Fido vid

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.

Previous Fido post here – official website here.

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EBretta – An update

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Right, I’ve found out a little bit more about the EBretta, the Electric powered Lambretta straight out of Ho Chi Minh City (See my previous post) . 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.

They’re even looking at adding accessories that will charge your laptop, tablet or phone as you drive. I wonder what’s next… an iPad integrated into your toolbox door?

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. And I’ve got this far without even mentioning the fuel saving benefits… imagine getting home from work and just plugging your Lambretta* in for three hours. Never buy another litre of petrol or 2stroke oil again!

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. I’d love to know what YOU think though… let me know in the comments (I’m afraid you have to register for a Posterous account, but hey, that’s FREE, and they don’t bother you with loads of emails… and you might even want to start your own blog!)

Look out for reviews and reports in the scooter press soon. If you’ve got any questions let me know and I’ll try and find out, or you can contact the Siagon Scooter Centre directly.

Find out more at the Saigon Scooter Centre website or Facebook page.

They’re taking orders now!

*SSC is marketing the EBretta as a “Lambretta replica” no doubt so there are no licensing issues with the owners of the Lambretta trademark.

EBretta – An update

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

Lambretta LS news… and a new set of initials the Lambretta LJ…

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Right, hope I haven’t got my wires crossed here, as I’m getting my news, in the original Italian, hot from the 2011 EICMA show in Milan. It looks like the 50cc Lambretta LS is due for an “early 2012” launch, (alongside larger 125 and 150cc versions) These will be sold alongside the LN 125 and 150. There is also talk of another model the LJ… although this may just be one of the variants of the LS with a 2-stroke 50cc engine (J for junior – Lambretta Junior? Just a guess).

The other news is that Lambretta have an electric LN in development… no specs yet but a 7kw engine and an estimated range of 100km… interesting… I wonder if they read this post about the electric model D conversion!

As ever, stay tuned, and when I know, you’ll know! 

Info via motorino.it 

EcoLa – the electric Lambretta

Right at the genesis of this blog, in fact before this blog was even born, I posted an electric scooter concept, called the Fido. I remarked at the time it was very reminiscent of an early open framed Lambretta, such as the Models A-F.
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Well, I wasn’t the only one that thought the Model D would make the ideal platform for a modern scooter. And Richurci, in Italy (I’m sorry, I don’t know a lot about the fella) has built one. The EcoLa ( Eco Lambretta gettit?) It’s got a 1kW motor which only gives it about a 20km range, and a top speed of 50km/h, but bearing in mind it’s pretty much homemade, including the instruments, it’s a good ‘proof on concept’. And by swapping out the lead acid batteries for some lighter and more efficient, but more expensive Lithium ones further improvements in performance and range should easily be possible. It would seen a combination of lack of funding and trouble getting the vehicle licensed (Italian/EU bureaucracy!) have meant the project has come to a bit of a halt recently.

 

So, are there any eco-aware millionaires out there, wanting to fund the development of this vehicle? You could put a few quid into the development of the Smite while your at it, and help to change the world!

 

I’d have one. Sitting next to my Smite.
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The Smite – a modern reincarnation of the classic Messerschmitt bubble car

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I posted about this little beauty on my other blog, here, ages ago. Then it all went a bit quiet. … nothing. No updates on the website, nada. Until I spotted a link to this video on Facebook. I seriously want one of these… it would ‘go’ so well with my Series 2…The colour even matches (in the video). I’ll keep you updated if I hear more!

The official Smite website (hasn’t been updated for a while)
And Smite on Facebook  (a better bet for more up-to-date stuff)

Bear with me… I’m struggling to embedd the video into this post. Until I do here’s a link to it: SMITE Video

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