Electric Vespa, article review
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Molto Verboso
GTS 250
Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 1518
Location: Utah, USA
Tue Dec 25, 2018 10:31 pm quote
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 ..
Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 2027
Location: So Cal
Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:58 am quote
Good to see you again, SD!

Here's a review from Robot (of Vespa Motorsport fame): Vespa Elettrica: Robot's First Test Ride, Review & Impressions
Veni, Vidi, Posti
LX150, GTS300, BV350, EN650
Joined: 26 Jul 2017
Posts: 5194
Location: Home of the Alamo
Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:08 pm quote
Thanks for the translation Salima! I do realize that electric is the way of the future for scooters and eventually, most all personal transportation, and even though I'm not planning on jumping in the pool anytime soon, I'm anxiously awaiting hearing of others' ownership experiences.
2015 GTS 300 Super (Melody)
Joined: 22 Apr 2015
Posts: 2146
Location: Asbury Park, NJ
Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:55 pm quote
The Elettrica wasn't designed with someone like me in mind, but I do believe it's important for Piaggio/Vespa to position itself in terms whatever comes down the pike in terms of alternative propulsion methods (and I think we might be in for a few surprises yet, however far down that pike). And, FWIW, I'm taking one for a spin the moment my dealer gets their mitts on one.
Joined: 08 Jan 2019
Posts: 1
Location: Nashville
Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:49 pm quote
Thanks for the translation. These are shipping in Europe, yes?
Yamaha Tricity 155 2018 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: 21 Jul 2007
Posts: 523
Location: Latina (Italy)
Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:07 am quote
Ciao Sal, hai un PM.
Resident Grump
MAC motor 2WD. 30 Oct 2006
Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 15888
Location: MN
Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:40 pm quote
Any data on the batteries used? Pack voltage? Pictures of pack and location!

Joined: 16 May 2011
Posts: 368
Location: Austin on IH35
Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:19 pm quote
tomjasz wrote:
Any data on the batteries used? Pack voltage? Pictures of pack and location!

Li 4.2 kWh; 48.1 V; 86.4 Ah

There is also a regular 12V scooter battery in the normal vespa floorboard location.

We are assuming at this point it powers everything on the key side of the main contactor. If it goes dead, there is a backup way to boot up the scoot from the main batt. Looks like you manually push the contactor under the seat.

looks exactly like a regular primavera frame. layout is very Vespa. The "gas tank" is now the charger, the swingarm has the motor and a final drive just like the gas burners. floor and front trunk is the main battery. battery on top of motor controller (invertor)

The EU parts catalog is up, so here are some quick pics of the good stuff. We'll post the USA one once it goes live. EU shows a 220V 1500W charger

EVs are really simple...motor controller (one with all the connectors), motor, big dense battery, and a charger.

The maintenance chart is the best. Change final drive oil at 600 miles (no 2nd oil change noted), and brake fluid every 2 years. The rest is just inspections, and lubing the center stand pivot.







Resident Grump
MAC motor 2WD. 30 Oct 2006
Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 15888
Location: MN
Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:01 am quote
Thanks! Since the battery will be an expensive replacement, it's nice to see what's inside! Which cells are used? 18650 or the newer 21700? So that's a 48V nominal?

I imagine most could care less, but as a battery builder with spot welders and associated tools, I'd really like to learn more. I also test, repair, and sell batteries for a well known eBike kit source.

I REALLY want an electric Vespa. PERFECT, and perfectly suited to my use and lifestyle.

I'm getting too old to wait... (almost true)
Yamaha Tricity 155 2018 - MV Agusta 125 RS 1956
Joined: 21 Jul 2007
Posts: 523
Location: Latina (Italy)
Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:00 pm quote
I hope it does not end like the 2010 year Piaggio MP3 300 Hybrid:


To date, many of this model remain unsold in the deposits of Piaggio dealers in Italy; the problem is the absence of an ecological culture that justifies first the purchase and then the use ...
Perhaps in the big cities of the U.S.A. (but also in some cities of Italy) with a policy of incentives that bans some areas (ZTL) to the most polluting vehicles, one day they will sell more.
Then the price of electric vehicles is still very high, immediately those who buy think of the advantages it can have in a short time; it's sad but it's the truth.
I believe it, i must believe that we can have a better quality of life but the reality is that the efforts of the few do not compensate as quickly as they should, the results. Sorry for my pessimism.
Nothing detracts from the goodness of the product (electric Vespa) which remains a good example of technique, as always.
PS: I hope not to write too bad English ...
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