Electric Vespa scooters to finally hit the streets in 2018
After peeling back the curtain on an electrified version of its iconic Vespa at EICMA last year, Piaggo has now revealed a few key specs for the 2017 event. The silent and stylish Vespa Elettrica leads the storied scooter brand's charge into electric mobility, and offers some of the connected bells and whistles that we've come to expect from vehicles in that space.
Vespas have been roaming streets around the world for more than 70 years, and there's hardly a more recognizable name when it comes to step-through two-wheelers. Indeed, more than 18 million have been sold in that time, but each and every one of them has been driven by gasoline engines that pump out pollution and noise.
Electric scooters promise to cut down on these negative aspects by offering city folk a greener and quieter way of getting around town. We've seen quite a few companies look to tap into, and even facilitate, this shift toward more sustainable urban transport, including oddball scooters shaped like a box and others that fold up so you can wheel them right into the office. And there are scooter-sharing schemes like Gogoro, which has recently expanded from Asia into Europe.
Piaggo is sticking with what it knows with its entry to the electric scooter market. The Vespa Elettrica maintains the iconic shape of its fossil-fueled predecessors, and is finished in chrome grey with one of seven color accents. It will be powered by an electric motor with a modest peak power of 4 kW, which Piaggio reckons will give it a performance edge over a traditional 50cc scooter. You could think of it like a moped on steroids – or at least a moped that's had a coffee.
Piaggio says the Vespa Elettrica will be completely silent, and is guaranteeing an electric-only range of 100 km (62 mi), though that can be doubled with the addition of a generator in the hybrid "X" version. Onboard is a color TFT display that hooks smartphones up with the Piaggio Multimedia Platform to serve as a virtual dashboard, collect trip data, keep tabs on traction control and navigate to nearby gas stations.
There is still no word on pricing for the Vespa Elettrica, but Piaggio does say it will be distributed across the world in 2018. It will be on show at EICMA until November 12.