Vespa told us last year at this time that it was working on an electric scooter. This year, the company brought its electric offering — the Vespa Elettrica — to the Milan Motorcycle Show, where it revealed lots of details about its latest zero emissions scooter except for the price. The Vespa Elettrica will be available sometime next year, although the company has not said exactly when.
Piaggio, the parent company of Vespa, tells The Verge its electric scooter will have a range of 100 kilometers or 62 miles. That’s about a third that of the Vespa Primavera, the 50 cc model that is the price leader in the company’s gasoline powered lineup. But the Vespa Elettica is not intended for long distance commuting. The company calls it “perfect for city environments” and it probably is exactly that. The torque of its electric motor should offset some of the machine’s lack of range with performance that is superior to a traditional 50 cc machine.
Charging the battery takes 4 hours from a “normal wall outlet,” which in Italy is 220 volts. In North America, charging time would be longer. Piaggio says the battery is good for about 50,000 to 70,000 kilometers — equivalent to about 10 years of use. The battery is expected to have 80% capacity remaining after 1,000 charging cycles. There is no information available about whether the battery can be replaced or how much a replacement battery might cost.
For those who are concerned about range, Vespa will sell a hybrid model with a gas powered range extender generator that will boost range to about 200 kilometers or 124 miles.
As befits an electric vehicle, the Vespa Elettica will come complete with a 4.3 inch touchscreen that displays information such as speed, range remaining, and battery state of charge. A smartphone app will allow drivers to connect to the electric scooter via Bluetooth to access texts and incoming phone calls. The app will also have a map feature and make diagnostic information available to the driver. Vespa will offer a Bluetooth-enabled helmet with built-in microphone and speakers for hands free communication during any journey.
The Vespa Elettica comes standard in silver livery with electric blue trim but the buyer can choose from 7 different colors when ordering one. The company has released no information about availability in North America yet.