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First electric Vespa concept unveiled at EICMA

As electric cars gain ground across the world, more two-wheeled vehicles are utilizing zero-emission locomotion as well. In the U.S., electric scooters are available for rental in San Francisco and other major cities, and now, as part of the Vespa Elettrica project, the Piaggio Group is offering its own model. The concept was unveiled at the 2016 EICMA (Esposizione Internazionale Ciclo Motociclo e Accessori) trade show in Milan.

“Introducing the Vespa Elettrica project,” Piaggio said in a press release on its official site. “The new mobility solution according to the most elegant and beloved two-wheeled brand in the world, that takes a step into the future in complete consistency with the values that have accompanied its history.”

The vehicle manufacturer is “assessing the most advanced players in the sector on a global level to develop innovative technological electric motor solutions together.” Planned production and sales are set to begin in the “second half of 2017.”

The company is adamant that the electric Vespa will retain the qualities and heritage the Italian brand is known for. “The style, agility, ease of use, and riding pleasure will be the same as the Vespa we have always known, with the addition of technological and innovative connectivity solutions,” the company’s statement reads.

When it comes to connectivity, current electric scooters have the ability to sync to your smartphone, where you can check up on efficiency, lock your vehicle, and even track it if it’s stolen.

With Vespa’s current line of internal combustion engine (ICE) scooters managing 70-117 mpg depending on the size of the motor (which ranges from 50 to 300 cc), the electric version should have a range approaching 200 miles if it wants to retain the practicality of its gas-sipping peers. Pricing has not been announced, but the current U.S. line features models that range from $3,650 to $7,500.

The Vespa brand celebrated its 70th anniversary this year and released some special editions to commemorate the milestone.