On Sunday 12/23, the Italian newspaper Il Messaggero carried on its website the following article-review on the Electric Vespa. I am posting an English translation after the link, for those interested.
The Electric Vespa: a shock to city traffic. Riding the battery-powered version: bright and eco-friendly
MILAN - The first time you turn the key to take off, itís is a little disappointing. You miss the sound of the muffler. That noisy throttle response to which Vespa has always accustomed us. So you ask yourself, is it a real Vespa? The answer comes a few moments later in via dell'Orso when it comes to passing a taxi. The electric Vespa goes. It is silent, but snaps, is agile and drives like a Vespa. As first version of its zero-emission scooter, Piaggio chose the body of the Primavera. Small, compact, recognizable as an icon of the Pontedera brand.
Yes, because with its first Vespa Elettrica, Piaggio opens a door which, it is easy to imagine, will widen more and more. Roberto Colaninno, the owner of Piaggio, showed up Eicma, the international cycle and motorcycle show, knowing well that his company, once again, dictates the line, representing the state of the art of technological innovation. "Electric Vespa - he says - does not pollute and allows people to move freely. If we continue to pollute, soon we will not be able go about, not even on foot. Last week I was in India, in New Delhi. The pollution was so oppressive that one could not even breathe." Thus, Piaggio is marrying electric mobility. It is certainly not by chance that Vespa Elettrica has put the best of its technology on the field. One hundred kilometers with a one battery charge, the certainty of always having the energy available for typical city use. An outcome obtained firstly by its quality. If you exclude the cells of the battery block, supplied by LG, all the rest, every single component is the result of research, design and construction made in Pontedera.
The body is constructed only in metal, premium finishes, capacious under-seat compartment, identical to that of Vespa Primavera. In order to preserve this feature, a compartment capable of housing a helmet, it was necessary to mount an 11-inch circle at the rear, instead of the traditional 12-inch. And it is right there, under that compartment that you play the real game. Just lift the compartment housing to get to the battery block, the soul of this scooter. It is a lithium ion energy container. A solution chosen for its great reliability. In four hours, it is fully recharged if connected to a standard 220 Volt socket. The cable is under the back of the seat and has both an industrial-style connection piece and a reducer that allows, in fact, a connection to a normal household electrical outlet. Another element that has pushed Piaggio towards this solution is the absence of memory in this type of batteries. In practice, the maximum charge can also be obtained with subsequent mini-charges without damaging its capacity. Piaggio technicians have also tested its efficiency for a long time. That is, up to a thousand full refills, the battery pack can guarantee 100% of its efficiency. A thousand recharges are translated, according to Piaggio's experiments, in a variable distance ranging between 50,000 and 70,000 kilometers. A distance that, considering the fact that we are talking about an urban scooter, takes an average of ten years. But, mind you, after this milestone the battery pack is not to be thrown away, it will have only a lower yield, more or less 80% of the maximum.
One must consider, also, the fact that Vespa Elettrica also uses Kers (kinetic energy recovery system), a device, also designed by Piaggio, which allows the recovery of the kinetic energy that powers the battery pack during the deceleration phases. And this system proved to be very useful in downtown Milan. The proof, in fact, has shown that, if you avoid unnecessary tweaks, and make the most of decelerations, the battery charge indicator remains practically still even after several kilometers. But not just with diligent riding. Vespa Elettrica also offers two driving options which can be selected by a small right-thumb button.
If you select Power, you go to the maximum, and Eco engages a speed limiter that does not exceed 30 Km / h. At any rate, when you need to get going, the idea is brilliant: the power available is constantly 3.5 kW that can become 4 kW at the cue. This translates into a torque of 200 Nm. In other words, values much higher than those of a normal engine with a thermal engine. Vespa Elettrica has its own characteristic color, metallic gray. The skirting of the body, however, can be of various colors as well as the relief seams of the seat. Personal touches could also involve the helmet, which one can connect to the display through an app on the smartphone, and match the chosen borders. The price? 6,390 euros ..