Shocking Development: Vectrix In Israel

The Vectrix is not the first electric scooter to reach these shores. But the other models available, from E-max and Eco, lose steam at about 55 kph and are limited by their range of 40 km.-60 km.

Published: 29-Jul-2008

This is so weird. I shouldn't be surprised by the Vectrix, but I am. I have read up on the groundbreaking electric scooter; I have watched video of the machine in action; I know, in short, what to expect. And yet, here I am, not quite understanding how I have suddenly been propelled forward by a bike that gave me no advance warning of its impending surge into traffic.

Tzahi Ziv of IFI Motors, which is importing the American-made scooter, has already briefed me on the vehicle's operation. He has explained that the brushless electric motor housed in the rear wheel spins in near silence, and that, unlike internal combustion engines, it makes its maximum output right away, so it doesn't need to reach high RPMs to pour on the power.

In other words, there's no "vroom, vroom" when you pull back on the throttle, but there's plenty of "zoom, zoom." And what a strange "zoom, zoom" it is! Upon turning the starter key (you can't really call it the ignition), I am greeted not with the usual throaty growl of a thumping engine, but with a chipper "Ready... GO!" on one of the bike's digital dials. Like a radio-controlled toy hurtling past surprised motorists, the Vectrix has me zipping through the Ramle industrial zone where IFI's offices are located.

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