The 2018 Vespa Sei Giorni 300 scooter retails for $7,699, and if the fuzzy logic of parent company Piaggio is any indication, its long-awaited Elettrica electric scooter will arrive in the US sometime in 2019 for roughly the same price. Is anybody gonna bite on an electric Vespa with the same amount of range and gusto as a 50cc for a 300cc price? While the love the concept of an electric Vespa, our money’s on the next-gen Elettrica X hybrid, coming out soon.
European Vespa lovers will get first dibs on the Elettrica in October via an online portal as yet to be named. EU roles prohibit removable batteries on e-scooters, so riders will have to plug their Vespa into an outlet, which isn’t always easy – very few urban Europeans have garages! With a 62-mile range and an Eco mode top speed of 19 mph (other details are forthcoming), the Elettrica needs four hours for a full recharge. Vespa says its battery should last up to 10 years (or a thousand charge cycles); will be good to find out how much it will cost to replace that battery, because most Vespas seen on the streets of San Francisco are decades old.
The Elettrica—to be produced at the Pontedera plant in the province of Pisa, the same one where Vespa first rolled off the line in the spring of 1946—is silent, and has some artificial intelligence features, including nearby pedestrian and vehicle detection, along with suggesting alternative routes when traffic is bad. With something like 200+ Million e-scooters already on the road in China, proof of concept is already here, and electric App-scooters are very popular in San Francisco (Scoot), so demand is already there in the West as well. The Vespa name and style is iconic and carries a seemingly eternal brand weight, so an electric scooter seems a likely success.
Piaggio also plans to release a hybrid Elettrica X, with a maximum range of 124 miles and a smaller battery pack than in the standard Elettrica, with a 31-mile range. A gas-powered generator will make up the difference (like the Peugeot e-Tilt), and will take over when the battery charge dips below a particular level, or if the rider manually switches over. For versatility’s sake in urban settings, the Elettrica X can still be used as an electric vehicle for shorter rides.Read more Vespa history, about their record-setting streamliners designed by Corradino d’Ascanio here.