Hybrid Scooter Coming to the U.S. in 2010

By dancurranjr On March 22nd, 2009

hybrid_piaggio_scooter-thumbPiaggio Group, Americas maker of the Piaggio and the Vespa brands of motor scooters are planning to sell a plug-in hybrid version of one its scooters in the U.S. by early 2010.  If the hybrid scooter makes its projection date it will be the first plug-in hybrid vehicle to be sold in the U.S., beating GM’s Volt by a number of months.

Piaggio is going through the certification process for the scooter with the National Highway and Transportation Safety Association.  The scooter will be going on sale in Europe later this year.

The three wheel scooter will travel up to 40 miles on electricity only.  It will get up to 141 miles per gallon overall making it the most fuel efficient vehicle ever made.

The scooter is a parallel hybrid which combines a 125cc engine and an electric motor similar to the power train of the Toyota Prius.  Don’t let the word hybrid make you think this is a weak scooter.  It will be able to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5 seconds.  There will be three separate hybrid modes to choose from, including a performance mode that can “boost performance” by an impressive 85 percent.  It can be charged from a standard 110 volt electric outlet.  The scooter will use regenerative braking to charge the battery on the move.

The hybrid scooter will have one wheel in the back and two in the front that tilt when it turns.  The three wheel design gives additional stability while on the move and the scooter can stand up without a kickstand when stopped.

The hybrid scooter should be in the $8,000 to $9,000 price range.

SOURCE: Beyond Fossil Fuel

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