Vespa's electric scooter has long been slated to start shipping this year, and now the timeline is a little clearer on when you might be able to get your hands on a Vespa Elettrica. Production will start next month, and Vespa will open up online sales to Europeans in October. Those in the US and Asia will be able to buy the scooter starting early 2019. Parent company Piaggio Group hasn't announced pricing yet, but says the Elettrica will be in line with Vespa's current high-end models.
The Elettrica has a maximum range of 100 km (62 miles) with stronger performance than a standard 50cc scooter. It will take you four hours to charge the battery, which will last up to a thousand charge cycles (or around 10 years) before capacity drops to about 80 percent. There's no word on the top speed yet, though an Eco driving mode limits speed to 30 km/h (19 mph) to preserve battery life. The Elettrica is silent, and has some AI features, including nearby pedestrian and vehicle detection, along with suggesting alternative routes when traffic is bad.
Piaggio also plans to release a hybrid Elettrica X, with a maximum range of 200 km (124 miles). It will have a smaller battery pack than in the standard Elettrica, with a 50-km range, and a gas-powered generator will make up the difference. The generator will take over when the battery charge dips below a particular level, or if the rider manually switches, so the Elettrica X can still be used as an electric vehicle for shorter rides.