2019 Vespa Elettrica

30th September 2018


On board generator | Regenerative braking


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2019 Vespa Elettrica


Two years ago Vespa told us of the firm's plans for a "state-of-the-art" electric scooter. Well, things have since moved on considerably with production due to begin this month (September 2018), and the first scooters ready for sale in October (2018).


Two variants will be on offer; the standard bike fitted only with lithium batteries and capable of a 62-mile range (under the right conditions), and the X version (we're unsure of that name, note) which will be equipped with a small petrol generator intended to not only eke out the range, but to double it.


A regenerative braking system is also being refined, but at the time of writing it's not clear if both bikes will be equipped with the technology.


Electric vehicle batteries, as most people know, are the weak point for voltsters. For this scooter, Piaggio is claiming a full 1,000 recharge cycles which, supposedly, is good for about ten years motoring on full power. After that, power drop to around 80 percent with a concomitant reduced range. And note that 1,000 charge cycles is reckoned (by Piaggio) to equate to 32,000 - 44,000 miles.




We're no experts, but we take these claims with a pinch of salt and imagine performance tailing off a lot earlier than that. However, by then it's suspected that new technology would have galloped to the rescue, so it's possibly few owners will care too much if there's not enough volts to light the speedometer, not when future battery prices drop to more acceptable levels.


But like we said, we're no experts (not on battery technology or much else). So maybe Piaggio has got its numbers right. We'll believe it if you will.


Vespa Elettrica scooter


There are no prices yet. But it's a racing certainty that whatever the top price Vespa sells for, the Elettrica will charge you a little extra.


Stylewise, there's not much to get excited about here. Yes, it's a nice enough looking bike, but we wonder what compromises have been made to the design to ensure that the aforementioned 62 mile range is viable.


Given that most scooters in the UK are used for relatively short commuting runs, this could be exactly the kind of Bluetoothed city transport that modern, environmentally conscious, hairdryer-loving, plugged-in riders are looking for.


That said, it would have been nice if this one, visually speaking, immediately came across as more ... well, electric. No?












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