Kaitong Busted at EICMA

Italian police confiscated Kaitong’s knockoff of the Piaggio MP3 at the EICMA show in Milan.

If that’s a thing… that… can be done, it’s surprising it doesn’t happen more at motorcycle trade shows. Surely it wasn’t a good idea to show up on Italian soil during the financial crisis on the week the Prime Minister resigns (incidentally, Berlusconi was slated to speak at EICMA but cancelled), and display a knockoff of one of Italy’s proudest exports. But one would hope authorities would afford the same attention to other imitators, too.

In other MP3-ish news, Vectrix is promising their 3-wheeler for 2012.

Via Scooterism.

A Vectrix Participates In Zero-Emissions Race Around The World

The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme reports the launch of the United Nations Environment Programme ZERO-race. The ZERO-race pits various electric vehicles in an 80-day race across Europe, Asian and North America. Included in the four-vehicle line-up is a Vectrix scooter. While the company may struggle with glimmers of hope, a German team hopes to take one around the world to promote zero-emissions alternatives. Only one of the vehicles has four wheels so it seems that traditional cages are the odd man out in this ‘sprint’. Maybe an electric MP3 could enter next time around. Any Vectrix riders out there supplying their steed with solar go juice?

Vectrix cuts 60 staff, seeks funding, suspends trading

Charles from Scooter-Station pointed us to this Vectrix announcement via the London Stock Exchange, where their stock is traded:

Middletown, R.I.- April 14 – Vectrix Corporation (AIM: VRX) (www.vectrix.com), maker of the world’s first high performance, two-wheel zero emission vehicle (ZEV), announces that while its efforts continue to secure new equity funding and government based loan or grant support as well as temporary financing, the Directors will now begin to seek other strategic alternatives which could include a merger or sale of the business. The Company will continue to provide updates to the market as we progress through these activities. In order to conserve working capital for continuing operations during this period, the Company this week implemented cost savings measures including a significant reduction in workforce involving some 60 staff.

Trading in the common stock of the Company remains suspended until further notice.

Finance a Vectrix

Electric scooter manufacturer Vectrix Vectrix announced yesterday that they’ll offer financing through Sparta Financial. The Vectrix VX-1 seems to be the only currently-available electric bike that can compete with over-50cc gas scooters’ speed and range (A Vectrix is holding the lead in the Cold Weather Challenge, for instance), but its price tag is daunting, apparently they’re banking on financing (and a less expensive, lower-performance VX-1E model) to make the bike more attractive to consumers.

Vectrix And Soundspeed Scooters Point Shrink Rays At Electric Scooters

This week the Vectrix electric maxi-scooter has proven itself in the CWC and the company has announced a smaller version of the ‘zero-emissions’ (near you) scooter. Autobloggreen says the VX-2 is slightly smaller and likened performance to a 50cc scooter. Top speed is claimed at 30 mph with a range of 45-50 miles. The numbers don’t seem like anything new in the electric scooter world. Old EVT Yamaha Vino clone scooters (warning: sound on page) had similar specifications. The literal lingua franca scooter website, Scooter-Station.com, has a photo posted and reports that the scooter will weigh in at over 400 lbs. Again nothing new in the weighty world of electric scooters.

In more inspiring news, Soundspeed Scooters in Seattle is offering a Lithium polymer battery pack for the EVT 168 (linked above) and 4000e scooters. The Li polymer power plant is supposed to reduce the weight of the scooter by 100 lbs. I’d imagine the battery could also make the proposition of their Electric Vespa conversion system a bit more attractive as well.

The two developments leave a shopper for a small electric scooter with two general choices. Neither choice is an inexpensive option with the Lithium version of the EVT 168 coming in at around 4200.00 and the Vectrix VX-2 at around 5200.00. But it will come down to choosing a novel chassis design with a heavy curb weight or a slightly more svelte scooter with dated, less inspiring design approach.

Operation Vectrix

Vectrix has been lending out 100 electric scooters in European cities (more than they’ve sold to date, by some accounts) to celebrate the third anniversary of the Kyoto treaty. Riders can reserve a bike to test for a limited period, and are then offered incentives to purchase (EU “green” credits and discounts make the bike much more accessible in Europe, Vectrix is lobbying for a similar program in the U.S.). The program started in Rome, is currently running in Bologna, and will visit Milan, Turin, Madrid, and Paris in coming months. Vectrix has also started taking pre-orders for its three-wheeled electric scooter based on the Piaggio MP3 system.

Cackalacka News bits: 4/3/08

A bunch of stories to block out election coverage: