Design Knowledge Intermediary
Vespa's first electric scooter will hit the streets in 2018
The Piaggio Group, the parent company behind the iconic motor scooter brand, just announced at the Milan Motorcycle Show that Vespa will produce its first all-electric model in 2018. The Electtrica first debuted as a concept vehicle at last year's show, but now, as more automakers embrace electrification and release all-electric and hybrid vehicles, the company will actually put the scooter on roads IRL.
The EV doesn't look much different from Vespa's other offerings — it's got the same design profile as the gas-powered Primavera, with a space-age chrome-and-blue color scheme in promo images (seven other color variations will also be produced).
The difference lies in what the Electtrica runs on: A "Power Unit" capable of delivering 4 kW of juice at peak power that the company claims will offer performance that bests traditional 50cc scooters, especially when it comes to acceleration.
The Electtrica won't require any specialized charging infrastructure, though, which could make up for the limited range. Piaggio says that owners will instead be able to fill up their rides completely by plugging the seat compartment cable into a standard wall-mounted electrical outlet for an estimated four hours.
The new scooter will be Vespa's first all-electric option, but the Electtrica won't be the first e-scooter in the world. Rivals like Gogoro, a brand that launched out of stealth at CES in 2015, are already zipping around city streets, so Piaggio has some catching up to do.