Vespa V50 electric

Vespa V50 electric

tags: Vespa V50, oldtimer, elektrische Vespa, brommer ombouw elektrische aandrijving, EMC keuring, UNECE R10  














I converted a 1968 Vespa V50N to an electric driveline. I used as much from the original engine as possible. Where the crankshaft an flywheel used to be, there is now an outrunner BLDC electric motor. The clutch and gearbox are fully functional. I used a defect 4 speed Vespa PK50 engine.

The original combustion engine:














The electric motor installed:








































Testing of the engine, clutch and gearbox. The aluminium box contains the motorcontroller, dc-dc converter, contactors and pre-charge circuit. The motorcontroler is from the VESC family, but slightly modified for improved cooling. A leather belt running over the rim provided the load. The belt was attached to the workmate on one end and attached to a bucket filled with stones on the other end. The rim slipped in the belt. If I wanted to test with more torque, I simply add more stones into the bucket for more friction between the belt and the rim. As the belt and rim get hot due to the friction, I could not test very long...














When everything worked fine it was time to buy a Vespa to test the setup in real driving conditions. I searched for a round headlight Vespa V50 (moped) that I could restore. Finaly I found one. Here it is behind my beloved Panda 4x4 (1984):














I changed the combustion engine for the electric engine block. First tests were done using old Vectrix NiMH batteries behind the legshield:














Engine bay. Kind of empty without the cilinder and cooling cowl: (When it was restored I fitted the engine cowl for the original looks and dirt protection of the electric motor).














I wanted a removable battery in the area where the fuel tank used to be. A removable battery has the benefit that you can charge it inside the house or office. So no dependance on charging infrastructure at the road side. Inside a house or office the battery remains at room temperature and that makes the battery perform well even if it is cold outside. I used 18650 size NMC cells in a 12S15P setup. The Vespa has a range of 50 km at constant topspeed (just over 40 km/h). For most driving I don't use the full range, I charge to 3.92V per cell (75% SOC) and discharge to 25~30% to increase battery life.



























When the battery is pushed in the scooter, the electric connection is automatically made. One connector is fixed to the battery and the other is fixed to the frame:


















The box with the electronics is in the frame where the carburettor used to be:














I wanted the conversion to be road legal. The conversion had to be approved by the Dutch road authorities, RDW. For the RDW it is needed to prove that the conversion complies to the UNECE R10 EMC tests. In short: when driving my scooter, the electro magnetic radiation coming from my scooter should be within limits to prevent malfunctioning of other electronic devices. But my scooter should also be immune for electro magnetic radiation coming from other electronic devices. This was tested in a lab:














The scooter passed the test hands down. Obviously a decent plan for grounding the electric items, shielding of wires and some more precautions worked out fine. After the RDW test (that was a "first time right" as well) the Vespa was designated officially as "electric". Now it was time for a full restauration. The body/frame and all other parts were stripped to the bare metal:














After this I had all the steel parts sandblasted and metal sprayed ("schooperen", a hot zinc spray) and primed. Sanding, filling, spray filler, paint spraying etc I did myself. Hollow parts were preserved using "Mike Sanders Fett". This is the result, nicely together with my (combustion engined) Vespa GL150 (Misa, 1960):














Some details: