Finally a roller!Kelly Hub motorKEB Controller with AssemblyFinally a rider!Recharging at workThe Headway pack is here!
OwnerDaniel Spray
LocationLubbock, Texas United States map
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Vehicle1961 Piaggio Vespa VNB
Originally a 125cc 3-speed scooter with a 6V stator and 4.5 peak horsepower.
MotorKelly 48V 3KW Hub motor Brushless DC
DrivetrainKelly 48V Hub Motor
ControllerKelly KEB 48400X
48V 400A No regen
Batteries4 Headway 48V 30Ah Headway pack, 48.00 Volt, Lithium Iron Phosphate
The battery pack is a work of art - Thanks, Jim Delgado at Headway Headquarters! The box is less of a work of art. I mounted the pack in a 20" toolbox to keep the arrangement somewhat modular and removeable.
System Voltage48 Volts
Charger 48V 110VAC 15amp
Supplied by Headway Headquarters with the pack.
HeaterFull-face helmet
DC/DC Converter Green Galaxy 36-48V
This thing rocks! Tiny and only $25
InstrumentationiPhone speedometer app
I need to replace the speedo cable next.
Top Speed28 MPH (45 KPH)
Cruises easily at 28mph.
AccelerationVery good. Quicker than a stock ICE Vespa 150 to 25mph
Range18 Miles (28 Kilometers)
(Longest trip so far)
Seating Capacity1
Curb Weight200 Pounds (90 Kilograms)
Tires3x10" Sava Kran whitewalls.
Conversion TimeNot counting the restoration - six months or so working a few hours per week.
Conversion CostA little less than $4000 so far (including purchase price and restoration) Lots of good purchases on and at Scooter Mercato.
Additional FeaturesModel A taillight, slightly modified swingarm from a Razor MX400, mountain bike rear shock, Kelly rear disk brake, Genuine Stella seat
After fighting for some time with properly wiring it up, it finally runs. Acceleration is good. It is amazingly quiet and well balanced. I can't wait to get the small details ironed out.

Conversion in Progress - I have had a great deal of fun trying new ways to mount the motor and batteries. I commute to work every day on an electric bicycle, and that has taught me the value of having a removable battery pack (or two) The bike started out rusty and rough. Special thanks to my ever-patient wife, Toni, to John Earl for encouragement, to Jereme Ragsdale for giving me a place to sandblast and paint it, and to the Man Upstairs (for everything).

After several struggles with the original controller, I replaced it with a new one from Kelly. The bike accelerates and handles beautifully and is much better balanced than any vintage Vespa I have ridden. Also, the rear disk brake is a vast improvement over the stock brakes.

Now that the bike is basically finished, I am dreaming of a larger controller and a lithium battery pack to create more useable range. I would really like to cruise at 35MPH and have a range of at least 20 miles. My round trip commute to work is 12 miles.

Two people who rode it this weekend asked what it would take to build them one.

It is now legal and completely ride-able. High beam, low beam, brake light and horn all work. I don't think it will ever truly be finished, but it feels good to have it to this stage.

Commuted to work on it three days this week. Absolutely a blast to ride! The old scooter has garnered enough interest in those three days that two people have asked me to help them find a Vespa and two more people have asked if I would help them build an EV.

The other big news for the week is that I ordered a 48V 30Ah battery pack from Jim at Headway Headquarters. Great guy to talk to. [He has the other (much nicer) black Vespa on this site: WebPage Can't wait for the pack to arrive so the bike can lose weight and gain range.

The next big step is to replace the controller with a Kelly 48V 4KW KEB controller.

The 4KW controller is now on its way. Still working on small details. Added a rear rack this weekend and took the bike grocery shopping.

The Headway pack is here and will soon be in the bike. Woohoo!

Not a whole lot to report. Lots of lessons learned. The biggest one is that voltage equals speed when it comes to EVs, especially when you use a hub motor. Going from lead to lithium shaved a great deal of weight and had a big impact on range, but there was no increase in top speed at all. Going from a 200amp to a 400amp controller drastically increased the acceleration but had no impact on top speed. At 48V it is a 28mph machine.

code by jerry