Piaggio scooters, while very popular in Europe, have yet to really catch on in the US. Their new “1” electric scooter lands on European shores this fall, and with any luck, will come to the US, too.
The Piaggio website doesn’t give us much hope there. But the company is obviously (maybe too obviously?) marketing to a very young crowd. “GREEN,” it boasts, “to make the world a better place. Because you’re young, but you weren’t born yesterday!” The whole thing comes across as a bit twee. Maybe it’ll work.
Two flavors of the same scooter, the 1, and 1 Activ, differ only in their available hp, top speed and range (1.6hp / 27mph / 34 mile range, and 2.6hp / 37mph / a little over 40 mile range, respectively). The “Activ” is a bit pricier, at $4,100, while the 1 is around $3,400, equivalent USD. Otherwise, the scoots are the same.
They could sure fill some needs on a lot of college campuses. City dwellers, too, might find interest in these little guys. Even with the “Activ” range numbers, this is not your long-distance touring electric bike by any means. But those specs mean it will sneak under licensing laws in a lot of places.
That means that, in those places, anyone who can ride a bicycle can legally ride one of these, pop it up on a sidewalk and throw a chain around it. The scooter has a removable battery which you can pull out and plug into a wall (“just like your smartphone!” says the website).
Not only can you yank the battery to charge it at your destination, “removable” means “replaceable.” That means you can buy more than one, and with a little forethought, carry extra capacity with you.
As with all things electric, the technology is always improving and the prices are coming down. The more electric motorcycles and scooters sell, the more the prices will come down.