Vespa's first fully electric scooter, the Elettrica, will be in production in September and will be available in the United States in early 2019. The announcement was made by Piaggio, the parent company of the Italian scooter manufacturer.
According to the statement, the Elettrica has a lithium battery that is designed to deliver 60 miles of range per single charge and can be charged in just four hours. Piaggio also claims that the battery must have about 1,000 charging cycles, which is approximately 31,000 to 43,000 miles. The maximum speed for the Elettrica is not confirmed, but an alleged "Eco" mode limits the top speed to save energy.
The performance of the electrified Italian will be comparable to that of a standard 50cc scooter. The electric motor produces 2.7 hp of continuous power and peaks at 5.4 hp under heavy acceleration. The engine also has a torque value of more than 148 pound-foot torque. It is not clear where most electrical components come from, but Piaggio said the Elettrica will be assembled at the Pontedera plant in the province of Pisa, where the very first Vespa rolled off the assembly line.
In the future, the Elettrica will benefit from artificial intelligence and different levels of semi-autonomous functions similar to those of Tesla.
"Vespa Elettrica will be ready in the near future to be equipped with solutions currently being developed for Gita, the robot currently on the drawing board at Piaggio Fast Forward in Boston," read the company's press release. "Such artificial intelligence systems are both adaptive and respond to all human input."
"They will be aware of people and other nearby vehicles, increase the operator's ability to detect potential dangers and opportunities, and provide real-time mapping and traffic data that help improve transport infrastructure design. in cities. "
After decades of popular transportation in Europe and other parts of the world, Vespa & # 39; s and other sit-down scooters are gaining popularity in the United States, where the need for electric vehicles has also increased in recent years. demand.
Although the price of the Vespa Elettrica was not announced, Piaggio claims that the costs "will be aligned with the high range of the Vespa range currently on the market." Most Vespa models in the United States hover around $ 7,000, with some special editions costing as much as $ 10,000.