Vectrix VX-2

Powerful electric scooter

The Vectrix VX-1 is the best eco-friendly scooter you can buy, according to professional reviews. It looks and feels like any other comfortable large scooter, but the all-electric Vectrix VX-1 uses no gas. Unlike weaker hybrid and electric scooters, the VX-1 electric scooter can reach speeds of up to 62 mph, taking steep hills and busy highways with ease — and earning heaps of accolades from experts.

The Vectrix VX-1’s acceleration is unparalleled, says Susan Carpenter, the Los Angeles Times’ motorcycle columnist. The Vectrix is faster off the line than any scooter I’ve ridden and experiences almost no power loss under load, she says. Riding it up and over San Francisco’s multitudinous roller-coaster hills, it didn’t strain.

Experts say the Vectrix VX-1 looks and rides like a big, smooth maxi scooter, such as the Honda Silver Wing (MSRP: $8,500 to $9,000). But its 26 horsepower is similar to a 250 cc scooter like the Vespa GTS 250 (MSRP: $6,000), and its top speed is similar to a 150 cc scooter like the Kymco People 150 (MSRP: $2,800). Unlike smaller scooters, testers say the Vectrix VX-1 electric scooter keeps pace on the freeway, and its solid weight and precise handling inspire rider confidence.

The Vectrix VX-1 runs silently on a DC electric motor powered by an NiMH battery. The battery is projected to last 50,000 miles, and the Vectrix scooter comes with a two-year warranty (most scooters have a one-year warranty).

You charge the Vectrix electric scooter by plugging its built-in cord into a standard household outlet. It takes three hours to fully charge, or two hours for an 80 percent charge. The company estimates that the Vectrix VX-1 can run 35 to 55 miles on one charge, but testers say it’s more like 25 to 40 miles in real-world operation.

Vectrix VX-2

You can recharge the electric scooter’s batteries up to 12 percent while riding by using the regenerative braking system — simply roll the handlebar throttle backward and the Vectrix VX-1 scooter brakes confidently, testers say. The Vectrix is also equipped with excellent Brembo disc brakes, but reviewers say they usually used the throttle brake during tests because it’s so effective.

The Vectrix electric scooter is expensive, but a federal tax credit for eco-friendly vehicles (10 percent of the scooter’s value) and a federal tax deduction for new vehicles (equal to the sales and excise taxes) bring the price in line with the conventional gas-powered Honda Silver Wing large scooter. In April 2009, Vectrix introduced the cheaper VX 1-E (MSRP: $8,495), with a maximum speed of 50 mph. The 30-mph Vectrix VX-2 electric scooter (MSRP: $5,195) is due in June 2009.

Experts are consistent in their praise for the Vectrix VX-1 electric scooter. Motorcycle reviewers at major newspapers — including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle — as well as at and Cycle World, find many of the same pros and cons when they test the VX-1 (some of the reviews don’t specify the model, but the VX-1 was the only Vectrix scooter available at the time). presents the Vectrix VX-1 scooter with an award based on testing, but the full review had not been posted when we checked. Popular Mechanics also honors the Vectrix as a top-ten new bike, but there is no mention of testing.

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