September will be an historic day for the Vespa scooter brand, as next month the Piaggio Group plans to begin finally the production of the Vespa Elettrica electric scooter.
Taking the classic Italian “wasp” design that has warmed the hearts of many owners, the Elettrica adds an electric drive train to the mix, to ensure Vespa’s iconic status endures for many generations to come.
Initially slated to be in production by “late 2017”, it has taken Piaggio a bit longer than expected to get the Vespa Elettrica out the door. But, with production set to start in September, at least the Italians are making good on their promise to make this model a reality.
Getting down to the nitty-gritty, the electric motor provides 4kW of peak power, 2kW continuous. Vespa says that the Elettrica is good for at least 60 miles of range, and the scooter has an onboard charger, which makes finding a place to top-up a bit easier (a power cable hides where the fuel cap usually goes).
A hybrid “X” model is also mentioned by Vespa, which will have an integrated gas generator that recharges the batteries on the electric drivetrain, and will extend the range up to 120 miles.
A smaller battery pack is used for the Vespa Elettrica, to make room for the gasoline-powered generator. This smaller battery gives about 30 miles of range on its own, with another 90 miles of range available with the generator switched on.
Vespa says that the Elettrica should perform the same as a 50cc scooter in terms of power delivery, with two riding modes available: “eco” and “power”. A reverse mode is also part of the package, to help with maneuvering.
Lastly, Piaggio boasts about the Vespa Elettrica’s TFT dash and bluetooth connectivity for smartphones, which will help make the scooter relevant for today’s connected urban riders.
Production is to be done at Piaggio’s Pontedera plant, near Pisa, which is the same factory that produced the very first Vespa scooter back in 1946.
For those wishing to purchase a Vespa Elettrica, they can do so on a dedicated website starting in October. There isn’t firm pricing yet, but Piaggio says that the scooter will slot in near the top of Vespa’s scooter lineup.
Sales will start in Europe, and then move to the United States and Asia, with plans to be fully available by November – just in time for the EICMA trade show in Milan, Italy.
Source: Piaggio Group