The Vespa is one of the most iconic symbols of Italian life, familiar from 1953’s Roman Holiday and a hundred other beloved movies. Never one to be left behind by new trends, the company recently announced an electric version.
The Vespa Elettrica will stay true to the 70-year-old brand’s venerable look, and will have “all the bells and whistles of the classic version but with some significant tech upgrades.” The electric wasp’s motor will deliver continuous power of 2 kW and peak power of 4 kW. Vespa promises that acceleration will be significantly better than other scooters.
Range will be approximately 62 miles, and charging time about 4 hours. An X version, with a small gas engine that doubles the scooter’s range, will also be available.
Manufacturer The Piaggio Group will produce the Vespa Elettrica in Pontedera, Italy. The new scooter is scheduled to hit streets around the world in 2018.
Vespa says the Elettrica will be completely silent, “so drivers can zip around the city without adding to the cacophony of urban noise.” The annoying buzz of hundreds of Vespas has been a defining feature of Italian city streets for decades. Some may be happy to say arrivederci to the noise, but others may feel a twinge of nostalgia as yet another European tradition slips inexorably, like Hepburn and Peck, into the past.