EV’s in E17

P1210966I got down to the Retrospective Scooters open day at their workshop/showroom in Walthamstow – London E17. The event was well attended with some nice Vespas, Lambrettas and even a Heinkel Trojan in attendance.

P1210955The theme of the day was ‘beating the (forthcoming) Ultra Low Emission Zone’ and there were lots of Electric scooters on display, both from the world leader in electric scooters, NUI, and with a couple of classic demonstrators – a Vespa and a Lambretta, both converted by Retrospective to run clean and green on electricity.

P1210956Both machines look very assured, and ‘sit’ like the classic scooters they are. Retrospective had a range of Royal Alloy scooters in attendance too… a modern auto clearly modelled on the classic GP (by way of the Scomadi of course), but The Electric GP next to them looked just like any other classic Lammy.

 

So what does an electric Lambretta ride like? Full disclosure, I didn’t ride one myself, but I spoke to a couple of people who did. The overall impression of everybody I spoke to was overwhelmingly positive. Everyone that rode one dismounted with a massive smile on their face. I was told that power comes on extremely smoothly, acceleration is fantastic and the whole ride feels very ‘natural’. From a bystanders point of view, it’s bizarre to see a Lambretta startup, move off, and accelerate away all without any noise, smoke or smell. Some might think these are key elements of the whole Lambretta experience – but I’ve seen the future, and it doesn’t smell of 2stroke! There is something really weird about a Lambretta zooming past you in almost complete silence – all you can hear is the noise of the tyres on the road. One issue that as a rider you’ll have to be even more aware than ever of pedestrians stepping out in front of you – as they won’t hear you coming! Retrospective are investigating including a noise generator as part of the conversion.

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There is going to be a huge majority of Lambretta owners who will always prefer the traditional 2-stroke powered internal combustion engine of the classic Lambretta. And while the ‘nostalgic side of me sympathises, and agrees, I can see the way the world is changing. There are more and more places where we won’t be allowed to ride a traditionally powered scooter. Or, if we are, we’re going to have to pay handsomely for the privilege. An electric conversion for your Lambretta (or Vespa) isn’t exactly a cheap option, but I for one have started saving up!

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Retrospective Scooters Open Day

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Beat the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) – Go ELECTRIC!

If you’re in London this weekend, get yourself down to our Retrospective Scooters workshop/showroom in Walthamstow for their open day.  The focus of the day is the forthcoming London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and how you can get around paying the £12.50 a day that you’ll get charged for riding your nasty dirty old ‘non-compliant’ scooter. One of the options is to convert your classic Lambretta (or Vespa) to an electric one – I featured the kit in a post, here, a little while ago. They’ll have lots of electric scoots charged up and ready to test ride.

On the day there’s;

  • Test ride one of the many electric Vespa’s and Niu scooters.
  • Get advice from the Retrospective Scooters team of experts – ask how to convert your classic Lambretta with a custom conversion kit
  • Freshly cooked food from local stalls
  • Craft beer from a neighbouring brewery
  • Listen to DJs spinning the decks all afternoon

So get yourself down to Unit 1, Lockwood Way, Walthamstow, London E17 5RB from 1pm this Saturday.

While we’re on the subject of Electric Vehicles, rumours are reaching Lambrettista Towers that the new Electric Lambretta Vendetta, (as well as a very exciting sounding 325cc petrol variant) is due to come to market shortly. Stay tuned. When I hear more, you’ll hear more. That’s a promise.

 

 

Future Classics

Hot on the heels of my post about Project E – Retrospective Scooters conversion kits for Classic Scooters – I’ve come across a couple of other people doing something similar – for four-wheeled classics. First off is this Classic Mini conversion from SWIND.

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Under the bonnet of this nice, clean classic Mini sits a 80kw electric power plant, a decent-ish 125-mile range, perfect for zipping around town.

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AL0W8024-1400 There’s much more information and pictures on the Petrolicious site, here, where I originally spotted it – or go straight to the SWIND site, where you’ll find all the info you need, and check out there other product – the EB-01 – a futuristic looking machine they claim to be “the most technically advanced and powerful electric bicycle on the market”.

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Another company in the business of converting classics to electric is Electric Classic Cars – who will source and build an electric classic to your specifications, or supply you with the parts you’d need to convert your own car to electric. Check them out here.

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They’ve done several conversions – from the Classic Fiat 500 above (featured here on the Influx website) to a Range Rover, a VW Beetle, and even a Porsche 911.

 

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.

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.

The Nobe Electric Trike

nobe_100_3I’ve made no secret of the fact that despite my love for the 2stroke engine, I think EV is the way forward. And I like a threewheeler – especially the microcars from the fifties that were basically three wheeled scooters – or “Cabin Scooters” as the Germans put it! The Nobe 100 electric trike has that ’50  retro microcar vibe, but also feels futuristic. With an aesthetic that’s definitely classic and an outlook that’s modern, eco-friendly, and downright clever, the Nobe 100 is made from 100% reusable or recyclable parts, produces no air pollution, houses upgradable technology to enhance vehicle longevity, and accommodates three people while taking up less road space than a regular car.

nobe_100_1The mind behind the Nobe 100 is Roman Muljar. Roman looked toward the talent within his country of Estonia to create a three-wheeled car with all the makings of a classic 4-wheeler, but the visual quirks and benefits of a trike.

nobe_100_2With a top speed of 68 mph and a range of 137 miles on a full charge, the Nobe 100 charges completely within two hours and even comes with an additional battery.

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I find the design of the Nobe remarkably assured and elegant – and kind of Italian looking – it puts me in mind of 1960’s Lancias – or maybe the Volvo P1800 – and love that ‘boat’ tail!

I hope this comes to fruitition – I was disapointed that the Messerchmitt inspired Smite never made it into production. Fingers crossed!

Originally found via Yanko Design. On the Cowdfunding site fundedbyme.

Find out more on the Nobe website; mynobe.com.

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.

Czech this out!

Cezeta1The 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.

cezeta-home-02-1200That’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…

Retro electro

ev3h2I loved the Morgan ThreeWheeler when it originally came out. I thought I’d written a post, but a quick search reveals that was one of my ‘imaginary posts’ (there’s a bunch of posts I’ve planned, started, and ultimately either abandoned or forgotten. I’ll stick one up about the ‘standard’ petrol powered 3 Wheeler at some point.ev3h6

So, forgoing my usual spiel about ‘it’s not a Lambretta, it’s not even a scooter, but I do like a microcar as well’ and jumping straight in… This is the future. And the past. All in one gloriously eccentric, old skool, retro-futuristic package. The Morgan EV3 looks like something from a 1930’s racetrack – or a 1950’s Sci-Fi movie – but being built from composite carbon panels with a Lithium battery and a digital dashboard it’s pure 21st Century Technology!ev3h1ev3h11ev3h14

This is the final pre-production car… and the performance stats look pretty impressive – a top speed of over 90mph and a range of over 150 miles… Morgan has looked at the world of zero emissions differently and asked ‘What if an all-electric vehicle was bespoke made, hand crafted and exhilarating to drive?’ The EV3 embraces new technology, delivers responsible driving excitement and continues to celebrate traditional British motor manufacturing – The carbon bonnet, tonneau cover and side pods are made in the UK, and much like the remaining aluminium panels, are (in tradional Morgan style)  hand worked over an ash wood frame.

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The ‘face’ of the EV3 is designed to function. Brass conductive cooling fins encase the batteries and an off-centre tri-bar headlight adds to the overall asymmetry of the design. Bonkers, but beautiful. I love it. I really love it. Well done Morgan.

Find out more, and register your interest here.

And if it’s an electric Lambretta you want, check out this post. And this one.