Vespa Elettrica

The famous Vespa scooter is going electric

Vespa ElettricaVespa has been making scooters since 1946 and is arguably the world’s most famous manufacturer of iconic urban motorcycles. 

Now, it’s taking the retro machine into the 21st century with the launch of a zero-emissions, all-electric scooter called the Vespa Elettrica. 

Boasting a range of 62 miles and better performance than the 50cc petrol-powered alternative, Piaggio, makers of the Vespa scooter, says it’s tailor-made for urban riding. 

Vespa Elettrica

What’s more, with a remarkable torque figure of 147lb ft, it has pulling power the equal of a 125hp Ford Fiesta 1.0-litre Ecoboost, giving “brilliant” response and acceleration away from the line.

When riders slow down, it recharges the battery – Vespa’s calling it an F1-style KERS system, but really it’s just a regular battery-electric regen function.

Because the scooter is so lightweight, it can get away with using a tiny 4.2 kW lithium ion battery. Even using a regular domestic socket, the charge time is four hours: it will be faster still with higher-capacity public chargers. 

Vespa says the battery should remain in peak condition for 1,000 full charging cycles, which equates to around 43,000 miles or 10 years of use. Even then, it will still have 80 percent of its capacity remaining. 

The battery is located beneath the helmet compartment, so the Vespa Elettrica can still swallow a helmet safely when parked up.

Vespa Elettrica X

Vespa Elettrica

That’s not all. If you do need more range, the firm’s revealed a range-extender scooter, called the Vespa Elettrica X.

This combines a tiny petrol-powered generator, a three-litre fuel tank and a smaller battery pack: it will do 31 miles under full electric drive, then another 93 miles with the generator, giving a total range of almost 125 miles.

It’s “ideal for out of town riding,” says Vespa.

Both scooters come with a 4.3-inch TFT colour display, including a multimedia system that connects to smartphones. Vespa’s also developed a smartphone app that riders can use to see incoming calls and messages within the display.

The new Vespa Elettrica scooter range will go in sale in October, initially in Italy, before expanding to Europe. Sales will then expand to North America and Asia from early 2019.

Prices? Still to be confirmed. But don’t expect a retro price tag for this all-electric Vespa scooter…

Motoring Research will use the information you provide on this form to contact you with regular newsletter updates only. Please confirm that you are happy to receive newsletter information from us by the below methods:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at contact@motoringresearch.com. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.