The Piaggio Group has just announced today the beginning of sales of the Vespa Elettrica electric scooter.
The Vespa Elettrica is the first electric version of the iconic Vespa scooter. It marks the company’s initial foray into the EV industry.
Vespa Elettrica sales begin in Europe
The Vespa Elettrica began production last month after nearly two years of teasers and incremental announcements from Piaggio.
For now, the Vespa Elettrica is only available for pre-order on a dedicated site by customers in Eurozone countries. The Eurozone includes the 19 countries among the 28-member EU that use the Euro as their currency.
Piaggio has announced that the price of the Vespa Elettrica will be set at €6,390 (approximately $7,360).
The company also announced its first financing option. Financing will be available exclusively for the Vespa Elettrica until it is rolled out for all Vespa models next year. According to the company:
“The Vespa Elettrica is available in the main Eurozone countries at a price of €6,390 or, alternatively, through a new purchasing solution based on €99 easy monthly payments. With the addition of a small down payment, the monthly installment also includes Vespa Care, a package providing planned vehicle services maintenance (36 months or 10,000 km), a 12-month warranty extension, a regular battery check and road assistance enhanced with special services.”
While Europeans will be the first to get their hands on the Vespa Elettrica, that exclusivity won’t last long. Piaggio is already planning to release the Vespa Elettrica in the US and Asia early next year:
“Wide-scale marketing of the Vespa Elettrica through the Piaggio dealer network will commence in November to coincide with the EICMA 2018 motorcycle show in Milan. Sales will begin in Europe, to then be extended to the USA and Asia at the start of 2019.”
Vespa Elettrica technical details
The Vespa Elettrica will have similar performance to a standard 50cc scooter. The elettrica will feature a brushless DC motor rated for 2 kW (2.7 hp) continuous and 4 kW (5.4 hp) peak power. The motor should be plenty peppy, with a torque rating of over 200 Nm (148 ft-lbs).
The lithium battery is designed to last 100 km (62 mi) and can be recharged in 4 hours. It should also last for 1,000 charge cycles, which the company says will translate to around 50,000-70,000 km (31,000-43,000 mi) of real world riding, or around 10 years for most riders.
Piaggio has consistently avoided releasing any details on the vehicle’s top speed. The company has only indicated that there will be a slower “Eco” mode that limits speed to 30 km/h (19 mph). Many 50cc-class scooters have top speeds in the 30-40 mph range (48-64 km/h) range. Thus, the Vespa Elettrica’s true top speed might fall within this range.
This day has been a long time coming. Electric scooters are already a thing, especially in Europe. Not only are they commonly used by consumers, but a number of scooter sharing services such as Coup already offer rental electric scooters across Europe. It was overdue for Piaggio to get into the electric scooter game.
We also knew that the Vespa Elettrica would never be cheap. When Piaggio announced the beginning of production, they hinted that the price would be near the top end of the Vespa scooter range. With the announcement of the €6,390 price today, they have made good on that promise. The Vespa Elettrica is one of the most expensive Vespa models available.
I imagine that the price is going to be tough to swallow for many Europeans, especially considering that there are so many other options for affordable electric scooters. Niu, the largest electric scooter company in China, recently released a line of electric scooters specifically designed for Europe. Niu’s scooters range in price from €2,299-€4,499. Other electric scooters in Europe are available for under €2,000. Considering that the specs of some of these electric scooters overlap with many of those found in the Vespa Elettrica, many consumers could find it hard to justify the pricier Vespa.
I will definitely be excited to see the Vespa Elettrica come to the US next year. With limited local options, it would be a nice addition to the US market. However, I think the price could be even more of a sticking point stateside.
We are already seeing growing adoption rates of electric scooters in the US. But scooters in general are still an oddity for many Americans who haven’t yet realized that one doesn’t always need a 3,000 lb vehicle to go buy a dozen eggs.
What do you think of the Vespa Elettrica? Let us know in the comments below.