2018 Vespa Eletricca Goes 62 Miles Per Charge, Or 124 With Gas Range Extender


A classic is now electric

There are not many brands with the cache of cool that Vespa effortlessly carries in its fluid lines. This despite the decades that have passed since it was first catapulted to worldwide notoriety in the 1953 flick, Roman Holiday.  While the design has subtly changed over the years, it has always buzzed like its hive of its wasp namesake (yes, vespa means wasp in Italian). Now, a new model, the Vespa Eletricca, has been presented at EICMA (Esposizione Internazionale Ciclo Motociclo e Accessori) that will significantly soften that noise. Optionally, at least. Let us explain.

The 4.3-inch TFT dash display

As you might have guessed, the Vespa Eletricca is battery-powered. It looks identical to the concept unveiled at the 2016 edition of EICMA (that was said to arrive in the latter half of 2017, but then didn’t), and once in stores will keep its “chrome grey finish with metallic reflections,” though with a choice of seven trim colors.

While it certainly look more modern overall, it retains a retro headlight integrated into the handlebar assembly. Even that, though, is reflective of the times as it’s an LED unit. It still looks very Vespa.

Though it sits very solidly in the 50cc class of scooters, parent company Piaggio says it will offer improved acceleration over traditional gas-powered models. The motor puts out 4 kW (5.4 horsepower) at peak and 2 kW (2.7 hp) nominal and, get this, a claimed 147.5 pound-feet of torque. It offers the choice of two different performance maps: Eco and Power. Eco mode offers a chill driving experience limits top speed to a pedestrian 30 kph (18.6 miles per hour), while Power mode unlocks the scoot’s full potential.

The lithium battery, specific capacity unknown, is said to be good for 100 km (62 miles), and recharges from a typical household outlet in four hours. If for some strange reason, 62 miles is not enough, the Eletricca X variant may be to your liking. It comes with a smaller battery that should keep you rolling silently for 30 miles before a gasoline-powered range extender engine kicks in and keeps the party going until you’ve traveled 124 miles. You can also switch the engine on before the battery runs low on juice.

A modern scooter needs up-to-date tech and the Eletricca doesn’t disappoint. It features a dimable 4.3-inch TFT screen in its dash that can display messages from your phone via Bluetooth. Speaking of phones, you can recharge your device via a USB outlet beneath the seat in a compartment big enough to hold a helmet.

Despite last year’s lack of follow through, we do expect this electric Vespa to be available in the US next year. According to Motorcycle.com, those details should be known in a few weeks.


Source: Motorcycle.com, Piaggio

Categories: Bikes

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17 Comments on "2018 Vespa Eletricca Goes 62 Miles Per Charge, Or 124 With Gas Range Extender"

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I was at EICMA today. The info-sheet stated 4.2 kWh.

Interesting. I just double checked the press release and it just says 4 kW peak, 2 nominal.

Maybe it has a little more, then.

Honda PCX now comes in BEV with removable batteries, ditto Hybrid and original ‘gas’ versions.
Vastly superior to Vespa & possibly cheaper.
BUT as yet not available outside Asia- where scooters are the dominant form of personal transport. NOT a piddling 50cc putt-putt!

It’s a PCX, which so far was available in 125 and 150 variants, so I would have hoped Honda will try to match that level of performance. Especially they claim to be using a “high output motor”.

However, on their Japanese site they say the motor output power is 0.98kW, which, even if that was continuous power, would still be very disappointing.


Are you saying the battery storage capacity is 4.2 kWh or the motor rated power is 4.2 kW?

I was referring to the battery capacity.

Please, fix the title.

“Vespa Electricca” has spelling mistakes.

“Electric Vespa” is a half translation of Italian “Vespa Elettrica”.

Thanks, Erwin. Can’t believe I misread/misspelled that all day long. Fixed.

Most of these small scooters are also more limited to inner city travel due to their top speed.

Any mention of how fast this scooter goes?

I think we’ll find out in a couple weeks, but I imagine it will be in the 25-30 mph range, so people can ride without a motorcycle license.

Hoping this model will lead to something a little faster in the future.

If there is a limit, it will be 50km/h (for AM licence). Without a limit, 4kW should be enough for ~70, perhaps 80 as there is no lossy CVT involved.

A gas range extender on a motorcycle?
Geez, just put an extra battery pack in place of the gas engine for greatly reduced complexity, gas, and oil.


Besides that, who rides a 50cc-equivalent scooter for more than 60 miles in a day?

Think Vespa could have saved a lot of money in engineering, inventory, and other costs by not messing with this range-extender business.

A Vespa isn’t intended to be, or ridden in practice, at high speeds, so the bad aerodynamics issues that cause the big highway-speed range problem for electric motorcycles like Zero simply don’t apply.
I simply can’t believe it makes more sense to have a range extended & fuel tank than simply a bigger battery option. Other scooters do this, with the smaller-battery variants of a model simply using the unused (usually under the seat) volume for a storage space.
_Maybe_ the cost delta for a larger battery is larger than for the range extender, but only for upfront price — no way it’s true in TCO terms.

The 62 mile range is probably at the 18 mph speed. At the 30 or so top speed, probably 40 or so. A built in charger would be more useful than a range extender for most people. (I’m thinking commute.)


It’s “Elettrica”, not “Electricca”