Vespa Elettrica – An Italian Icon Goes Electric


The Vespa Elettrica marks the Italian icons first step into the world of electric mobility. We had a change to test drive the new scooter for a week on the city streets of Oslo, Norway.

The long-awaited electric version of the world’s most famous scooter is finally here. Say hello to the Vespa Elettrica. The new scooter was released to the market earlier this year and marks Vespa’s first step into the world of electric mobility. Some will say the Vespa was late to the market, with competitors like the Govecs Goi offering an electrical scooter since the early 2010’s. However there is a good reason for Vespa’s strategy. They have been patiently waiting for battery technology to advance so that they could meet expectations in both price and battery life.

The scooter is produced at the Pontedera plant in the province of Pisa, the same one where Vespa first rolled off the line in the spring of 1946. Today the plant is one of the world’s technological leaders in terms of design, development and production of advanced mobility solutions. The two pictures below show how the factory has evolved from the early 1950s to this day.

The Vespa production line at Pontedera, Italy
Production line at Pontedera, Italy (early 1950s) Photo: Vespa
The Vespa Elettrica production line at Pontedera, Italy
The new production line at Pontedera, Italy Photo: Vespa

You’ll get quite a distance before recharging

Whenever you hear about an electrical vehicle, whether it be a car or a scooter, your first concern is usually the battery length. How far can I drive before I need to recharge?

The Vespa Elettrica’s lithium ion battery delivers a maximum range of 100 km fully charged. This is a value that does not change significantly on a rural route, thanks to the modern battery technology. The new efficient Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), also helps as it charges the Vespa Elettrica in the deceleration phases.

The Vespa Elettrica need 4 hours for a full charge. Photo: Vespa

The driving length of 100 km ensures that you can both use it to and from destinations in urban areas but also take it for an adventure outside the city. Charging operations is also very easy. You simply extract the cable from the seat compartment, where the fuel cap is usually located, and plug in to a normal wall outlet or a public charge station. The standard time required for a full charge is 4 hours (with voltage of 220 V).

Vespa Elettrica is the most modern icon of Italian technology, it is synonymous with advanced connectivity and silent operationcustomisation and accessibility, respect for the environment and unique style. – Piaggio Group

Henrik Birkeland riding the new Vespa Elettrica
The Vespa Elettrica is a makes for a stylish ride. Photo: Emel Yildirim

The Vespa Elettrica is packed with modern features

The Vespa Elettrica not only features modern internal parts, the exterior also feels new and fresh. The 4.3 inch colour TFT digital dashboard provides riding parameters and offers journey statistics designed to help improve riding style. The large display is of a perfect size and the brightness of the screen ensures visibility even in direct sunlight.

The dashboard of the new Vespa Elettrica.
The Vespa Elettrica features a big display giving it a modern look and feel. Photo: Henrik Birkeland

A cool feature is the connection of your mobile phone to the display through the Vespa Mia system. Once you have the Vespa app downloaded on your phone, you simply connect it to the Vespa Elettrica and the display will turn into an extension of you phone screen. This enables you to answer calls, view message notifications, activate voice commands and even manage music choices. The app also saves that the parameters and last position of the vehicle.

Henrik Birkeland leans on the new Vespa Elettrica.
The Vespa Elettrica is the perfect green alternative to get around town. Photo: Emel Yildirim
Henrik Birkeland with the new Vespa Elettrica.
Let’s go for a ride. Photo: Emel Yildirim

After driving the Vespa Elettrica around Oslo for a week we learned to love the elegant ride. It packs enough battery capacity to get you wherever you need to go within and around the city. The electrical scooter is very easy to steer and the absence of engine sound make for an enjoyable and peaceful ride.

The starting price of 6 390 euro is significantly more expensive than some of the non-electrical offerings from Vespa, but if you take gas prices into the calculation it’s not such a bad deal. It is also a pretty good deal for the environment.

To read more about the Vespa Elettrica, visit the official website.

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