Vespa has announced that the electric scooter it unveiled at EICMA last year is finally set to go into production next month.
Produced in the same Pontedera plant that issued the very first Vespa back in 1946, the Vespa Elettrica claims performance on par with a 50cc scooter and a range of roughly 60 miles on a full four-hour charge. No prices have been announced just yet, but folks who are interested will be able to reserve the scooters online from early October.
“The price will be in line with the high-end bracket of the Vespa range presently being marketed,” claims a media release.
It’s tricky to guess what that means exactly, but Vespa’s most expensive model, the 300cc Sei Giorni, will set you back £5,499. Whereas a 50cc Chinese scooter from Direct Bikes comes in at £799. One can’t help but feel a pang of cynicism when considering the Elettrica’s chances of success.
Nonetheless, the electric scooters are set to arrive at dealerships in early 2019, with Europe getting the first batch – followed by the United States and Asia.
“Vespa Elettrica is but a first step for the Piaggio Group in the direction of a new richness of interconnection between vehicles and human operators,” says a press release that appears to have simply been run through Google Translate. “Vespa Elettrica will be ready to be fitted out in the near future with solutions currently being developed for Gita, the robot currently on the drawing board at Piaggio Fast Forward in Boston, such as artificial intelligence systems both adaptive and responsive to all human input.”
Seriously, man. Piaggio media releases are almost always like this. Wading deeper into the word swamp, it appears Vespa is eager to add various high-end rider aids to its scooter range, as well as adding some features that seem equal parts creepy and doomed to fail.
“These new generation vehicles will thoroughly know their operators: they will recognize them without key fobs,” says the press release.
Cue HAL 9000 reference.