Vespa has announced the arrival of is latest Vespa, the Elettrica model. Vespa has consistently produced a steady stream of these commuter scooters that so many are pleased to use as their work vehicle of choice. Although the scooter has been the object of joking and a bit of ridicule, it’s a serious machine that makes transportation to and from work a pleasure and a massive relief on the pocketbook.
An impressive history
The Italian company delivered their very first Vespa in 1946. The model was the Vespa 98. It was their introductory commuter scooter and it resulted in the start of a new tradition for commuters. The company was the creation of Renzo Spolti and Vittorio Casini. Together, they designed the first uni-body machine and seventy two years after the fact, they are commonly seen in all of the major cities throughout the world. There is no mistaking a Vespa because of their unique aesthetic and to dispel the rational for the ribbing and jokes, Vespa riders make no pretense of being hard core bikers. They’re saving money at the gas pump. The scooters are incredibly easy to operate and there isn’t a huge learning curve involved in mastering the controls.
The 2019 Vespa Elettrica
The new Vespa Elettrica for 2019 bears the same iconic DNA as the scooters that came before. This is inescapable and it’s unthinkable that the brand would depart from the easily recognizable aesthetic that makes a Vespa a Vespa. While the core remains unchanged, the latest edition features an all electric power source, making it an extremely eco-friendly mode of transportation. Vespa owns bragging rights for being the first to go with this type of power plant as it enters the electric transportation market that is new for the brand. You can still find the scooters with fuel boosted engines which generate 23.5 horsepower, but we’re referring strictly to the 2019 Elettrica. Which is worthy of a closer look and inspection.
The new electric motor for the Vespa Elettrica is an in-house creation. It’s a 3.5 kW engine with a 4kW peak with a brushless motor that cranks 147 lb ft of torque and you can compare this to the Triumph Rocket III if you must. It’s decked out with a two level Kinetic Energy Recovery System which is useful for recharging the batter when you get off the throttle for a bit of coasting. The battery uses a 4.2 kWh lithium ion type battery that should be good for around 60,000 miles and about 1,000 charge cycles before it will begin to show signs that it’s time to replace it. The estimated recharging time from dead to full is approximately four hours on a 220 v circuit, which are European standards and for the 110 v used in the United States charging takes about 8 hours.
The Elettrica falls under the classification of a moped for all intents and purposes and it has a maximum speed of 32 mph. It’s legal to ride this machine in 27 out of the 50 American States without even having a motorcycle endorsement. It features two riding modes which are power mode and Eco mode. The power mode is the one that will get you to the maximum speed. You can expect to achieve a grand total of 49 miles of range on a single charge of the battery when you’re strictly using power mode. If you tone it down and switch to the Eco mode then you’ll achieve a top speed of 19 mph and you can expect to be able to run for 62 miles on a single charge. There is also a reverse mode for when you need to maneuver the scooter around in tight places.
There’s also a small space for carrying a few groceries or personal items under the seat in the small storage bay. This means that if you need to make a quick run to the corner market to pick up a few items for dinner, this handy little commuter is ideal. You can’t carry a full shopping cart full of goods with it, but it’s useful for small scale shopping operations. We can’t forget to mention that the new Elettra comes with a full color TFT display that is made to be user friendly and easy to read. A graph bar shows your battery regeneration stats and you can even read it easily in sunlight.
Pricing and availability
The 2019 Vespa Elettrica is available for purchase in the United States for a manufacturer’s suggested retail selling price of just $7499. The Italian brand that has become iconic is not cheap for what it delivers, neither is it ridiculously priced out of range. Depending on the state that you live in, you may not even need to get an endorsement or special insurance for the bike so Vespa is offering a more affordable ride that is easy on the environment.