Ride It Hard, Fast, and Electric

by Cristina Foung

My favorite green product of the week: Vectrix Electric Maxi-Scooter

What is it?
The Vectrix is an electric motorcycle that has a top speed of 62 MPH (100 km/h) and goes 0 to 50 in 6.8 seconds. At a constant speed of 25 MPH, the Vectrix has a range of 65 miles (with an average of 35 to 55 miles). Its battery pack recharges with a standard 110/220V outlet in about two hours.

Why is it better?
Being all electric, the Vectrix is a zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) – that’s zero carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides. I’m sure there are readers out there shaking their heads, saying “Zero emissions! Doesn’t exist! The battery has to be charged and that usually means a coal-fired plant and that means emissions.” Well, you’re partially right. In the whole lifecycle of the Vectrix construction and use, there are emissions.

However, according to the California Air Resources Board definition of a ZEV, battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles count as ZEVs as they have no “tailpipe emissions and are 98% cleaner than the average new model year vehicle.” But either way you look at the ZEV argument, you have to admit, the Vectrix far and away surpasses the traditional gasoline-powered scooter that can produce up to ten times the pollution of the average automobile (according to a Vectrix pamphlet).

So not only is the Vectrix easier on the environment, of course it saves money for you as you pass up the gas pump and the oil changes. It requires very minimal maintenance and the Nickel Metal Hydride battery pack has an estimated life of 10 years. It’s also very quiet (if you’re a fan of roaring engines, it’s probably not for you).

I personally have not ridden a Vectrix but I hear they handle quite well and are very reliable. Hopefully after this, I’ll be able to convince a friend to test drive one (and let me sit on the back).

Plus, if the New York and Sacramento police departments, the Department of Defense, John Kerry, and Leonardo DiCaprio like the Vectrix, it must be worth looking into.

Where can you find it?
You can buy the Vectrix from a variety of dealers all around the world or have a representative contact you directly by filling out a form on the Vectrix website. The 2007 model costs $9,999.00. The 2008 model costs $11,990.00.

Vectrix is also coming out with a pretty cool looking electric three wheel motorcycle in Q4 2008. This one will cost $15,990 and you can reserve one today with a $1,500 deposit.

Besides her green products column on Cleantech Blog, Cristina is a passionate advocate for green living at the Green Home Huddle at, which focuses on electric cars, energy efficient appliances, and other green products.