Monday, September 8, 2014

Another Modern Vintage Electric Scooter Is Born - Cezeta!!!

My favorite way to get around, bar none, is to ride a vintage scooter. For me, a scooter combines the joy of riding a motorcycle with the aesthetics of cruising in an old car. And there is a dash of humor that brings it all together.

My favorite album cover of all time!

The obsession: If you want the opportunity to hear me talk for hours with hardly a breath taken, ask me about some old scooter or other - consider yourself warned. I purchased my first Vespa about twenty-five years ago, and it has been an obsession since. One my first conversations with my wife happened when she asked about my Vespa t-shirt. Our wedding invitation featured us on a Vespa, and some of our best times together are still spent riding a scooter...

The conflict: I ran into an ethical problem a while back. I started realizing just how badly we fans of internal combustion engines have been damaging our chances (as a planet) of continuing to live and breathe. And most vintage scooters are surprisingly heavy polluters. Since most of them get great gas mileage, you would think they would have a light footprint, but the old two-stroke motor design creates vastly worse emissions than most modern vehicles. For example, my 1980 Vespa emits much more greenhouse gas per mile than a modern Cadillac Escalade or even the old Plymouth Road Runner I drove to high school. Old scooters are extremely bad for the environment.

A solution: Several years back, I came up with the (ahem) perfect solution. I put an electric motor into a vintage Vespa. And it came out great. Reliable, quick, reasonable range, and a blast to ride. But I did miscalculate a bit. It will run 28mph. And 28mph is not a realistic speed for getting around town where I live. It's too fast on a bicycle and way too slow for something that mixes with SUVs and such. (Also, my design work on the scooter left me without a place to park my size 12 feet while riding.)

So, I have two great Vespas in the garage, neither of which gets ridden much.

A dream solution: I mentioned Vespas, but I love most vintage scooters. For years I have kept my eye out for a good deal on a motorless Silver Pigeon or an Allstate Jetsweep/Cushman Road King because they both look like great electric conversion candidates - and so I could be cool like Bo Diddley. (See photo above.) Both of these scooters would provide more room for batteries and for access. And your second draft is usually a little better than your first, right?

A Silver Pigeon - so cool!

A Euro Turn-key Solution: Why am I telling you all of this? Because there was a thread on this morning that got me all excited. Yet another oddball Vintage Euro Scooter has been re-born as an electric. And, of course, I want one. I present to you the Cezeta 506 Electric! (Follow all of the links - cool stuff!)

Check out the Cezeta!

Another Euro Turn-key Solution: And, in case you want to see another modern electric vintage scooter that has been around a few years now, here is the e-Schwalbe: (You may want to translate this page.)

May the electric wind scooterize your hair!