrote before:

When the majority of ICE fuel guzzlers are permanently stranded in lineups in front of empty fuel stations, then any EV will be king.

But not for long if you cannot repair it without a technician jetting in with a replacement part and top-secret software....

Mr. Mik

Mik, come on. :-) Admit it. Didn't some of your tinkering have something to do with you performance? You are clearly a talented person and you have done an incredible job of disecting the Vectrix. I would be too nervous to even open mine. Beyond changing the tires or adjusting the brakes, I have no plans to learn motorcycle repair.

There is a Vectrix technician at my local Vectrix dealer. They had to get one person trained. So I will plan on using him for anything serious that happens.

Otherwise, my plan is to have several electric vehicles. A Toyota Prius Plug-in, with Hymotion upgrade, is my next goal. Then the Aptera and Venture One.
www.aptera.com
www.flytheroad.com

knabo
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Re: how did you talk yourself into it?

My son is going to live at home for college. We needed a third vehicle so he can drive to school. I had been riding my Motard (10 mile range) to work for about a year and using my car for other errands and trips.

I did not want to get a third car, but I needed something with more range so I can do my normal errands. I ran across the vectrix site again and saw that I had a dealer close by. I took a test ride and was sold. So now I ride the Vectrix, my son takes my car and I am saving money by not having that third 4-wheeler.

Luther Burrell, Mesa, Arizona, USA
Rides: ZuumCraft from zuumcraft.com
Previous Rides: Blue Vectrix Maxi scooter

uplarry
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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?
... spending something like $10K on one of them. That's a lot of cash! ...

As far as I'm aware, there's a promotional price until the end of July, which is 8500 US$.

That's right. I bought mine a couple of weeks ago for 8700 US$. Plus the state of California currently has a $1500 rebate on the Vectrix, so that brought the base price down to $7200. Not bad. Now, it is true that you pay a lot of tax, registration fees, etc. So the out-of-the door price is higher than that and will vary based on your location and dealer.

Another bonus is that CA has a low electric rate plan for those charging EVs. If you change to their new plan and you charge at night (midnight to 6am), it cost you as little as $0.05 a kw/hr which comes to about 25 cents to charge the Vectrix.

--
larry

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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

I did the math comparing the cost to substitute my family car vs. keeping it and putting the Vectrix by its side as workmule on the path to work. I purchased the Vectrix at a cost of roughly 8.000€ (financed over a period of 2 years) including 2 years of full coverage for insurance, servicing and costless recovery of me and the bike also in the event of remaining "stranded" with empty batteries (so called "Plug&Go" option, which seems not to be available anymore by now) Vs a cost for a new car of at least 15.000€ + insurance, taxes etc.
At equal running fixed costs for keeping the car, In the whole the Vectrix pays itself through the saving in fuel cost by an estimated annual rate of 20.000km (actually I'm realizing now it will be little less, but even so it works). Further I can delay the purchasing of a new car by a few years (at my current pace it would have been otherwise unavoidable within the current year, as my poor car already has 250.000 km on it increasing at a rate of 30.000 km a year of wich now 20.000 are taken over by the Vectrix) Half of the recharging cost is now beared by the company for wich I work, so it is even less expensive.
I think the math would work also comparing the Vectrix to a scooter from 250cc upward, assuming much less maintenance costs (right Mik? ;) ).

Regards

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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

In the Seattle area we're currently having a big public debate about traffic congestion and whether to invest our tax dollars in road improvements or mass transit. Currently, we spend about 50% of our transportation funds on mass transit, which only about 2-5% of the public actually use. Primarily this is due to suburban sprawl, which distributes our population over larger areas and generally makes it less convenient to access transportation hubs, but it probably also has a lot to do with the American obsession with personal freedom and their love affair with their cars, trucks and motorcycles. It may be the result of generations of marketing, but in many ways what you drive really defines you in this country...and that attitude isn't going to change overnight due to higher fuel costs.

I purchased the Vetrix knowing I was unlikely to recover the cost in fuel savings, but more to really make a point: You don't have to give up the freedom of a personal vehicle to do your part to reduce our dependency on foreign oil and practically eliminate air and noise pollution. (Fortunately, the Pacific Northwest gets most of its electricity from hydroelectric sources.) Others may feel differently, but I value living in a green, rural setting and have no desire to be packed into high density housing near transportation hubs. I also value being able to move from place to place quickly and on my own schedule. And of course, every time I'm packed into a crowded bus or train, I feel like cattle being loaded onto a box car. It may be efficient, but I also find it dehumanizing.

What I didn't anticipate was that it'd be so much fun to ride. Sure, there are some risks, but the rewards are far greater than I had expected.

Mik
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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

I think the math would work also comparing the Vectrix to a scooter from 250cc upward, assuming much less maintenance costs (right Mik? ;) ).

Regards

I don't know.
I would NOT buy a scooter.
I would not even waste time on researching it. I only bought a Vectrix because it was the only EV with reasonable specs available.

I would compare it to motor bikes, and the calculations are straight forward:
A small, used but reliable motorbike would win hands down in the costs department.
Think Virago.

I would not buy another Vectrix from the same Australian dealership (at least not until they admit that their previous staff stuffed up and fix the mess they created. Or at least fix the mess).

I hope I can get away without buying ANYTHING from them, ever. And in case I really needed to buy something from them, I am not sure they would sell to me!

In regards to keeping the Vectux going I can only see two viable options at this stage:

Either Vectrix Corp. fixes stuff under warranty, or I figure out how to fix it myself, using "open source stuff".

If this gets too hard or to expensive, then I de-register the Vectux but keep it and sell parts to other Vectrix riders when their warranty is up in 1-2 years.

How much do you think it's going to cost to replace a few panels? Or a display?
A motor?
Maybe a bent frame from an accident?

A wheel?

You get the idea!

........................................................................................

If I had known what I know now about EV's, I would have started my own electrification instead of buying a Vectrix. Particularly now that I have bought much safety gear and tools to keep the Vectux running despite the abysmal performance of Vectrix Australia (before they canceled the warranty on the defective scooter they sold to me. They are now probably providing much better technical service because a certain key person has left).

........................................................................................

But if I had to leave Australia for some reason, and live for a number of years somewhere else close to a reputable Vectrix Dealer, I would have a Vectrix on order long before touching down!

The cost for tools etc - if you need to buy them all just for an electrification of an ICE - is too prohibitive, unless you are a tinkerer planning to stay for a longer while!

Mr. Mik

This information may be used entirely at your own risk.

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

knabo
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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

I would agree having a dealer nearby is a plus. I have noticed a few things on my Vectrix compared to what you will read on these forums from the old timers.

My battery came pre-conditioned from the factory.
I can assume this because my own battery conditioning did not add significant range

My software was updated compared to the demo I rode.
The mileage remaining estimate is averaged more so it does not jump around.

I got my bike after the recall, so Vectrix seems to have evolved a bit.

Although I ride gently, mostly due to information on these forums, the bike seems pretty robust. But if I do manage to break it I am close to my dealer as I said.

At this point I am very happy with my purchase.

Luther Burrell, Mesa, Arizona, USA
Rides: ZuumCraft from zuumcraft.com
Previous Rides: Blue Vectrix Maxi scooter

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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

A pre-conditioned battery? I'd never accept that. Was it pre-conditioned responsibly or abused in the process? I'm unaware of any Vextrix being supplied in this way as 'new'. What was your mileage on collection? If under 50m then I very much doubt it was anything under a new battery.

Certainly off-bike conditioning could be done, but this isn't likely bearing the physical size and weight of it. My bike was delivered fully charged showing a range of 75Km, and that was my downfall - I believed it and ended pushing it back for 2 miles after the last 3 bars disappeared!

- Raymond

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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

It was not advertised as pre-conditioned. I am just assuming this based on the fact that I got nearly full range on the bike for the ride home. 35 miles with varying speeds. My range has not drastically increased from this initial value.

The mileage when I got the bike was a mere 29

Luther Burrell, Mesa, Arizona, USA
Rides: ZuumCraft from zuumcraft.com
Previous Rides: Blue Vectrix Maxi scooter

AndY1
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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

35 miles/charge is not much. I think you can get more out of it, but you haven't done 5 deep discharges yet (condition the battery). With 29 miles done, they sure haven't done it for you.

If you haven't done any deep-discharge yet (the red battery light should light up), I suggest you start doing those 5 now. Others have reported that their mileage has increased with each deep-discharge.
Make sure you end the deep-discharge on a flat terrain (so the bike barely moves), because this will be a true deep discharge - under light load, not under heavy load by driving up the hill.

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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

35 miles/charge is not much. I think you can get more out of it, but you haven't done 5 deep discharges yet (condition the battery). With 29 miles done, they sure haven't done it for you.

35 miles/charge is about standard for me. But I spend a lot of time riding at 45+ mph (70+ kmh). And there are some hills involved all around where I live.

What has been your experience?

AndY1
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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

So far I haven't got any experience yet, because I'm waiting for my to be delivered. But from what I've read here and other sites, people are reporting 50-80km range.

Morrison
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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

So far I haven't got any experience yet, because I'm waiting for my to be delivered. But from what I've read here and other sites, people are reporting 50-80km range.

Since 35 miles = 56 km, then I guess I am within that range.

AndY1
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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

Sure, but maybe you can get better mileage?

You have to deep-discharge NiMH batteries every 3 months anyway (memory effect).

AndY1
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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

I found this great interview:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_61L-wiXp4Y

He's talking for the Vectrix a 50 mile range.

Other videos from this guy are great!

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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

We started slowly. First got my wife a Tres Terra Portia electric bicycle for her birthday. We saw the EVTs and thought they were neat. Got an EVT-4000e for the kids to use at College, but made them take a Motorcycle safety course before I would turn them loose on it. Meanwhile, I got to ride it for a few months and liked it, but my commute was on roads that were over 40mph...I wanted something that wouldn't relegate me to back roads and side streets. We had been in Europe and seen all the mopeds on Lido. That is where we first saw an electric scooter and learned about Vectrix. The same dealer here in Austin carried all 3 products and for a year I pondered if the expense would be justified by quality. I sortta made a promise to myself that when gas hit $3.00/gal I would get one. Well, it blew past $3 rather quickly at the beginning of the year.
I have a Civic Hybrid, so return on investment was not really a consideration, it was immediate cost of gasoline.
I always thought the Saturn EV-1s were cool concept cars, but they never made it out of CA.
I can't afford a Tesla Roadster :-).
I was just starting to drive in the '70 during the 'gas crunch' then, I remember lines at the pump when a station had gas... this would be a little insurance against that b.s.
Finally, it was just kindda cool...

Buzby
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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

WHAT memory effect? The improvement with NiMh was there isn't any - even Vectrix state this in the manual!

- Raymond

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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

Constant Speed Range
25 mph 65 miles
35 mph 54 miles
40 mph 48 miles
45 mph 44 miles
50 mph 36 miles
60 mph 20 miles

http://www.vectrix.com/corporate/US/range-info.php

AndY1
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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

WHAT memory effect? The improvement with NiMh was there isn't any - even Vectrix state this in the manual!

http://www.batteryuniversity.com/partone-4.htm

nickel-cadmium should be exercised once a month, nickel-metal-hydride once in every 3 months.

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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

Afraid I'm aware of Buchman's hypothesis (since 2003) but I'm afraid I cannot accept it as a generalisation. I was in a years trial comparing NiCad and NiMH cells used in the mobile phone industry. It was certainly evident that deep discharging was mandatory for NiCad, this could not be evidenced by NiMh, the capacity remained within a tolerance of 3 in a sample of 5 cells (mobile phon type - not quite the same as Vectrix). The NiMh that were deep discharged shows no real benefit or longevity when compared to those that weren't;t - even those in 'cordless' handsets that were always being recharged.

The only measurable difference was that NiMh batteries that were deep discharged once in every 50 cycles got hotter towards the end of their charge cycle compared to those that weren't. This led to a conclusion on balance, it was better NOT to DD after the initial conditioning as a regular regime, due to the high temps degrading the cells faster.

As for a 'memory effect' affecting capacity - none were evident, hence my original comment.

- Raymond

AndY1
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Re: Vectrix owner poll: how did you talk yourself into it?

Thank you for this information.

What about 5 initial deep-discharges? Someone posted here, that the dealer told him only 3 were required. What is your opinion on that?

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