Today in Italy, Vespa unveiled its new all-electric scooter concept as well as a special edition model to benefit AIDS research. At Milan’s annual motorcycle show, the 70-year-old scooter company lept onto the leading edge of urban transportation with its first-ever all-electric model, the Vespa Elettrica, due to begin production late next year. Meanwhile, Vespa has launched the limited edition Vespa 946 RED model to benefit research and prevention of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in Africa, where millions of people are at-risk of contracting the life-threatening illnesses.
While scooters have long been a viable alternative to cars in urban areas, since they use less fuel and take up less space, all-electric scooters are not yet the standard. The Vespa Elettrica model was developed by the Piaggio Group, parent company to the Vespa brand and a leading maker of electric engines. While few details are known at this time, the preliminary product shots reveal a snappy body with signature Vespa style. The next-gen scooter was unveiled today at EICMA 2016 in Milan, an annual event also known as the Milan Motorcycle Show. Vespa plans to begin production and sales of the all-electric scooter in the late 2017.
In addition to the game-changing Elettrica, Vespa is launching a special edition, all red version of the Vespa 946 to benefit (RED), a nonprofit deboted to research and prevention for AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Since its founding in 2006, (RED) has donated $360 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which has so far benefited 70 million residents across Africa. Proceeds from sales of the special edition Vespa 946 will be contributed to (RED) to further back these life-saving efforts.
Although the 946 is not an all-electric scooter, it is equipped with a highly fuel efficient single-cylinder four-stroke engine, and it also produces less noise and emissions than your average scooter. Together with the launch of the Elettrica, Vespa moves into a sphere of socially conscious scootering that aims to provide sustainable mobility for urban dwellers while making the world a little bit better for other inhabitants of the globe.
Images via Vespa