Electric Vespa Question

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Joined: 11/14/2010
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I have a 1984 Vespa PK 125 S Automatica scooter, which is Vespa's first automatic transmission scooter model, but it still has a 2-stroke, gas- and oil-burning engine. It's a reare scooter, never imported into the USA by Vespa. And few mechanics can or want to work on it. Plus, it pollutes. So I am thinking of turning it from an Automatica into an Electronica.

That's right, Electronica, as opposed to Automatica. If I continue to encounter scaredy-cat scooter mechanics in my area who say things like "I wouldn't touch that thing with a ten-foot pole" when I ask if they could service my newly procured 1984 Vespa PK 125 S Automatica, then my fall-back plan is to embark on a project to turn my beloved Automatica into an Electronica -- a true vintage all-electric Vespa scooter.

It's been done before, with the Rezistor, so well documented here -- http://visforvoltage.org/blog/jstept/2110 -- and a company in Seattle actually sells vintage Vespas made into electric scooters -- Soundspeed Scooters at: http://soundspeedscooters.com/content/electrified-vespa

Here's a video of an electric vintage Vespa in action:
Vespa EV

I think my '84 PK 125 S would be a good candidate for an electric conversion because it is so light (just 198 pounds).

A question I have for those with the technical know-how is, do you think the fact that it has an automatic transmission makes it easier to convert to electric than if it were a manual tranny PK, since an electric scooter normally has an automatic CVT transmission?

Would I need to replace the current transmission with a new CVT, or could I find a way to give the existing 2-speed (neutral and drive) transmission the juice it needs to run from the newly installed battery packs, electric swing arm motor and other conversion parts, which are listed here:
http://www.vespaev.com/

Another way of putting it, can I remove the engine while keeping the auto tranny in place, or does one inevitably need to do away with the tranny if one does ways with the motor?

By the way, here is my PK:

As you can tell, I have a lot to learn if I am to take this on, and these questions are to let me begin to get my mind around the project. I appreciate any input. Thanks!

Steve in San Diego

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