The rebirth (again) of Vectrix?

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GOVECS is in the news again, having just announced the purchase of Vectrix’ Polish factory and assets in Wroclaw, Poland.

For those not familiar with Vectrix, it used to be a Rhode Island-based manufacturer of electric maxi scooters, with research and development facilities in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and an assembly plant in Wroclaw, Poland. While it scooters were sold with some success in the US and in Europe, the firm was in constant financial struggle for survival, and it was finally liquidated in March of 2014.

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At the time, it was unclear to what would happen to the Wroclaw factory, especially since it was supposed to produce the e-scooter of Daimler’s Smart division in the second half of 2014. But the Smart e-scooter project seemed to have vanished, at least until GOVECS recent press release: “The assembly line of the US maxiscooter manufacturer Vectrix in Wroclaw, Poland, was set to produce the “smart e-scooter” by Daimler AG. This endeavor came to an abrupt end when Vectrix had to file for bankruptcy and subsequently the smart e-scooter never left the prototype phase. Now GOVECS is resurrecting the cutting-edge production plant. As part of an asset deal the company is taking over the complete machinery as well as the inventory of Vectrix and will be integrating them into their own 4,000 m² high-tech facilities in Breslau.”


Smart eScooter

Smart eScooter

Since the factory also used to assemble the Vectrix scooters, does it mean that GOVECS will also resurrect them? The press release is kind of vague about it, insisting more on the new production capacity: “By combining our production facilities with the machine park of Vectrix we will achieve the maximum of production possibilities. This is a major step in our international expansion strategy. Once the machine park is fully integrated, the production volume of GOVECS will quadruple to more than 20,000 vehicles per year.”

However, GOVECS is far from needing such a production capacity. Even with its numerous OEM agreements, its 2015 production level is probably around 1,500 to 2,000 vehicles. So there must be another good reason for GOVECS to have acquired the Vectrix assets in Poland.

Let’s hope we will soon see a new electric maxi scooter, and we don’t really care if it is branded GOVECS or Vectrix!

Complete press release here:

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16 comments for this post
  1. Albert wrote the 14/07/2015

    It looks like Govecs is really becoming the European powerhouse for electric scooters. Let’s hope we will soon see the Smart and the Vectrix!

  2. yuval Brandstetter MD wrote the 19/07/2015

    If its an underpowered glorified electric bicycle copy paste:
    Power: 4.02 HP (2.9 kW))
    Torque: 9.00 Nm (0.9 kgf-m or 6.6 ft.lbs)
    Top speed: 45.0 km/h (28.0 mph)
    Then it will go nowhere.
    The only reason the Germans will not take a proven power-train (Zero) and install it in a scooter , is the same reason Tesla sales underperform in Germany: Its not German.
    So maybe Zero should do it. Europe and Italy and Israel are far more scooter friendly than the US because its an urban vehicle with no pretensions for the great outdoors. present day gas scooters are maintenance hogs, so a powerful responsive low-maintenance scooter with real-world range should appeal to the commuters now paying through the nose every 5K KM .

    • Albert wrote the 19/07/2015

      Yuval, the Vectrix VX-1 had a top speed of over 60 mph and a 20kW motor, with 65 Nm of torque.

      • yuval Brandstetter MD wrote the 19/07/2015

        What was the energy content and density of the Vectrix and what was the useful range?
        I enjoy the FX so much i dont understand why it has not been recreated as a scooter. Using three batts such a scooter could top 100K range, and have the 95 NM torque.

      • DZ wrote the 19/07/2015

        which makes the Vectrix a way outdated design in todays scooters. For less than the Vectrix sold for before either of its bankruptcy, you can buy a ZEV LRC with 3 times the range of the Vectrix (140 miles/ 225 km while running 55 mph), and 83 mph (134 kmh) speed and a 153 Nm motor. For 70% of the LRC or the Vectrix (or under $9000) you can buy a ZEV S-8500 with the same performance but less range. The ZEV is twice the range of the BMW C Evolution and much faster too for less money. If you want more grunt you can order up to 18 kw and 229 Nm of torque. I have one with the 15 kw motor. Love it.

        The Vectrix customers complained of the clunky gearbox making noise. The bike handled terrible with the aluminum box twisting under high cornering loads (lack of torsional rigidity)

        For right now, the ZEV is the big scooter king in range, speed, power, and price.

        • Albert wrote the 19/07/2015

          Great for you that you have a ZEV scooter. I have never even seen one. On their web site, they have so many models, it is confusing. Plus they seem to have no dealers and no stores even in the US. So how can someone test it?

          • Albert wrote the 19/07/2015

            So can you tell us how you selected your model, where you tested it, where you bought it? How do you service it? Do you know other people who have one?

          • DZarko wrote the 20/07/2015

            I wanted a big highway cruiser with a full weather protection fairing with range over 75 miles at 70 mph on the Interstate. Wanted something shorter than the 32 inch seat height of Zero and other motorcycle. Wanted to be able to carry things and haul grocery back from work. Had to climb the mountains in my area of then Colorado. That became a short list of bikes. Drove the BMW in Europe. The BMW electric was much heavier, not as fast, hardly any storage, more money, and 1/2 the range. Ended the search. Searching for electric motor scooters, they are the number one Goole listing so that was easy. Then there was a lot of demo video on YouTube that helped. There are dealers, you just have to ask them where they are. They give out contact lists of people in your area if there is no dealer with one to see. There were a bunch of owners in Colorado. I know of an LRC owner in Hawaii, couple in Atlanta, one in Moscow Russia from the forums. Know of a bunch of other model owners through the same way and the ZEV lists. The bikes get delivered fully assembled, charged up, test ridden, and ready to drive to the buyers house. Everything plugs in under the seat in a big junction box and any repairs are plug and play. The guy in Hawaii had the BMW dealer service his and ZEV paid for the service. One owner used a Suzuki shop. There is a program they use to pay dealers of other brands to service. So service is a zero issue. But mostly what I found is that they just do not seem to break. All of the parts like brakes, etc. are just like any other bike and anyone can service. I only ever found two people who had ever had any service. One guy in San Fran had 35,000 miles on his 2010 bike with no service ever. There is also a program where you can go to the factory in WV, outside Pittsburgh Pa. for test rides. They paid the airfare and met me with a car. There was a guy there at the same time who signed up to be the dealer for UK there also after driving everything in the place. There are dealers in the UK, Poland, Netherlands that I know of. The company shows up in a State of WV government awards article for selling in 23 country so there must be more. I think in the USA, scooter sales are not as high as that of motorcycles. People seem to think that a scooter is a little short putt putt. The LRC is very big bike. Much larger than say a Zero. More like a Hayabusa with a bigger fairing, a step through frame, a lot of storage, and much lighter. I really like no belt or chain drive. Not a single thing on the bike to adjust or maintain. The owner in Moscow Russia drives his bike as daily transportation, (has production model #2 according to ZEV) I cannot find a bike of any brand with more range on the highway. ZEV had prototype motorcycle in the shop. Maybe they will catch the USA’s attention. I am spoiled by this thing. Hauled home three 6 packs and 3 big KFC bucket packs on July 4th. Wife loves the big seat. Rode in the rain and never got wet. 96 V is full charge, 72 V is time to quit. Last weekend I went out, drove for 3 hours, went to a park, cruised through the city, went home, and it was only down 2 volts. Made me fell like I should have gotten back on.

            D Zarko

  3. Chris wrote the 19/07/2015

    And do not forget the french manufacturer who is producing in south of France urban electric scooters with the capacity of late vectrix scooters at a very competitive price: the Artelec with 100km autonomy!

  4. yuval Brandstetter MD wrote the 19/07/2015

    The art-elec is in excess of 8K Euro, so 9 plus thousand dollars. Its the equivalent of 125CC so 10-12 HP, 7-8.5 KW. Its good for a single 120LB female. The 100 KM sounds suspiciously familiar to the 185 KM claimed for my Renault Fluence ZE which in reality is good for 100-120KM. There is areason these machines do not sell like hotcakes and that is they are anemic, quite the opposite of what an electric bike should be. And is, if its a Zero. Or an Energica, though the latter is Italian Exotica

    • DZ wrote the 19/07/2015

      I am driving a 15 kw ZEV LRC with 225 km range at 90 kmh. I have actually run it to 200 km out on a weekend run. The company has a test hill near the factory that is 45 degrees. The thing took me up the hill from a stop accelerating all the way. You need to try one.

  5. JP, the author of the post, wrote the 20/07/2015

    I would love to write a review of a ZEV scooter if I could get my hands on one. Anybody in California who owns one?

    • yuval Brandstetter MD wrote the 20/07/2015

      I fail to understand. As the editor of a publication devoted exactly to this topic they should either rush you over to their facility to try and review, or ship you one so you can do your own trial. Your endorsement should be important.

    • Sam wrote the 05/08/2015

      The owner of the ZEV (DZ, DZarko) posted the above comments. I’m sure you can touch base with him and find owners in your location.

  6. yuval Brandstetter MD wrote the 20/07/2015

    11-12 KW? For a big bike with two adults? for 10K$ after tax? There is a local assembler here named Blitz. They offer a similar product with 6KwH battery, similar claims to range, all chinese components assembled in Israel. A guy i spoke to said he got it for 7K$.
    I rode it on the streets of Tel Aviv, and it was unwieldy and slow-responding. At least by motorcycle standards. Still its a going concern with a fair amount of fleet sales to municipalities, trafic enforcement and such, and some heavy-set insurance types who need a two wheeler to go about town on their business, because however unwieldy it is, its much better than any four-wheeler.

  7. Evangelos wrote the 02/09/2015

    Looks like Govecs have to make an announcement about their plans.
    Are they going to continue the evolution of the Vectrix models;
    What about the Vectrix as a brand name?

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