Piaggio India showcased its electric scooter, the Vespa Elettrica at the Auto Expo 2020 and the company is planning to launch an e-scooter in the country similar to the Italian model.
EVW understands that the Elettrica is flown down to get attention of visitors and the media, and the first electric scooter for India would be different and one that is tailored to suit local needs. It will carry some of its unmistakable design cues, but the specifications and features would change to make it affordable and suitable for Indian conditions. The Vespa electric scooter is expected to take a couple of years before seeing the light of day and will compete with the Bajaj Chetak, the TVS iQube and the Hero Duet-E.
Piaggio is working on several new technologies for the smartphone-frenzy era, and it remains to be seen how many of these are employed on the Indian models. It has said that it will introduce artificial intelligence systems on its vehicles that adapts and responds to inputs by the rider. The future Vespa scooter will also develop awareness of its surroundings to give riders alerts of potential hazards. It will be able to recognize the rider without a key, and communicate with other devices and vehicles in its environment.
Vespa Elettrica at the Auto Expo 2020
The 2020 Vespa Elettrica has a top speed of 45 km/h in Eco mode and 70 km/h in the Power mode. It is powered by a 4.3 kWh Lithium-ion battery (supplied by LG Chem) & 4 kW/200 Nm brushless DC electric motor that is backed by a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS). The battery takes about 4 hours to charge completely from a 220V outlet. Vespa says the battery holds onto 80% of its capacity even after 1000 full charging cycles, equivalent to 50-70k km usage.
The 130 kg Elettrica comes with a 4.3-inch colour TFT display that runs the Vespa Multimedia Platform, a multimedia system that pairs the user’s smartphone to the vehicle. The display adjusts according to the ambient light conditions (day/night mode) and comes with 4 adjustable brightness levels. The screen gives readouts such as speed, selected riding mode, range and battery charge level. Through pairing the Vespa Smartphone App to the vehicle via Bluetooth, notifications of incoming calls (answered via handlebar buttons) and messages appear on the TFT display besides all of the said information.
The scooter is hoisted on 12-inch front and 11-inch rear wheels with alluminium alloy rims. The remote control key has a bike finder feature (that activates the indicator lamps) as well as releasing the seat remotely to access the storage compartment. The compartment comes with a USB socket to charge devices. The Elettrica is offered in three colours: Azzurro Elettrico, Cromo and Nero Profond.