Gorgeous reimagining of Vespas as electric scooters


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/04/27/gorgeous-reimagining-of-vespas.html


#2

Mom! Dad! Give me one!


#3

On the plus space side, it loses the fuel tank, exhaust, and an electric hub motor is probably smaller too. There are already electric scooters that small. Those signals are stylish, but I think it would be safer to make them more obvious.

The problem will be how it’s classified as a motor vehicle. In Ontario:

  • Electric scooters, “power-assisted bicycles”. (They used to have to have near useless pedals, but I don’t see those on the current models.)
  • Limited speed motorcycles. The 50cc gas scooters, limited to 50 kph. Off the back streets, crunchy speed bumps.
  • Motorcycle, on up to the maxi-scooters. I can break any speed limit in the province on my 250cc.

As for using a phone as the instrument panel … which phone, and what if it gets lost or stolen?


#4

Batteries could be a problem, depending on how much range the vehicle needs in order to satisfy customers. Hard to say, and definitely a key issue. But electric motors tend to be extremely small compared to equivalent gasoline engines. You could fit a motor sufficient for this bike inside the wheel hub.


#5

They managed it in the new Peel P50.

1965_peel_p50-pic-3637687411906781139-1600x1200
(I admit that image is of the old internal combustion engine model, but the electric one looks the same and it even has a reverse gear now)


#6

There is already (or was) a vintage vespa-styled electric:

http://www.ebykebuzz.com/skeuter-scooters.html

And China is making a zillion different short-range vespa-style electrics for domestic use. They don’t look as good as that one because they need a place to put the batteries, but some of them look pretty good!

Edit: Also, apparently, Vespa is making an electric. So, there’s that :slight_smile:


#7

We need places to lock and charge them so ‘range anxiety’ doesn’t set in and then people will buy electric scooters of all kinds.


#8

I’m not sure the housing as designed is large enough to accommodate the necessary batteries and motor, but it’s a cool exploration nonetheless.

I am a designer. I make beautiful things. You…[flaps right hand in air, near head]…you engineers make it work. I have a brunch meeting.


#9

Piaggio already does electric microvans based on Daihatsu Hijet
I suppose that they already have the technology to build an electic moped.


#10

Yes, the actual production electric Vespa linked above has so many clunky concessions to functionality, safety and legality that it just destroys the airy elegance that is called for.


#11

Range: 2 miles.


#12

No cargo/helmet space under the seat, no bag hook at the front.

How are you supposed to take home your baguette, cheese and wine?


#13

And how will it work in 10 years when, invariably, phone technology changes?


#14

I used to live near someone who had an electric scooter… maybe ten years ago? It was actually pretty neat for a dense urban area. They had it parked between a couple bushes next to their apartment and an extension cord was run up and through a window. Much easier to find a spot where one could charge one’s electric scooter, and I think the power demands for them were not nearly as out-of-the-ordinary as an electric car.


#15

The batteries would go under the floor, most likely. The design doesn’t prevent that; it’s just not shown, since the designer is a designer, not an engineer.


#16

I dont know about that - Honda’s electric concept for the beloved Cub scooter is pretty wonderful.

Honda-EV-Cub


#17

Maybe it’s nostalgia for my own 50cc Cub, but that’s gorgeous. I’m wondering, though, is that two-wheel drive?


#18

I own a ‘61 Vespa. I never use it for long trips, so maybe it’s time to convert it to electric. It’s been done by many others:

http://www.sip-scootershop.com/Community/blogs/classic_scene-blog_en/archive/2016/11/07/classic-vespa-with-crank-e-electric-motor.aspx

One issue is that, in the US at least, people tend to not look out for scooters so the noise made by an old 2-stroke motor is actually a real safety feature to raise awareness among nearby drivers. If I went to electric maybe I’d have to add a sound system to fake it.


#19

I’m imagining what this would look like, occupied and hurtling off a cliff. I admit that the image of that is not completely unfunny.


#20

The presence of Jeremy Clarkson is what would make it funny.