And bluer and maroonier and whiter. Yes, that's right, the biggest changes for 2009 are the addition of new colors and graphics. But wait, look, there's also new options: a lower, slimmer, more female-friendly (and lady-like man-friendly we assume) seat; a Sport Windshield that's seven inches lower and a Winter Windshield that's nine inches wider. But ignore all that, it's the new name (can you be...


And bluer and maroonier and whiter. Yes, that's right, the biggest changes for 2009 are the addition of new colors and graphics. But wait, look, there's also new options: a lower, slimmer, more female-friendly (and lady-like man-friendly we assume) seat; a Sport Windshield that's seven inches lower and a Winter Windshield that's nine inches wider. But ignore all that, it's the new name (can you believe they used to call it the Personal Electric Vehicle?) that's most interesting. Why? Because it means new models are on the way.
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2009 will see the addition of two new models. First up is the Vx-1e, basically a cheaper Vx-1 with less oomph from, we're assuming, less expensive batteries. Less expensive is a good thing, as the Vx-1 retails for $10,495. There'll also be a smaller, cheaper Vx-2 with performance equivalent to a 50cc gasoline engine (say 3-5bhp). Joining that model will be one with equivalent performance to a 150cc combustion engine.

The Vectrix Vx-1 has a top speed of 62mph, is highway legal, hits 50mph in 6.8 seconds and has an average range of 30 to 55 miles on a single charge. Vectrix now has 160 dealers nationwide, so it's surprising they're not a more common sight on the road. In addition to emitting no pollutants, the two-wheeled nature of the Vectrix means it's not compelled to sit still in traffic, nor cause congestion, making it even greenier than its four-wheeled electric counterparts.

The reason that the Vx-1 or an electric scooter like it hasn't caught on seems to be four-wheeled commuters' reluctance to accept the good word of motorcycles into their lives. Meanwhile, disciples of already pretty frugal bikes and scooters are put off by the combination of high-price, limited range and poor performance. Deep down, we feel like there's a good, important product lurking inside the Vx-1, we guess battery technology or at least its price point simply isn't at a level where that product can come to light. Yet.

Vectrix