Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Riding Green... on a Vectrix !


The author strongly desires to transport around 'greenly', i.e., without the fossil fuel aspect. With that I've been riding my bikes as much as possible, working on an electrically driven Xtracycle design, and hoping for the day when I can park my Suzuki Burgman (63+mpg) and Forester (24+mpg) and going without fossil altogether. Well, this past Sunday I had a glimpse of the 'near future'. The Vectrix Maxi-Scooter.

It's practically the same size and weight as my Burgman, which is 400cc sized. It has similar detailing and look. The one I rode was even silver in color. It's an integrated electric motor and final drive assembly, powered by strong Nickel Metal Hydride batteries, and the strength of the motor was impressive. It would leave my Burgman in its wake.

My family and I traveled down to Sarasota and Miami (South Beach) during the weekend to visit two separate Earth Day events (you know, burn 25 gallons of gas to go see how to save gas). We all got to ride the Segway product, which the City of Sarasota embraces in their civil program for human transport. We saw the Ford Hydrogen product, which was trailered to and from the event. We saw several other interesting things, but all in all the real show was in Miami. There we were able to view several great innovations, as well as meet people that are all about - making a difference.

The greatest part of our adventure, hands down, was the opportunity to ride and learn about the Vectrix bike. Speaking with the Director of Sales for Vectrix, North America, I learned that production will start this summer with October deliveries. People are getting excited and the inquiries are in the thousands. It's priced higher than our Burgman, reaching into the $9K region. The batteries themselves cost $3K, which is a large part of the overall cost. Range is expected to be 50-70 miles dependent upon terrain , rider, and riding style. The most exciting aspect though is cost of operation. It takes roughly six bucks to fill my Burgman... theirs, about $.35-.50 for a recharge from near empty. Top speed is 62 mph, which makes it suitable for every part of most commuters ride to work. People, this thing is, well, quite amazing... and of course, I've included a picture and a link to their US website. Leave comments, and thanks for coming by... JD

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