VESPA’S ELECTRIC STING
It had to come. The Vespa scooter – for many an iconic image of Italy – is going electric, with worldwide distribution starting this year. The brand’s new Vespa Elettrica, first unveiled at Milan’s EICMA International Cycle and Motorcycle Show in November, will use new electric mobility technology from its parent company, Piaggio Group. But Piaggio is keen to point out that the new line – with a guaranteed 100km range – is not just any electric scooter but “a contemporary work of art with a technological heart”.
What does that mean? Essentially that the switch to electric does not detract from Vespa’s classic characteristics where cool meets function. It adds to them. Silent running is one new aspect – total silence; another is a multimedia platform connecting the rider’s smartphone to the vehicle through a man-machine interface that incorporates digital colour instrumentation. Meanwhile, the X version combines a generator with the electric motor, that can double the range by constantly recharging the batteries. It sounds too good to be true. Piaggio also points out that the lithium-ion battery does not require maintenance or special handling: for charging you only need to find the cable in the seat compartment and connect the plug to a normal wall-mounted electrical outlet or to one of the growing network of public charging station found in larger towns and cities. The time required for a full charge is four hours. “No vehicle in the world is now as in line with zeroemission propulsion as Vespa, and electrical mobility has never been so fascinating, full of style and elegance,” says Piaggio Group modestly. The heart of Vespa Elettrica is a unit delivering continuous power of 2kw, peaking at 4kw. That achieves a performance superior to a traditional 50cc scooter, especially when it comes to acceleration, which electric motors do rather well. The combination ensures an agile and nimble ride on urban roads in a serene silence which helps to reduce the noise pollution cluttering our cities.
Vespa Elettrica will be wholly produced in Pontedera but there is no word as yet on pricing. An international press presentation will be held on October 2018 when more details will be announced.