May 16, 2007 9:39 AM PDT

Electric scooter to charge into U.S.

AUSTIN, Texas--You've heard a lot about electric sports cars. Now a new generation of electric scooters is coming to town.

The Maxi-Scooter from Vectrix, an all-electric scooter that can go from 0 to 50 miles per hour in 6.8 seconds, will soon be available in the U.S., Jeff Morrill, director of marketing for the Americas for the company, said at the Clean Energy Venture Summit taking place here this week.

Like electric car companies such as Tesla Motors, Vectrix is attempting to show that electric vehicles are a practical option for getting around town and that they can compete on many fronts with traditional gas burners. The $11,000 scooter, which runs on nickel metal hydride batteries, can hit 62 miles per hour, go from 0 to 30 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds, and can be recharged in 2.5 hours from a standard outlet. (Eighty percent of the battery can be recharged in two hours.)

It will go about 68 miles at 25 mph before needing a recharge, Morrill said. And, like other scooters and motorcycles, you can store helmets and other items in an empty space below the seat. The bike is powered by a hub motor on the rear wheel.

Vectrix Maxi Scooter

"We want to be the first zero-emission, high-performance, street-legal consumer electric vehicle," Morrill said.

Besides the electric engine and Vectrix-designed battery, the Vectrix is made from components familiar to the scooter world. The tires come from Pirelli, while other components come from Sachs.

Vectrix started selling the Maxi in Italy last November and two weeks ago in London. Right now, the company is seeking U.S. retailers and distributors.

In a test ride in the parking lot, it was pretty clear the Maxi had some pep. We got it up close to 30 miles per hour before we had to slow down to avoid hitting a speed bump.

Like other electric vehicles, it makes a lot less noise than its gas-burning counterparts. In fact, it makes no noise at all. The word "Go" is displayed on the speedometer so that you know the engine is on, Morrill said.

See more CNET content tagged:
mile, vehicle, U.S., battery

21 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
Flip oil companies the bird!
The price is a bit steep but I've been looking for a replacement
for the scooter that I use for me eight mile commute to work.
It's a Yamaha Vino 50 and it gets about 90 MPG but it only goes
38 MPH with the governor removed.
If they could get the price to be just a bit more affordable or
work with utilities or states for some rebates or tax credits, I
would get one tomorrow.
Nothing would make me happier than flipping the bird to every
gas station I pass on my way around town. They've been giving
us the finger for far too long.
Posted by hal Summers (80 comments )
Reply Link Flag
$11,000 lol
Yeh, right, I'll wait for the lower priced alternative. But there is one born every day, so I imagine they'll be a great success. One day, we might get a realistic approach to energy difficulties that we face. Not this time.
Posted by suyts (824 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Don't wait too long! $2K this summer!
Vectrix is cool, but it's way overpriced. Check out EVT America's alternative, the Z20. $2K with a top speed of 45MPH (75KPH).

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.evtamerica.com/sco_z20.asp" target="_newWindow">http://www.evtamerica.com/sco_z20.asp</a>

Sign up for the waiting list now to get it for the $2K intro price. It was supposed to be out last year, but they had to re-engineer the controller, and they decided to do it right and redesigned it from scratch.

I'm on the waiting list! Heck, I could buy 5 Z20's for the price of one Vectrix!! LOL!
Posted by Alphaman63 (364 comments )
Link Flag
Wow - expensive. The XM-5000Li from http://www.wattcycle.com/shop/home.php (blog at http://www.wattcycle.com) has a max range of 85 Miles and has a top speed of 55 MPH...for about HALF the price.

These electric mopeds are brand new for 2009. Check it out. Fun and silent!
Posted by chizno (1 comment )
Link Flag
Oh Yeah.....You're right. Don't do anything until you sense that the cool crowd is doing it. Then dive in and claim that you were widdit all along. You know, that typical dipshit American attitude and behavior is going away now. Americans used to be ballsy innovators. Now the majority are whiny, scared little punks. The rest of the world is slowly teaching cowardly Americans how to act with integrity and believe in yourselves, but until American men come out from behind their wives dresses, you are right "Not this time".
Posted by monterini (2 comments )
Link Flag
Flip OilCo's the Bird?
Yeah, and I will too...as soon as the price of these babies comes down. Way down.
Posted by Toulinwoek (394 comments )
Reply Link Flag
$11,000
$11,000 For a scooter??? Gimme a break. Can't even drive the interstate. That thing is way over priced for the value. Try 2-3 thousand.
Posted by layoric (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Yaaaaaay!
It's about time!

Exxon, watch out!
Posted by RubySnow1 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Call me when the price gets below $5K
Just like electric cars - nice idea but still too expensive.

Q: Who killed the electric car?
A: Economics
Posted by blueTXcowboy (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
$3,200 Electric City Scooter
ZAP has the Zapino - <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.zapworld.com/zapstore/detail.aspx?ID=389" target="_newWindow">http://www.zapworld.com/zapstore/detail.aspx?ID=389</a>

The Zapino is much more advanced and powerful than the EVT product line - carries more weight and takes more hills with its 3,000 watt motor. If the EVT Z-20 comes out, then it will have a top speed advantage for light riders.

ZAP might be the most experienced company in the space, but they could be the worst or best. No clue.
Posted by regulator1956 (577 comments )
Reply Link Flag
THIS IS NOT ZERO EMISSIONS!!!
People - full electric cars and scooters are not zero emission vehicles. Electricity is not free. 45% of all electricity used in the US is from coal plants which produce more emissions that gasoline cars. We must replace coal power plants with nuclear to have a real impact. This will take 30 years.
Posted by CrabkillaTX (11 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Chernobyl anyone?
Nuclear power isn't the answer either. Safety and waste disposal
have never been good enough, and neither is cheap enough
either. Without government subsidies there wouldn't be nuclear
power.

All of the power we use for everything we do comes from the
Sun. Even nuclear power. The solution is solar power, but it can't
be generated solely by centralized power plants.

Electric vehicles should have their own solar panels, as should
homes. Not to generate all of their power, but to reduce their
demands on the grid. Imagine if every gasoline powered car
could produce some of it's own gas for free. Even just 52 gallons
per year, or 1 gallon per week, would reduce demand
significantly. That's why solar is the solution. It's also why the
big energy producers don't want it around.
Posted by Macsaresafer (802 comments )
Link Flag
Odd Logic.....but True
By your logic then nothing man made can ever be considered 'zero emissions' can it? Think about it...what can man produce that doesn't produce some sort of emissions? Actually, walking isn't even zero emissions is it? It takes food in your body to produce the energy to walk, that food was no doubt grown using a device that produced emissions.
Posted by tux_warrior (55 comments )
Link Flag
Zero Emissions- Less Pollution!
I have two questions for everybody reading this. 1) What vehicle would you like to be stuck behind in a traffic jam on a hot, humid, windless day? A Vectrix or a similar sized ICE powered scooter? 2) Has one ever thought how much electricity it takes from well to wheels to produce the gas in your tank that makes even more pollution? Hey, charge the scooter with wind, sun or whatever and call it zero emission...at least you have that option. Let me know when you can produce a gallon of gas with zero emissions, OK?

My point is this, everyone who is reading this now is doing so using electricity from whatever source it is produced. Do the people who criticize the bike from Vectrix do so because it may still be using fossil fuels, must also criticize their computer and if so, please switch it off now! For that matter, turn off your refrigerator, the lights within your home and the TV in your home! Get the picture!

Also, we over 2000 of our U.S. soldiers dead, not to mention all the Iraqi civilians, it seems as though the nay-sayers would at least consider that less oil is LESS OIL. And don't you think for one minute that we're over there to fight the war on terror. It's blood for oil, Einstein. We have dependency of over 58% on imported oil, at over $3.00 a gallon, I am absolutely sick of this!

Vectrix, I am glad you are here!
Posted by mariogv39 (2 comments )
Link Flag
THIS WILL NOT CAUSE OIL COMPANIES TO DIE
Electricity requires fuel to generate - mostly natural gas and coal.

Using electricity is not flipping oil companies the bird. They will be selling natural gas to the power companies to generate electricity.

The only way to flip them the bird is to use less energy - drive less, drive a Prius, use less energy.
Posted by CrabkillaTX (11 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Too pricey? That depends...
If you are just looking for a nice scooter, you can find one for a lot less than $11,000. But if you want an all-electric vehicle that can keep up with traffic and that has enough range to do a typical commute? In the US this is by far the most affordable option if that is what you're looking for.
Posted by gosterhout (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
nuclear Power
When you consider nuclear power, you should keep in mind that we've come a long way in nuclear Technology since the early days when reactors were built in America.The newer reactors in France are several generations ahead.They are much more appealing after years of refinements.
Posted by eddems (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Next gen nuclear power
Nuclear power has come a long way in 30 years. France has their entire country running on next generation nuclear power plants.

Solar is great technology, but the price is going to have to come way down before it is a viable mass market solution
Posted by CrabkillaTX (11 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What's the environmental cost of battery production and disposal?
So is the metal coming from a strip mine? Is it being transported from Canada to Japan and then back to North America? What's the environmental cost of all the energy to produce it and dispose of it?
Posted by lingsun (482 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not Over-Priced!
First I would love to see where you get a $2K or $3K sticker price, as you have suggested.

The second thing is look all of the costs associated with gasoline, maintenance and insurance costs of a gas powered vehicle. With a top speed of just 65 mph and a range of about 62 miles to 70 miles per charge; the places you can go on this should be more than sufficient.

You might want to go out and price a gas powered scooter that has the same sort of features the Vectrix has before you make such a comment about its price. Wait a minute, you can?t! The Vectrix is priced correctly, and with all of the benefits and power it offers, it?s interesting we can even have this sort of discussion; here is to advancement! Vectrix, love that scooter!
Posted by mariogv39 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.