Still loving the back to basics aesthetic of The Fido. It may be a bit ‘hipster’ for some tastes, but I’d have one as a commuter any day of the week.
I 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.
Here’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 🙂
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.
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 Lohner.
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.
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.
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).
Readers with good memories may recall the Fido Electric Scooter concept that reminded me of the original ‘Model A’ Lambrettas*. Well, it’s not a concept anymore, and you can buy one of a limited edition of 25, hand assembled “Model 1’s” for a downpayment of $5,250. That’s 50% of the full purchase price, which makes them a not inconsiderable $10,500.
It’s not cheap, it will only do 45mph and has a 35mph range, and (at the moment) it’s only available in the USA. But I like the aesthetic, and think it’s a glimpse of the future. Once a main production run is up, (and that is scheduled for 2017) prices should start to come down. I know it’s going to be of limited appeal to readers only interested in old, noisy 2-stroke – you can buy a pretty decent Lammie for $10.5k – but I wish the guys at Fido well. It’s been a long road for them, I hope their hard work starts paying off.
The Fido is also a world away from some of the frankly amazing stuff coming out of Italy at the moment, such as the Casa Performance 350cc twin casing, but the guys over at Scooterlab have got that pretty much covered.
Find out more about Fido here.
*All early open frame Lammies actually, scroll down to see Marco’s D for example (or
The Cezeta is back – and it hasn’t changed a bit (apart from being electric!). The distinctive Czech scooter has returned in a design virtually unchanged from the original models produced in the ’50s and ’60s. And it’s all the better for it. You’d be hard pushed to spot any difference between these new models and the originals – in fact, you’d be on a hiding to nothing as the prototypes shown are originals, modified to fit the new power unit.
That’s the one BIG change. As mentioned… she’s electric! Some will mourn the passing of the original 175cc 2-stroke engine, but this is the 20-teens and an electric power unit is the way forward. She’s got a top end of 50mph and a range of 60 miles (extendable to 120m). That’s plenty to commute in style.
Regarding the styling… it’s certainly unique. I’ve been less than kind to the Cezeta in the past, but I’m warming to the Cezeta’s idiosyncratic looks. Perhaps is years of conditioning so my brain thinks a Lambretta is the way a scooter should look. There’s something quite hipster (in a good way) about them, and they’re far more attractive (and authentic) than the majority of modern attempts to create a retro scoot.
Although by nature I’m a bit of a traditionalist, I’m also firmly in the EV (Electric Vehicle) camp. I think this scoot marries the best of both. Retro styling, with a modern, clean power unit. There was talk of an Electric Scomadi a while back, (last I heard it they are still “working on it”) and, although unlikely, maybe – just maybe we’ll see an electric version of the “new Lambretta” the L70 on launch (more of that later!).
There’s a ton of more information, including a road test and an interview with one of the guys behind the revitalised Cezeta brand (brit Neil Smith) over on the ScooterLab site.
It’s great to see these ‘lesser known’ (in the UK anyway) scooter marques making a comeback, with Cezeta joining the likes of Lohner and Cushman. Find out more at the Cezeta website, where you can reserve yours today, or pop over to Prague and visit their shop.
The video’s worth a watch too…
It 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.
No apologies for all this electric stuff. It’s the future! But, don’t worry, normal, 2 stroke service will be resumed ASAP!
After yesterday’s electric Mogan three-wheeler, and with continuing dire warnings of an impending 2Stroke ban, I thought I’d continue the theme with this funky little electric scooter.
Electric scooters are now pretty commonplace, but most are blandly generic, cheap and Chinese. It’s innovation that sets the ME electric scooter apart. Designed by a group of Italian engineers – it’s back to basic aesthetics are reminiscent of the early open-frame Lambrettas. Rather like the FIDO I featured a on my previous blog, and the Dutch Q scooter that was at EICMA in 2013. Constructed out of Sheet Moulding Compound, a sturdy composite material that offers structural support, the ME is a cost-effective, lightweight alternative to its metal counterparts.
The ME is fitted with a lithium-ion battery, with a range of 80 km, fine for a daily commute (especially if you can plug it in when you get to work!) Its electric motor takes the scooter from zero to 45 km/h in six seconds.
Support the project by visiting the ME electric scooter’s crowdfunding page.
With the promise of ” A New Lambretta” in May… and all we know is the model name “L70” could we expect an electric Lambretta? To be honest, I doubt it. I think we’ll get a reworking of the LN, with a four-stroke engine in 125, 150 and maybe 200cc’s. But I’m only guessing, I haven’t heard anything!
Cool german electric scooter from the 1970’s. Found on The Marquis, an equally cool blog about vintage motoring, and motorcycle, culture.
Anybody remember that post I did about the Lohner Lea, a while back? At the time it was just at a ‘concept’ stage… albeit an advanced one. Now they are apparently ready to start manufacturing. “The Lea is elegant and calm of its distinctive design, the driving behavior, safely and silently. …for the urban man who wants to enjoy cruising in city traffic properly.”
It’s an ‘interesting’ looking scooter, although design wise it does rather remind me of a ball of Edam. But I am rather cheese obsessed, so that might be just me.
If you want to see one for yourself, there is a “pop-up store” (does anybody else hate the term “pop-up as much as me? Pop-up should refer to books. Not shops. Or restaurants. Or whatever.) In Vienna, on Thursday 8th October, between 5pm and 8pm.
The address is Lohner Pop up Store, 1010 Wien, Neuer Markt 8.
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