Today, the Vespa brand is more popular than ever, with over one and a half million units sold in the last decade. The first half of 2018 closed with an increase in sales volumes of around 10% compared to the previous year. But Piaggio has always looked to the future and next month, in the same Pontedera (Pisa) plant where Vespa was born in 1946, will start producing its first zero-emissions scooter, Vespa Elettrica.
Powered by a lithium-ion battery, which guarantees 1000 cycles of 100% recharge in 4 hours via a cable underneath the seat compartment and a normal wall outlet, Elettrica has a range of 62 miles. Two riding modes are offered, Eco and Power, in addition to reverse. It will also be a fully connected scooter, with smartphone integration through a 4.3-inch color TFT display that can adapt the background and color of the characters to make it readable at all times of day thanks to a twilight sensor. The screen will display speed, battery charge, and remaining range, but, once connected with a smartphone app it will also show GPS data, as well as notify incoming calls and messages. Keys on the handlebars will allow answering calls and, with a dedicated Jet helmet with integrated earphones and Bluetooth intercom, it will be possible to use voice commands to make calls or play music.
Elettrica will be gradually released on the market by the end of October, in Europe, to reach full commercialization in November, coinciding with the Milan Eicma 2018 exhibition, where there it will be on show in the electric pavilion. By early 2019 it will be available also in the United States and in Asia. The price has not been announced yet, but it is expected to be around $7,000.