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.
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