Friday, October 7, 2016

Fossil Free Friday: Hope for a Vintage E-Vespa Kit

Vintage. Retro. Classic. Old school.

It's a rough thing sometimes to be a reformed gashead.

Old cars, trucks, motorcycles, they still turn my head.
Oh, the choices - but I prefer all those on the left!
But that whole gasoline thing messes it all up. Yes, cool vintage vehicles still turn my head, but if it burns gas, I don't want it.

No room for negotiation on this one.
For me, there is no vehicle more enjoyable than a vintage scooter, I am especially fond of old Vespas. But there's that whole messy gas-and-2-stroke-oil-destroying-our-ability-to-live-and-breathe issue thing that ruins the whole thing.
Here and there I run across news of someone who is working to create a green upgrade for old scooters (and the people who love them). Keith (good friend and accomplished Vespa restorer) shared one such venture with me earlier this week, and I am smitten!
Unlike almost all Vespa electric conversions I have seen, this one does not use a hub motor in a redesigned swingarm - this one uses the original swingarm, transmission, and clutch. The top-end of the engine is replaced with a specially designed brushless motor conversion. Ah, the best of both worlds. More power, no emissions, and you still get to chunk through those original gears! Sweetness!

Here are my two favorite quotes from the video:
"The guy who is doing this [at CRANK-e], he is a freak, and he's doing it perfect!"
"There will be, for the future, a kit." (!!!!!!!!!) 
Stoffi's Garage is an Austrian Vespa shop known for their high-quality work and components. I am excited to see them working on green alternatives for vintage eco-dorks like me! The electric motor setup is from an Austrian company called CRANK e. It is a very cool design. They refer to it as an electric crankshaft.
May your inner eco-dork be granted its greenest wish!
PS. The video also mentions a kit for the Vespa Ape (3-wheeled pickup), the large-frame Vespa, and the Lambretta. Whoohoolio!!!