Vectrix VX-2 just a re-bodied e-max 110S, costs $700 more

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Vectrix_VX-2_green.JPGRemember the electric Vectrix VX-2 that was unveiled at last month’s New York Motorcycle Show? Well it turns out that the scooter isn’t exactly new, but rather a partially re-styled e-max 110S, an electric scooter that went on sale in Europe last year. With equivalent performance to a 50cc scooter and a low price (for an EV) of $5,195, the VX-2 looks like the perfect vehicle for emissions-free city-center transportation. So why the fuss? The price. In Europe, the e-max retails for about €3,500 which converts to $4,473. That price differential is exaggerated in England, where the e-max currently sells for £2,800 and the VX-2 is projected to go for around £4,500.
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e-max_110S.jpgLook at the e-max 110S (above) and you can clearly see that the VX-2
shares the same seat and floorboards; only the plastic panels have been
altered.

Since the two vehicles are mechanically identical, they share the same
silicon battery pack and 2kW electric motor (it’s capable of 3.2kW in
“Boost” mode). Those deliver a top speed of 30mph and a maximum range
of between 40 and 55 miles. Weight for both is 429lbs.

The e-max isn’t imported into the US, so the VX-2 won’t have to compete
against the cheaper 110S here, but in Europe, where both will be sold
alongside each other, this revelation could make sales of the smallest
Vectrix extremely difficult

e-max, Vectrix

  • caferawker

    I don’t see the issue… platform-sharing or “badge-engineering” is a common practice. The market will ultimately bring the price down if it’s too high.

    It’s still so early in the electric motorcycle market, and companies have to find ways to pay for R&D (even if that means rebadging a cheap scooter to help pay for the cost of developing their other products). IMO If it helps Vectrix stays afloat, there’s nothing wrong with it; that’s just good business.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes

      Like I said in the article, it’s not such a big deal here, but it is in Europe where Vectrix dealers are going to be expected to try and sell the VX-2 for a much higher price than an identical competitor. Vectrix has been in the European market for several years and has a much larger presence there than it does in the US.

  • http://cohobot.blogspot.com/ coho

    If anything, the higher price may sell a few scooters.

    It’s more common in the US, but all over the world there are people who will always buy the more expensive one either so that others will know they can afford it (status) or because they cannot see beyond the spurious cost=quality view.

    They’re all idiots, of course, but idiots who ride 2wheelers are higher on the evolutionary ladder than idiots who don’t ride 2wheelers.

    PS. It’s also a way to be not just green, but conspicuously green.

  • http://artistruth.livejournal.com will

    Reminds me of the Top Gear, “Is it green? ….Yes. Very.”

  • http://www.urbanrider.co.uk urban rider

    @caferawker

    It is good business, I agree, they might make some sales now.

    However this isn’t simply like having the floorpan of a Skoda in your Audi TT, they have licenced their biggest competitors product (in Europe at least) and slapped their badge on it in a seemingly cynical ploy to get people to buy green and stop them from going to the wall.

    It’s an admission they don’t have a clue what the market wants or needs, and at the elventh hour are realeasing this bastard scooter to save their skin.

    Emax have screwed their existing European importers, and the retailers who have both Vectrix and Emax in their showrooms. Good business for Emax and Vectrix, but the ethics are dubious.

    Vectrix have spent a lot of money portraying themselves as a pioneering green company, but right now they look like an underperforming AIM listed company with angry shareholders on their back.

    If only they had done some decent market research in the first place, because the market is there, the manufacturers are just clueless.

  • caferawker

    Hey Wes,
    I got the message, but all I’m saying is that it’s funny how strong branding is and what that translates into. I bet quite a few people would pay more for an identical product from a more reputable brand over a lesser known brand (even if they’re made in the same factory). Plus if Vectrix has a better dealer network and/or marketing…

  • caferawker

    @urban rider

    How are the ethics dubious? There are many instances of competitors licensing each others products. Skoda and Audi are at least related (VW Group), but remember when Suzuki and Kawasaki shared platforms? Honda’s Passport (actually an Isuzu Rodeo)? Sometimes the cost of developing a new product is too high for what the market needs sooner than later. It gives you time to develop your own solution without having to rush it to market prematurely. Plus, it’s a very low cost way to expand their market worldwide. Or what if they simply don’t have the budget currently to develop their own solution? In any case, I don’t see this as dubious at all. I think it’s a smart move.

    You can do market research up and down and still be wrong. All it does is lowers the chances of being wrong, but it’ll never eliminate it.

  • Harry

    Not entirely true. As a Vectrix VX-1 owner, I see some resemblence of the bigger bike in the front wheel, breaks and shocks as well as the light. It looks more refined and technically superior and therefore costlier than its European counterpart.

  • Ben

    If they sell a single VX-2 one worldwide I’ll be astonished.

    Regrettably the e-max 110s is too pricey for the market. When a sinking ship like Vectrix comes out with a last ditch effort to save it’s skin with an over-inflated replica you know that they’ve got issues.

    When major car manufacturers pull this kind of move its both logical and effective.

    In this niche market it’s little more than joke.

    Blink, and these guys will be gone and superseded by someone who looked at the market properly and nailed it.

  • http://www.electricrevolution.co.uk electric revolution

    E-max have replaced the VX2 with its new generation E-max 110S. In fact its more stylish & costs a lot less. In UK the E-max trade showroom is in London near Richmond Bridge http://www.e-transportgroup.com The VX2 was an E-max with different plastic style! E-max cost less than 50 pence a mile : £10 for £1000 miles! That is superb value.

  • http://www.electricrevolution.co.uk electric revolution

    E-max 110S (VX2) from electric revolution 410 Richmond Road TW1 2EB the UK’s first electric scooter shop London