8 thoughts on “Vectrix: $819,000 sales, $54m losses.”

  1. I’m no accountant, but that’s what it sounds like. I’ve only read one first-hand account of a woman who bought one, and the NYPD is testing it (but that might be one scooter, and they might not have paid for it). They haven’t done much marketing in the US, but I was under the impression they’d been pushing it pretty hard in Europe. I figured they had some military and police contracts, too, they had to get all that investment money from somewhere.

    It’s also funny that they address “initial product quality problems” as if they’ve sold enough to actually get any kind of grip on their real-world use.

  2. In Seattle, Green Car Co. has sold *one* to a guy who works at Microsoft. And he told me he’s only able to ride it to work because he lives near the MSFT campus, which has no recharging stations. I’ve ridden one, I think it’s really nice, but I personally can’t see dropping 11 grand on a bike I can only ride to work or to the coffee place and back…

  3. Oh, wait, 11 grand? that’d be 75, worldwide, which is still not great. When you consider Piaggio (wild guess) probably sold 100 MP3s last year in the US, or Genuine (another wild guess) sold 25 Blurs in 2008, it sounds bad, but at least they’re selling well in other markets and the entire cost of production is being spread out over years and markets.

  4. I have ridden the Vectrix, we were loaned one for 1 day and I was able to ride it to work and back, 13 miles each way, 8 miles of 45 mph and 5 miles of 65 mph freeway.

    Here’s why they’re going broke in a hurry:
    It weighs MORE than my 1100cc BMW touring bike.
    It accellerates slower than a Kymco People 150 (worst drag race ever).
    5 Minutes after I got on the freeway the “HOT” light came on and my power consumption went through the roof. I could actually see the power guage falling. My maximum speed was an indicated 63 mph. Traffic was not happy.
    By the time I got to work I had only 23% of a full charge remaining.
    By that standard I would have to re-charge TWICE daily, thereby reducing the lifespan of the $4000 (that’s right FOUR THOUSAND) battery pack by half.
    The thing is built like a tank, “No Expense Spared!” unfortunately it took me only one trip to know we wouldn’t sell a single unit….ever. Which is a shame because the company is run by a really nice guy who impressed the hell out of me. For more info on the Vectrix pick up this months Cycle World magazine and read Editor Edwards column on his experience with the Vectrix.

  5. The weight was my complaint about a few “electric bicycles” I’ve tried. the cheapo ones are flat-out junk, but the eGo, for instance, is pretty well-made and reasonably-priced and would be pretty great for a short commute if it didn’t weigh as much as a scooter. I could live with caliper brakes, the speed and range, and mediocre lighting if I could carry it up a flight of steps. No one in the city wants to leave anything that valuable locked to a bike rack.

  6. Phil, interesting note about the weight, though when I rode it, I was expecting to be as heavy as a maxi-scooter and therefore found it a bit more nimble than expected. They wouldn’t let anyone out of the parking lot, so there was no way to see power consumption on a freeway or main drag.

    Of course, the fine print sez the 68-mile range applies only if you go 25 mph. I really wonder how these things will work for the police departments that are testing them… pursuit is certainly out, and even traffic control at a major event might find the bikes running out of juice with nowhere to plug in…

  7. ok all your comments are a bit old now but heres my 2 cents worth anyway

    there are a fiew things i will bag about the vectrix but first a bit of defence
    I ride my vectrix everyday to and from work, total 63 kms, it took 2-3 weeks to get the batery trained up to a state where i now only need to charge at home
    I baught my vecrtix brand new for $5000 australian which i considered quite a bargain and in full knowledge of the limitations it would have compared to say a 250cc + machine but its take off ,cruising and max speed is satisfactory to my requirements.
    it was its style , cost to run and novelty of having an electric vehicle that appealed to me and i knew that i couldent expect to ride it like a 1100cc BMW and i have to constantly balance speed, route and remaining batery also i am finding that im building up a mental map of recharge locations arround my city, i am sorry to hear sad news about the vectrix company and i have started to think about buying another one for spares through fear of not being able to get spare parts in the future.
    if i was to bag the vectrix i would say that it is a bit annoying having to recharge every night but the way batery improvements are going by the time i need to replace mine the replacement is likely to be cheaper, lighter, longer lasting, faster charging and have a greater range – i dont think this expectation is outlandish with the way the technology is progressing in this area at the moment.
    there are a few other small things i would change like the remaining batery indication, as well as or instead of the graph showing remaining batery i would have a number because at the moment i am still closely monitoring the level to guage my available range as the estimated range cant be trusted as much as my experience, a number would be very usefull also the graph is inacurate still at the moment with the last few or couple bars disappearing quickly or instantly at once compared to when you start your journey though i am hoping that this means that the batery still has some conditioning to go.
    melbourne is presently in the middle of the hottest november on record and i have been riding on some pretty hot days and at times in heavy traffic and as yet havent experienced any of the temperature issues mentioned about the vectrix other than i have heard the coolong fan come on a couple of times and the charging time goes up with the temperature.

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