Seen/scene: No roar, no smoke -- the Vectrix scooter is all electric

As the only owner of a Vectrix electric scooter in the state of Washington, Dave Denhart is in a world of his own. He whirs rather than roars down the street, emission-free, never needing a fill-up.

Vectrix Corp. hopes to see more urban commuters like him take to its high- performance, battery-powered scooters. The Green Car Co. of Kirkland, one of only six dealers in the country, had around 70 people test ride the Vectrix at an event a few weeks ago. The scooter has a suggested price of $11,000, excluding taxes, delivery fees, etc.

What else is different about this baby? It has no clutch, no engine and can go from zero to 30 mph in 3.1 seconds. Designed in the U.S. and made in Poland, it's faster than other electric two-wheelers -- reaching up to 62 mph.

Denhart, who commutes to Microsoft from his home east of Redmond, still owns a car and a "dormant" motorcycle. But he said riding the Vectrix makes an impact.

"Electric is a good way to start to get us away from the dependence on oil," he said.

And it's enjoyable, too.

"Part of the fun is you're cruising around and you're not hearing engine noise," he said. "So, you're like, 'This is cool in a Jetsons sort of way.' "

At 48, he fits the local customer profile -- male baby boomers with motorcycle licenses.

"Baby boomers are more willing to embrace something new and environmentally friendly. And they have the money," said Susan Fahnestock of The Green Car Co.

It's intriguing enough that Harley guy -- and self-described internal-combustion engine lover -- Bob Sternoff may buy one.

"It's a lot quieter than my Harleys, so it's something I can use without ear plugs," said Sternoff, a member of the Kirkland City Council. "I'll still wear my helmet that says 'loud pipes.' "


Some Vectrix stats: weight, 462 pounds; range, 68 miles at 25 mph; maximum speed, 62 mph; battery, nickel metal hydride, 3.7-kilowatt-hour capacity; recharge time, two hours (80 percent charge); estimated operating cost, 2 cents per mile (based on 16 cents per kilowatt hour). More information:,

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