Ikea’s new India store offers delivery by solar-powered tuk-tuk

ikea_rickshawOriginally based on the Indian version of a Vespa Ape, the three-wheeler rickshaw is ubiquitous throughout the Indian sub-continent, and indeed Asia. Ikea is using a solar-powered of these as at least 20% of their delivery fleet for their new Hyderabad flagship store.  The Ikea version will be charged at the store, running off of solar power harvested from 4,000 panels on the roof. Any excess energy gathered will be used for lighting and inside the store.

Link to the original story on Curbed.

Just to add some Lambretta flavour, here’s a  couple of (very) short videos of the Lambretta version of the three-wheeler commercial vehicle, The Lambro.

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A Green Future for your classic scooter. Go Electric.

5c370a1919ea1ee0aa43ebdf_electric_lambrettaWe all love our 2-strokes – but they’re not the most environmentally friendly of machines. Many people think the future of transportation is electric. With the likes of VW, BMW and even Jaguar joining Tesla in bringing electric vehicles to market, is the writing on the wall for fossil fuels? After all – when even Milan – the home of the Lambretta – bans classic scooters – you have to start taking these things seriously.

An electric scooter is not a new idea – and I’ve featured a few on the blog already. I even featured the first footage on the internet of the new Electric Lambretta – which is rumoured to be coming to market soon. Piaggio isn’t missing out either, and you can buy a Vespa Elettrica today.  But what if you love the lines of an authentic vintage Lambretta or Vespa?

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ProjectE

Well, now you don’t have to choose between a new, eco-friendly electric scooter, and vintage classic. Codenamed “Project E” Retrospective Scooters are producing a conversion kit for the most popular models of Lambretta & Vespa. They will remove the old petrol engine, electrics and cabling, and install a DC brushless electric motor, motor controller and lithium-ion battery. Ease of riding, reliability, economy and environmental footprint are all brought into the 21st Century – but most importantly the exterior styling remains totally original. A lot of effort has been put into cleverly hiding the modern tech behind dummy plastic engine casings keeping your classic looking as authentic as possible.

5c370b1d542c022ff4943e97_Electric_vespa_lambrettaRetrospective will be offering the conversion as a DIY kit, with prices starting at £2,485. They will fit it for you for around £500. You can even add it as an option if you’re having a scooter restored. You’ll also have to factor in the cost of the batteries – not included in the kit price, and they run to £850. You can choose to have just the one battery, or improve your range by adding another one or more.

Lambretta Models

Project E is compatible with most popular Lambretta models – LI Series 1, 2 & 3 and GP models can be converted. Retrospective are working on a J Range conversion, and a LD will follow at some stage.

30 – 110 Mile Range

Retrospective offer a variety of different lithium-ion battery options. Each has been made specifically to suit a range of needs – from a Sunday run-around to an everyday commuter.

Change back

One of the great things about this conversion is that it can be fitted without butchering your classic scoot – as Retrospective say “No scooters were harmed in this conversion, no cutting, welding or grinding; the conversion perfectly fits the classic frames” this makes the conversion is completely reversible – so if you want to go back to burning dead dinosaur fuel, you can.

Specs

Range ………………………………….. 30 — 110 MILES
Power ………………………………….. 1kw/3km
Top Speed ………………………………….. 55mph
Removable battery ………………………………….. Yes
Headlights ………………………………….. LED
Charge time 70% ………………………………….. 90 mins
Charge time 100% ………………………………….. 6 hrs
Battery capacity ………………………………….. 66V / 25ah

5c40839116b8f70343067670_electric_scooter_hero_shotThe future is bright. The future is retro.

The Retrospective conversion may be the future for classic scooters. And what could be more eco than riding a machine originally made maybe 50 or 60 years ago, powered by electricity?

I originally found out about Project E on Scooterlab, which covers a lot of ground that I don’t. If you haven’t seen their article, check it out here.

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Retrospective Scooters

Retrospective Scooters are based in Walthamstow, London E17, and as well as designing and building the electric scooter conversion, they are experts in Scooter Restorations, Servicing and Repairs. Check out their website here.

Images are used with permission of Retrospective Scooters.

Pocket Rockets and Motochimps…

pocket_rocket_1I spotted* a couple of cool new electric bikes – and thought they were more than worthy of an airing on the blog. Though each is a quirky, original design in it’s own right, I’m old enough to know the adage “There’s nothing new under the Sun” has an element of truth to it – and both these bikes reminded me of older designs.

Pocket Rocket

The first is the “Pocket Rocket” it’s unusual form earning it a German Design Award. Designed by Manuel Messmer and engineered by SOL Motors, the Pocket Rocket is clean and compact. The thick tubular column on the top becomes a perfect surface to sit on, once you’ve got a saddle in place, and right at both ends, you’ve got the headlight and taillight. The product is currently in its conceptual stages and the specifications haven’t been made public yet. If and when they do, I’ll let you know.

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While a beautifully simple and original concept, it reminded me of a little known Lambretta from years ago – The Rosella, pictured below, and featured on the blog here.

Find out more about it on the SOL Motors website.

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Motochimp

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 17.50.12The second featured bike is equally – if not more so – quirky. It’s called the Motochimp – a cheeky name, for a really cheeky looking bike. This bike has so much personality, it looks like it’s a character from a Pixar film.

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 17.50.01This quote from their website (motochimp.com) gives you an idea of the ethos of Motochimp…

“Motochimp celebrates the indie spirit of spontaneous urban mobility. Freeing urban transport from boredom, replacing it with spontaneity and personality. Join us and we’ll defy boredom and faceless urban transport. Let’s embark on joy rides that catch a twinkle or two… Let’s Ride on the Lighter Side of Life”.

The video on FullyCharged sums up the bike features nicely. Favourite feature? Well, I’m torn between the way the battery just slides out – and those funky, minimalist bar-end indicators.

As Johnny Smith notes in the video, the Motochimp is very reminiscent of Honda’s Motocompo portable minibike from the ’80s – now a very collectable little bike in its own right – and one probably deserving of a Lambrettista blog post.

HondaCity_Motocompo

Which gives me the excuse to share this Madness Honda City/Motocompo ad…

 

*Well, my mate Luke spotted them to be fair. And sent me the links. Credit where it’s due!

World first – Video evidence of an Electric Lambretta under development!

In another first for the Lambrettista Blog – here’s the first – leaked* videos of the New ELECTRIC Lambretta Vendetta!

It seems that Lambretta have teamed up with electric scooter pioneers (and Red Dot Design Award winners) NIU – There’s not a lot of data to share at the moment – although it’s rumoured that Token Hu – Vice president of NIU (and formerly of Frog Design and Microsoft) is heading up the project personally. I expect that as much as an electric powertrain they will be bringing their innovative Smart technology to the project.

I’ve posted a few times about electric vehicles (EV) on the blog before – and firmly believe they are the future of transportation – on two wheels or more. So, what you see here is truly the next generation of Lambretta – a brand that is going to be as relevant and innovative in the 21st century as the 20th. Exciting times!

This is the next step in  the evolution of the Lambretta. Remember where you saw it first! Stay tuned, and I’ll share more information when I can.

*Feel free to share – but please don’t ask where I got these videos – I have to protect my sources!

What’s the Buzz?

IMG_9050What’s the Buzz? The Buzz is the future. It’s electric. And it’s Vespa shaped. Aiming to do for the scooter market what Tesla have done for cars, Buzz is recreating yesterdays scooter style with tomorrows technology.

Based in Vietnam, where there’s a lot of love for vintage scoots, Buzz are ‘British Engineered’. My guess is it’s the guys at the Saigon Scooter Centre who are behind this initiative, but I may be wrong!

IMG_9056The images shown are prototypes – the final design promising to morph into a ‘more modern take on this classic shop’ – well, I for one hope they don’t change too much. You know what side of the fence I sit on in the Vespa vs. Lambretta debate… but Vespas are the second most beautiful scooters ever made – so this retro styling looks pretty good!

Of course, it comes down to more that just good looks. These vehicles have got to perform. But with claimed top speeds of 120 kph and a 0-100 kph of under 4 seconds (for the 5000W Buzz1 model) it’s not something to worry about. Even the more modest 2000W models top end of 80kph is fine for commuting and city riding.

IMG_9065The two big ‘pain points’ with electric vehicles are range and charging. The Buzz scooters have a range of 240km – nearly 150 miles in old money. Pretty impressive. And improvements in battery tech could boost that to 400km. If your riding any more than that between charges, your doing some serious level scootering.IMG_3909

Charging should be just as pain free. Plug in overnight for a slow charge (6 hours), or, if you’re in a rush, fast charge to 80% capacity in just 12 minutes.

IMG_9084There’s even an option with a removable roof system – featuring built in solar panels – the goal being you ‘ride for free’ and never have to plug your scoot into the grid. To be honest, I’d rather plug my scooter in once a day than ride around with a roof, but I think this would work well for delivery vehicles. Delivery vehicles in sunny places!

Being 2017, all Buzz bikes will have connectivity to your phone. A RFID system means that you’ll never worry about losing your keys again. You’ll also be able to locate your bike, and check your battery status on your phone.

So, sounds pretty good right? If only it was Lambretta shaped! Well… rumours reach Lambrettista towers that (as well as some other exciting news) an electric Lambretta Vendetta is in the pipeline. Watch this space.

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Find out more on the Buzz website.

Via OffTheClothBoff and Modculture.

Vespa electtrica

e-vespaI don’t often cover ‘The Wasp’ on here, but there is big news today out of Milan. At EICAMA (the Milan Motorcycle Show) today The Piaggio Group announced what the future may look like for Vespa… and it looks pretty much like the Vespas of the last 70 years (which is a good thing!). But it’s electric. Which, I also think is a good thing.

I know, I know, we all love our smelly old 2-strokes. But that ship sailed a long time ago, and electric is the future. And if you can balance style, performance, range and price you’re on to a winning formula. The Vespa Electtrica is has got the styling nailed –it’s  based on the successful current Primavera model.

To quote from the official Vespa site “Introducing the Vespa Elettrica project, the new mobility solution according to the most elegant and beloved two-wheeled brand in the world that takes a step into the future in complete consistency with the values that have accompanied its history.

The Vespa Elettrica will, first and foremost, be a true Vespa, bringing the very latest in electric technology to a vehicle that will retain all the features that have been vital to its success. The style, agility, ease of use and riding pleasure will be the same as the Vespa we have always known, with the addition of technological and innovative connectivity solutions. A perfect mix of excitement, technology and environmental friendliness that only Vespa can create. Like it has always done in its first seventy years of history.”

So not a lot of hard facts about performance, or range then. Or price – though, if on launch the government ‘plug-in’ grant offering a £1,500 rebate on the cost of electric scooters / bikes is still in effect, that will help, big time. They have got the styling sorted. If you like Vespas, of course : ).

It’s not the first time that Vespa has explored the world of electric vehicles, as The ScooterNova blog  points out. They are also where I first read about the Electric Vespa, so stay tuned to them for further updates. I’m sure ScooterLab and Scootering will be all over it too.

The official Vespa site is here.

 

Electric Swallow, update

Schwalbe_Pose.jpgHere’s the latest on the electric Schwalbe scooter that I posted about a few days ago. This time the information is straight from the horse mouth, so it’ll be a little more accurate!

Schwalbe makes an electrifying return GOVECS presents the classic scooter in a contemporary design and with electric drivetrain

The Munich-based company GOVECS has given the Schwalbe a new lease of life and in doing so is inspiring the entire industry. Together with technology partner Bosch, GOVECS has installed the world’s most advanced drivetrain in the Schwalbe, ensuring streets that are both clean and quiet.

The first version of the Schwalbe will sprint through the streets at up to 45kmh. Fully charged, it provides an impressive range of more than 100 km, and can already be reserved online.

It still has the typical features of a Schwalbe: the large tires, the ribbed tail section, the round headlights and the indicator lights on the handlebars, but has become even more striking. The Schwalbe has just treated itself to a modern outfit. The pioneering electric drivetrain, developed together with technology partner Bosch, is extremely dynamic and convinces with impressive acceleration.

The five-metre-long integrated cable with a plug that packs away neatly under the seat, means it is ready to be charged at any time. It can be charged via any normal household outlet. And you don’t have to wait long before you can whizz off again: after just one to two hours the battery is 80% charged again, and after four to five hours it’s fully charged.

Riders can also look forward to the accompanying service, because it promises to be as modern and innovative as the product itself. There will be a comprehensive on-site service. This means the service comes to the customer and not vice versa. Initially, the Schwalbe can be bought through the official online store. Reservations for the first deliveries in summer 2017 can now be made online at www.myschwalbe.com. In early 2017 the first Schwalbe Store in Berlin will open, followed by others in various European cities.

There’s colour reminds me of something… oh yeah, here we go 🙂minion_guitar

For those eagerly waiting for news of the forthcoming New Lambretta, the Lambretta Vendetta, word reaches me that it will NOT be launched at EICMA in November, but prepare for something pretty special at next years Lambretta 70th Anniversary Celebrations / Lambretta Jamboree in Italy.

Electric Swallow

The Simson Schwalbe (German for Swallow – the bird you smutty minded lot) was, for those that don’t know, a classic East German  scooter/moped. It followed the ‘enclosed motorcycle’ model with larger 16″ wheels than classic Italian scooter. Extremely popular in the DDR back in the day, it’s now the latest classic scooter to be re-invented as an electric ‘e-scooter’ – joining the likes of Cezeta and Lohner12895280-wyglada-jak-klasyczny-simson-schulbe-jednak-zamiast-silnika-spalinowego-napedza-go-prad-96s-1200

It’s been hard to come across hard and fast info about the new electric version of the Simson Schwalbe… but here’s what I’ve gleaned from various sources. Any errors are mine, due to my inability to read any language other than english, and the limitations of Google Translate. So, here’s what I know.

  1. It’s been in development since 2011.
  2. The guys behind it are Govecs – a German electric powered scooter manufacturer.
  3. There will be two models, roughly corresponding in power to 50 and 125cc 2-stroke engines.
  4. The expected cost is in the €4,000 range.

We should know more when the promised production model is revealed at the end of the month.

As yet, there’s no further information on a electric Lambretta, the electric Scomadi that was showcased at EICMA a few years ago, or an electric version of the forthcoming Lambretta Vendetta. But who knows what the future will bring.

If you’re interested in electric scooters, check out these posts on the Fido and the DonGo Bare Bones too.

UPDATE: Reader Fabian has done some reading for me, and there’s a little more history of the e-Schwalbe in the comments… Worth a read! (It’s the last yellow tag at the bottom of the post with “replies” in it if you can’t find the comments).

 

 

FIDO Update…

DSC_5285editIt was so long ago I originally wrote about the FIDO that it was on a previous blog… (and this blog’s been running since 2013). The ME electric scooter I posted earlier today reminded me of it so much I thought I’s check up on it… Well, it’s looking more like an early Lambretta than ever… which is a good thing! Full post coming soon, but for the moment, I’ll tempt you with some pics and a link to their website:  here.

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No apologies for all this electric stuff. It’s the future! But, don’t worry, normal, 2 stroke service will be resumed ASAP!