Electric Vespa Conversion Kit

The MovoVeloci team: Alex Leardini, Leonardo Ubaldi, and Chiara Bizzocchi [MotoVeloci]
MotoVeloci, an Italian custom motorcycle shop, recently launched a new electric powertrain conversion kit for a variety of different 50cc Vespa scooters spanning several decades of production. The kit features 1.5kWh Lithium battery — that weighs only 13lbs (6kgs) — paired with a 6kW (8hp) motor encased in aluminum alloy housing. The new powertrain boasts an “urban” range of up to 62-miles 100km) and a top-speed of 28mph (45km/h) though the accompanying app allows a 56mph (90km/h) top-speed to be unlocked. Charging takes three-hours via a standard 230V socket and the batteries are removable.

In order to minimize change to the iconic scooter’s appearance, the Rimini-based outfit opted to use an app that allows owners’ smartphones to display speed and the rest of the pertinent information instead of mounting new digital clocks. The kit does require the bulbs and horn to be swapped out, but it still uses the scooters’ original frame,  wheels, and rear brake. The kit is reportedly available for the Vespa 50N, 50R, 50Special, 90, 90SS, 125 Primavera, 125 ET3 , and all PK 50 and 125.

Blacksmith B2 Concept

The Blacksmith B2 is a very different animal than their first ebike! [Blacksmith]
Blacksmith Electric is an ebike and technology outfit in India that built its first electric motorcycle prototype back in 2005. The following year the Chennai-based startup applied for a patent regarding public swappable battery recharging stations, just like we mentioned Kymco and Gogoro are currently doing. Despite obviously being pretty ahead of their time, Blacksmith’s previous concept bike wasn’t much of a looker, however the images the company just revealed
of its newest B2 Concept ebike look markedly better aesthetically.

Proving dramatic growth in design competence is possible: the first Blacksmith prototype of 2005 [Blacksmith]
The B2 is reportedly powered by an Asynchronous 5kW (6.7hp) motor married to a High Energy Density NMC battery that supposedly affords 70.8 ft-lbs of torque, a top-speed of 75mph (120km/h), and a 150-mile range when using the “dual battery”. Charging takes four-hours, and as you might have guessed based on the company’s history, the B2 will have swappable batteries that can be replaced at public changing stations. At least if all goes according to plan.

The new Blacksmith fire-proof battery swap station.  The Indian company filed for a patent for their swappable battery station in 2006 (granted in 2014). [Blacksmith]
The B2 is linked to an app and uses what the company calls an “artificial intelligence system”. Other highlights include an antitheft alarm and circuit-closing system, projector headlight and LED lighting throughout, allow wheels, digital instrumentation, and Blacksmith’s (patent pending) “Traffic Indicators”. Blacksmith says it’s aiming to have the B2 on the market in India by sometime in 2020, though obviously concept images don’t in anyway guarantee production. Time will tell, but it looks like we might have another cruiser-style ebike on the way.

Regent NO.1 Heads To Production

The 1970s charm of the Regent ebike [Regent]
After showing off its prototype Regent NO. 1 ebike over the last few months, the Swedish startup recently announced its 1960’s-inspired ebike is headed to production, with Regent shooting for a release in May of 2020. At the heart of the NO. 1 is a 72 V, 80 Ah battery linked to an 8kW (11hp) continuous, 15kW (20hp) peak rear-hub motor that together offer a 93-mile (150km) range thanks to a svelte 286b (130kg) curb weight. The NO.1 doesn’t have any foot controls, just pegs, and front and rear ABS-linked disc brakes — which featured regenerative braking — are both controlled via levers on the bars. Aside from a touchscreen, the NO.1 may have the most vintage-themed appearance of any ebike on the market, though underneath its retro exterior the Regent hides an array of modern tech including geo-fencing restriction capability, built-in GPS, and an anti-theft device.

The Regent ebike is ready for production [Regent]
The Regent NO.1 is available for preorder on the company’s website, with a 10% earlybird discount being offered on the first 100 units sold at the special MSRP of $10,800 (€9,500).

BMW Motored Introduces the “Vision DC Roadster” Concept

Big news from BMW, and finally, a major manufacturer delivers a badass prototype electric motorcycle. Kudos to Edgar Heinrichs and his Munich team for a killer design. [BMW]
BMW made waves when it debuted a handful of future EV-related offerings and prototypes, including the ridiculously sleek “Vision DC Roadster” Concept. By far one of the most striking concept bikes released in the past few years, the electric Roadster explores new EV tech as well as future styling and design options for the marque, while staying grounded in the BMW image and identity. The Bavarian brand already offers hybrid and fully-electric models, and in the last decade has been one of the major innovators in the high-performance hybrid powertrain field.

More like this, please! Showing the way forward for the whole ebike industry: make it killer, and they will come. [BMW]
Despite using an electric powertrain, BMW managed to retain some of the iconic characteristics that have become hallmarks of its two-wheelers practically since the firm’s inception. In place of the traditional boxer engine is an electric motor pulling juice from laterally-mounted batteries which mimic the typical flat twin layout, as do the large cooling fins on the battery pack. Housed under the battery is the motor which is directly linked to the ebike’s exposed universal shaft. Wrapped around the laterally-mounted, protruding batteries is a milled aluminum frame capped off with a tubular structure — that highlights the lack of fuel-cell while still giving the pilot a shape conducive to aggressive riding — feeding into a sporty perched tail section. Out front is a modern take on the classic Duolever front-end, complimented by a gorgeous and wildly unique U-shaped LED headlight.

High-performance electric motorcycles will remain tadpoles due to their need for big batteries, but this is a shark of a tadpole! [BMW]
BMW hasn’t released any info on the DC Roadster’s powertrain or performance, though considering the main focus here is the appearance, it’s not crazy to assume it may have just used the 12.7 kWh battery unit found in the C Evolution scooter and i3 car. While it appears this is more of a design exercise than it is a legitimate vehicle slated for future production, it’s nonetheless fascinating to see the company not only further explore EV technology, but also to find a way of integrating new powertrain tech into its products while still retaining the character and overall visual-theme associated with BMW Motorrad.

Revolt Unveils RV400 eBike (With Faux Exhaust Sounds)

The new Revolt goes Brrrrm! [Revolt]
India’s Revolt Intellicorp just pulled the cover of its long-anticipated fully electric, sporty, smart bike, the RV400. Roughly the equivalent of a 125cc ICE-powered machine, the RV400 has a top-speed of 53mph (85km/h) and a range of 97-miles (156km). Revolt has yet to divulge official powertrain specs, however the motor — a mid-mounted belt-driven unit — is expected to land somewhere between 6-10kW (8-13.4hp) marks. In spite of its budget nature, the RV400 comes with an inverted front-end and rear mono shock, LED lighting all around, fore and aft disc brakes, and a snazzy street fighter look.

Targeted at the domestic Indian market, which is the world’s largest. Look to India to become the largest consumers of electric motorcycles in the very near future. [Revolt]
Touted by the manufacturer as “India’s first AI-enabled bike”, the new RV sports a modern suite of more than 20 technological bells and whistles like remote keyless starting, geo-fencing and GPS tracking, cloud and smartphone connectivity, battery station finder, live onboard monitoring of the powertrain and remote diagnostics, and onboard digital storage for license, registration, and other documentation, just to name a few. One of the most interesting features on the RV is the fact its app enables users to change the bike’s faux engine note on the fly. There are currently four settings; Revolt; Roar: Rage; and Rebel; and they allow the electric motor to sound like anything from a single-cylinder lump, to a multi-cylinder superbike, to a big-bore V-Twin, though Revolt says future additions will be available in later updates.

While the RV400 already has a pretty solid range, especially for city riding, Revolt aims to make buyer’s lives even easier by offering a network of swappable battery stations, like several companies we’ve recently discussed. Owners also have the option of sliding the
batteries out and charging the cells themselves via a standard wall outlet — which takes four-hours. The company also says it will provide “door-step” battery delivery, albeit for an added fee.

Different detail specs for the Revolt RV400 [Revolt]
Revolt has yet to announce an official MSRP, though the RV400 is expected to be priced around the  ₹ 1.1-1.25 lakh mark ($1,300-1,800). Earlier this week Revolt began accepting preorders which only require Rs 1,000 down which comes out to less than $15! The RV400 can even supposedly be preordered on Amazon. Initially offered only in “Rebel Red” or “Cosmic Black”, Revolt aims to produce more than 100,000 units in the first year of production with the first deliveries slated to start as early as August of 2019, though for now it appears the new model is limited to its native Indian market. Because of the constant advancements being made in the EV industry, it’s easy to see the Revolt RV400 as just another ebike, but make no mistake, this new model is a big deal. While its specs might not be anything too crazy, and none of the visual design is all that outside the box, this is nonetheless a relatively sporty and high-performance, fully electric motorcycle with an almost 100-mile range, a 53mph top-speed, smart-tech integration and connectivity, all in an attractive package for less than $2K. That’s a game changer right there.

Piaggio India Invests In Electric

You great big electric APE! The venerable workhorse APE has long been available with an electric option, and now they’ll be made in India too. [Piaggio]
Last week the Piaggio Group’s Indian division announced it will be investing RS 200 Crore ($28,894,000) on R&D for its Ape three-wheeler lineup, including the release of a fully-electric version of the popular auto rickshaw. Other major firms in India like TVS, Bajaj, and Mahindra all already offer electric e-auto rickshaws, so there’s clearly a market there. Piaggio’s forthcoming electric Ape will supposedly be priced similarly to the company’s recently released Ape City+, a 230cc three-wheeler available in four fuel types which range in MSRP from Rs 1.74 lakh ($2,513) and Rs 1.9 lakh ($2,745). According to Piaggio India, the electric Ape(+) is able to be priced so competitively thanks to a deal with Sun Mobility which will provide battery swapping stations and therefor the cost of the batteries don’t have to be factored into the price. Be it scooters, motorcycles, cars or auto rickshaws, everything is going electric!

The classic APE design, perfect for tuk-tuk duties or mobile espresso bars! [Piaggio]