Electric Cars

Vespa's Elettrica electric scooter might be perfect city transportation

The electric scooter won't be cheap but it should be fun and efficient, perfect for city living.

Aside from the bright blue highlights and the lack of the buzzing engine that gave the Vespa its name, the Elettrica seems like any other scooter, and that's a good thing.

Piaggio

Electric cars are, by now, a pretty common sight on most roads. Electric motorcycles, and by extension scooters, are less common, but that could soon change thanks to the Vespa Elettrica.

The Elettrica was announced way back in 2016, but it's finally ready to go on sale in Piaggio's native Europe, with plans to bring it to the US and China in early 2019, the company announced Monday. The cost for ditching the cute gasoline engine is kind of high at around $7,300 -- a little less than twice the price of a similarly performing Vespa Primavera 50.

What do you get for your hard-earned scooter dollars? A 5-ish-horsepower motor with a battery pack that should deliver around 62 miles of range with a full charge. How long will it take to get that charge? Just 4 hours from a standard wall outlet. The Elettrica also gets a fancy full-color TFT display for the rider to ogle.

The Elettrica's 62-mile range sounds good but when you consider that a 50cc Vespa will offer a range roughly three times that thanks to a somewhat mind-boggling 90 miles-per-gallon fuel economy rating, it's less impressive. Piaggio has talked about adding a small engine to the Elettrica, making it a hybrid with a further 124 miles of range, but details on that are slim.

What the Elettrica gives back for its price is sweet, sweet electric torque. As you might imagine, a 50cc gasoline engine doesn't produce a prodigious amount of twisting force at any rpm level, so acceleration isn't necessarily a strong suit. The Elettrica's electric motor should make it ideal for zipping away from stoplights and dodging traffic while looking amazing.