Two new hybrid scooters have been introduced for testing by Piaggio, the LX 50 HyS based on the Vespa LX 50 and the more powerful Piaggio X8 HyS based on the Piaggio X8 125. The Vespa version has a 50cc gas & 1000W electric motor while the Piaggio has a 125cc gas & 2500W electric motor. The combination is said to provide 25% more power while reducing fuel consumption by 20% by providing an assist during startup and acceleration.
The batteries recharge both from the gasoline engine during normal operation or from a European 220 volt outlet. The plug in charge takes about 3 hours. The normal storage space is used for batteries which requires an extra top box on the Vespa to make up for it while the Piaggio still has room for one helmet. The scooters can run in a low speed all electric mode as well.
Taking the already high mileage of a scooter and adding hybrid capabilities should really stretch the range, however, I wonder whether this will catch on. No mention is made of the price premium for the hybrid option and gas savings on a scooter are unlikely to recover the extra dollars spent for a very long time. Interesting.