Vespa Elettrica: Piaggio’s first all-electric scooter is about to hit the road

Italian scooter manufacturer Piaggio has launched online pre-orders for its first all-electric scooter and on Monday, October 8, priced the machine at 6,390 euros — that’s about $7,350 in American money.

Delivery of the Vespa Elettrica to European customers will begin toward the end of the year, though customers in the U.S. will have to wait until “the start of 2019” before they can hop aboard the two-wheeler.

With its 4-kilowatt electric motor, you can expect a ride similar to that of a 50cc scooter, though Piaggio promises better hill starts and acceleration with the Elettrica.

The new scooter has a maximum range of 62 miles (100 km), which should change very little between urban and extra-urban environments thanks to its modern lithium-ion battery and an efficient kinetic energy recovery system that recharges the battery during deceleration.

Charging is carried out by connecting the cable located beneath the saddle into a normal electric wall socket or at a charging station, with a complete recharge taking no more than four hours.

Piaggio, Europe’s largest scooter manufacturer, unveiled a concept design for the Elettrica two years ago, though delivery has come about a year later than originally planned.

It promised at the time that its first all-electric Vespa would retain the qualities familiar to fans of the brand, saying: “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.”

Those solutions have been possible in part by Gita, the autonomous robot being developed by Piaggio Fast Forward, a Boston-based offshoot of Piaggio engaged in research. Piaggio said recently that it wants to gradually incorporate some of Gita’s artificial intelligence technology into the Elettrica to make it “aware of people and other vehicles operating in the vicinity [and] extend the operator’s ability to sense potential perils and opportunities.”

It added, “Most of all, these new-generation vehicles will thoroughly know their operators: they will recognize them without key fobs, anticipate their driving choices, interact with other devices and vehicles on the road, and allow for degrees of personalization that can barely be imagined today.”

Full integration of such technology into the Elettrica looks to be some way down the road, but to begin with, the scooter comes with full smartphone connectivity and a 4.3-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) screen showing data such as riding mode, speed, and range.

Full more information on the Elettrica and how to order it, visit Piaggio’s website.

Fancy a look at the rest of the electric-scooter market? New ones are hitting the market all the time, and Digital Trends has picked out some of the best ones available today.

Emerging Tech

It’s no flying car, but the e-scooter had a huge impact on city streets in 2018

Within just a year, electric scooters have fundamentally changed how we navigate cities. From San Francisco to Paris, commuters have a new option that’s more fun than mass transit, easier than a bike, and definitely not a car.
Outdoors

Google Maps makes it easier than ever to find a Lime bike or scooter

Google Maps has added a new feature that helps you find a Lime bike or scooter in just a few taps. The feature currently works in 11 U.S. cities served by Lime, with more coming next year.
Cars

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Features

Has Columbus, Ohio raised its IQ yet? A progress report from the mayor

Two years ago, the city of Columbus in Ohio received $40 million to pursue smart city initiatives. So, what’s happened since then? We spoke with its mayor, Andrew Ginther, to discuss progress and what’s ahead.
Cars

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.
Cars

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.
Cars

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Cars

NYC mandates minimum wage for Uber, Lyft, other app-based rideshare drivers

New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a rule that drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft must be paid at least minimum wage, even though they are independent contractors. The new pay rate includes operating costs.
Cars

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.
Cars

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.
Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.
Mobile

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.