Vintagelectric: A Split Mind For A Modern World

Good design is timeless. Even though some talentless hacks think that the creator of the Fido electric scooter is a bit ‘hung up on vintage scooters’, I think this electric conversion kit for Vespa Smallframe scooters is the best choice for someone wanting an scooter that doesn’t have a carbon footprint (at least not anywhere near your back yard!).

Jeb has put together a kit that has all the speed with less of the range. Now it’s not cost effective in terms of being all inclusive or as cheap as a competitive performing scooter. But there isn’t design on the market that can rival a PK in terms of ergonomics or a Primavera in terms of aesthetic. None.

Wanting a retro design isn’t something that’s dated in itself. The drive for anything NEW is what fuels our disposable society. There is no shame in saying someone got it right 40 years ago and no one has done better since. You’re likely not in that contest so don’t worry about looking bad.

2 thoughts on “Vintagelectric: A Split Mind For A Modern World”

  1. Hey, don’t get me wrong, I like Fido, and I like the idea of an electric conversion for vintage bikes even more. And Jeb’s got his head in the right place.

    Here’s my deal: The Vespa is equally beautiful and functional. The design and engineering functions are one and the same. One man, Corradino D’Ascanio (and surely a team behind him, but it starts and ends with him) took into account aesthetics, performance, and production, and came up with a design that addresses all equally. It has flaws, but they were mostly lack of foresight, not lack of purpose.

    Scooters today start with an engine, put it in a frame, and stick bodywork to it. Since they mostly start with the same engine (one of a few similar varieties), and no one wants to take a risk on the frame or the body, scooters are painfully homogenous now. Electric scooters are in the age of “Horseless Carriages” now, and they need to move into the Model-T era, where the vehicle is designed as a whole. for the most part, I’m seeing bicycles with electric motors and gas scooters with electric engines, I want to see an entirely new product designed for form AND functiotn hat gets people excited. Jeb’s on the right track, others may be too.

  2. I know you like it, I was just giving you crap.

    I think that when some people look at the product as a ‘whole’ it can be dangerous as well. They see ‘it’ as having some balance on it’s own, as if it was a work of art to stand on it’s own without interaction. I believe that is incorrect for making a product with intended utility. I think it has to have a point of view or too many compromises will be made. D’Ascanio used the human as the starting point. (I’m kicking myself for losing the bookmark of that Italian article of him describing the design process.).

    I just think that there is a little too much avoidance of old designs for the sake of new. It’s like if Fuji stuck an APS-C sensor in the body of a Vivitar VS18B instead of an old rangefinder. That is what modern electric designs are going after.

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