Plenty of zip for short trips
Commuting is fun on this nifty electric scooter, writes ROB BAIRD
THE Vectrix electric scooter is still a rarity in Melbourne, but rising fuel prices will go a long way towards driving sales. First impressions are the scooter is big and perhaps a little chubby in the rear end, but that is offset by large storage space under the seat.
The modern dash looks great as it lights up and it’s a zippy ride. I had visions of it slugging along, but it has no trouble beating traffic away from lights and has plenty of acceleration at city speeds.
It handles well for a smallwheeled bike and the weight is low, with the battery housed on the bottom of the frame and the motor on the rear wheel hub.
The regenerative engine braking is fantastic. With a little practice, a backwards twist of the right grip makes the brakes all but redundant in most situations.
The other bonus is the reverse mode when stationary, making it easy to manoeuvre when parking.
A 45km trip with my partner aboard was a breeze. We went across the city — doing a bit of 80km/h riding, along with some 100km/h stretches — and there was still a quarter charge left when we arrived.
My passenger did say her seat was wide and did dig into her thighs a bit, but I found the rider’s seat comfortable, as was the riding position, with all the controls within easy reach.
The indicators use short beeps of the horn to warn you they are on if you are mobile for a period while they are activated.
I found this annoying, as did a few women on the f o o t p a t h who thought I was giving them a toot.
And I did get laughed at when I used the horn at lights. It sounds like an electric toy bleeping, but it is loud enough to warn other drivers they are about to cut you off.
Being plastered with ‘‘100% electric’’ stickers and being almost silent at idle did draw a few comments, as did the $16,000 price. But the dealers tell me the price is dropping to $13,000.
Add to that running costs of about $130 a year for electricity, hardly any maintenance and a 10-year battery life ($100 to recondition), and the bike is more cost-effective than a petrolpowered scooter.
This is a great commuting bike, cheap to run, easy to ride and fun.
It’s not really for longer trips. But for a short commute, it’s brilliant.
the Vectrix electric scooter handles well and the weight is low.