Piaggio showcases new 70kph Vespa Elettrica scooter at EICMA

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 05 Nov 2019


Piaggio today revealed the Vespa Elettrica at the EICMA Show in Milan in its new 70kph avatar, which will be sold alongside the original 45kph version and developed mainly for urban use. Piaggio says the heightened performance offered by the Vespa Elettrica 70kph (homologated as a motorcycle) is the result of optimising of the power unit and lithium ion battery and all its components.

The battery retains the size and weight of the original version, but has been modified to deliver a higher continuous power output; improvements to the electric motor's control software have helped. These developments have made it possible to lengthen the final transmission ratio, providing a number of advantages: a higher speed, with the same performance in terms of acceleration and standing start, and also quieter operation, with a lower rpm at the same speed.

The increased performance does not affect the acceleration while the Vespa Eletrrica's range remains almost unchanged up to 100km. In Eco mode, with speed limited to 45kph, Vespa Elettrica 70kph has the maximum range of up to 100km, while in Power mode it is possible to cover up to 70km. Increasing the final drive ratio has allowed for a quieter ride as, speed being equal, the engine runs with lower rpm.

To differentiate it from the original 45kph version, the new Vespa Elettrica 70kph has specific style details, like the front shock absorber spring painted red, as also decals on the cover of the Power Unit and the 'Elettrica' plate.

Peak power of 4 kW
The heart of the Vespa Elettrica is a Power Unit capable of delivering continuous power of 3.6 kW and peak power of 4 kW. This, combined with a torque of over 200 Nm, provides superior performance to a traditional 50cc scooter, especially in terms of acceleration and uphill power which benefits from the typical strong delivery of electric motors.

The maximum range of up to 100km is due to a modern lithium ion battery and an efficient Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), which charges it in the deceleration phases. The standard time required for a full charge is 4 hours (with voltage of 220 V).

The motor and battery pack are completely maintenance-free. The battery provides excellent efficiency for up to 1000 full charging cycles, says Piaggio. This translates into a range of between 50,000 and 70,000km, equivalent to approximately 10 years of operation for a vehicle intended for urban commuting. Even after the thousand charging cycles, the battery still maintains 80% of its capacity. Located under the helmet compartment, the compact battery pack does not compromise the functionality of the Vespa Elettrica seat compartment, which can hold a Jet helmet.

The Ride by Wire electronic accelerator controls the power output of Vespa Elettrica’s motor. By pressing the MAP button on the right-hand side of the handlebar, the rider can choose between two modes: ECO and Power, in addition to Reverse mode for easier handling of Vespa Elettrica while manoeuvring. 

Connected on the go
Vespa Elettrica 70kph is high on connectivity. A new version of the Vespa Multimedia Platform, the multimedia system that connects a smartphone to the vehicle, can be managed through a man-machine interface incorporating a digital instrument panel with a 4.3-inch colour TFT display, which is easy to read due to the twilight sensor that adapts the background and colour of the characters to the light conditions (day/night mode) and the four adjustable brightness levels.

The extensive information displayed is arranged in a rational graphic diagram. The centre of the screen always contains the main information such as speed, selected riding modes, residual range in km and battery charge level (%), while the ecological riding quality and the level of energy used or recovered during the ride are indicated on either side. Using the dedicated Vespa App on a smartphone and connecting it to the vehicle - via Bluetooth - lets the rider take full advantage of the capabilities of the TFT display on which all notifications of incoming calls and messages appear, highly visible in the centre.

The system also allows use of the handlebar buttons to answer calls and to use the smartphone's voice commands to make calls or play music from the personal playlist.

The dedicated Vespa App, once connected to Vespa Elettrica, transforms into a source of parameters in real time, as well as other useful information on vehicle use, including trip time and distance, battery charge use percentage, statistics on the last 30 trips, push notifications on the battery charge status, number of recharge cycles carried out and much more. 

Customisable to rider tastes
Vespa Elettrica has an exclusive dedicated livery of a special grey finish, around which the customer can choose to tailor many distinctive details. The profile that runs along the entire perimeter of the shield, the 'neck tie' decoration, the edge of the wheel rims, the profile of the 'Elettrica' nameplate and the seat trim are available in six colour variants: Azzurro Electrical (standard on Vespa Elettrica), Verde Boreale, Giallo Lampo, Cromo, Nero Profondo and Grigio Fumo.

Plus, a special Jet helmet is available exclusively for Vespa Elettrica that matches the vehicle livery and finishes, all in the colour chosen by the customer. This helmet stands out not only for style but also technological content, with built-in Bluetooth earphones for use of a smartphone and listening  to music through the VESPA MIA system.

The Vespa Elettrica's front headlight and rear light cluster use LED technology. The electric scooter adopts generous 12-inch front and 11-inch rear aluminium alloy rims. The seat is made of a material capable of providing maximum comfort for rider and passenger, as well as good ergonomics. The remote control key has a built-in Bike Finder feature (flashes the turn indicators) and a seat compartment opening function, while the inside of the compartment in the leg shield back plate contains a USB socket for charging smartphones or other mobile devices.

As with every Vespa, Vespa Elettrica can also be customised and made into a unique piece, with a rich range of accessories.