I sing the Vespa elettrica *updated
As the United States elected a new president (and most of the rest of the world nervously bites its fingernails), EICMA‘s exhibitors held press conferences Monday and Tuesday. The star of the Piaggio Group show was the Vespa elettrica concept.
If you’re saying to yourself, “gee, that looks like a Primavera with blue trim,” well, it’s a concept. But you can expect to see something like it in the second half of 2017. Germany intends to ban internal combustion engines by 2030, and a lot of places only allow electric vehicles. Chevrolet is building the EPA-rated-238-miles-on-a-charge Bolt in Orion Township, Mich. as I write this. Electric vehicles are coming.
More importantly, range anxiety is becoming a non-issue. A group of journalists recently drove pre-production Bolts down the California coast, on a single charge. In a few years, 200 miles will be routine, and inexpensive.
The elettrica being a concept, no details about it were made available. I would expect the pet cooker to be sacrificed to make room for a battery; if it’s easily removable and has a built-in charger, lengthy recharging time and limited range almost become a non-issue. We shall see.
Also on view is the (VESPA 946) RED (yes, that’s how they want me to write it). You may recall the pic of Bill Gates astride one of these making the rounds of the interwebz awhile back. For every one sold, $150 will be donated to the Global Fund and the fight against AIDS. The 946 actually looks good in red.
Piaggio also announced its continued sales leadership in the European 2-wheeler market. In particular, making Moto Guzzi into a kind of Italian Harley-Davidson has been very successful for them. Aprilia’s Dorsoduro 900 is one of many dual-sport models that are dominating EICMA in 2016.
More to follow as I sift through the press releases. Stay tuned.