Right, I’ve found out a little bit more about the EBretta. It is a fully operational prototype that has been developed and tested, so it IS real world, real technology, and it actually works. Even more exciting than that, a Mk 2 production version is currently under development.
The power is supplied by a brushless 13″ motor which generates 3kW. This will generate a torque of 180 Nm, which translates to a top speed of over 60 kmph (roughly 40 mph). While this might, at first seem less than impressive it would be fine for around town and commuting, with the engine having enough torque to accelerate uphill and carry a ‘larger person’ – I think I might qualify for that last category!
The Mk1 Version has a total of 16 , Lithium Iron Phosphate battery cells. Lithium Iron Phosphate battery cells are lighter and hold more charge than traditional lead acid or silicone batteries, and are safer than lithium ion batteries. The batteries are protected by a top of the range controller unit and a Battery Management System that monitors battery levels and prevents over charging. The charge time is approx. 3 hours, and the run time, which will vary due to driving conditions, “easily exceeds” 40 km.
The figures above are all for the Mk1 EBretta, and, as I said, there is a Mk2 under development. The technology is moving fast in the world of electric vehicles, and the Mk 2 will use tech that wasn’t even around 12 months ago, including Sevcon digital displays and battery management systems that are built in to the batteries rather than separate units. Smaller, higher performance battery units are in the pipeline, although at the moment the cost of these is prohibitive, as the technologies mature this should come down.
So, what’s the verdict?
I think the guys at Saigon Scooter Centre have given us a glimpse of the future. I expect building a modern, electric engine into a classic scooter frame has presented them with more than few issues, but the finished result looks amazing. Performance wise, this is never going to be a machine for speed merchants, or one to take on a long distance rally… But that’s not what it’s been built for. For a daily commuter, or a round town runabout this would be ideal. And with most of the running problems of a ‘traditional’ Lambretta coming down to fuel or electrics, it takes one of those items out of the equation.Would I have one? Hell yeah. Although I would probably have to fit an MP3 player and speakers to blast out the traditional Lambretta exhaust note, and carry a small aerosol of “eau de 2stroke” to spray into the air occasionally.
Find out more at the Saigon Scooter Centre website or Facebook page