Piaggio Introduces MP3 Plug-In Hybrid Scooter
By EV Worldwire
60 km per liter in hybrid mode. 40 grams of CO2 per kilometer. 20 km electric-first mode.
That's the real bottom line of Piaggio's new MP3 Hybrid motor scooter.
Based on the three-wheeled Piaggio MP3 scooter, the Hybrid model is powered by a 124cc gasoline motor and an 2.6kW electric motor, providing a combination of 11kW of propulsion power. The vehicle utilizes regenerative braking and lithium ion batteries. It can operate in four different driving modes, two hybrid and two electric, including reverse.
Hybrid Power mode optimizes vehicle. performance. Zero-to-60 acceleration is 5 seconds, comparable to a 250cc gasoline engine version. In Hybrid Charge mode the IC engine can recharge the battery while the vehicle is in motion. The battery also can be topped off using the grid with charge time being 3 hours on 220 Volts. The 12-liter fuel tank will give the scooter a driving range of 720 km (447 mi.), including a 1.8 liter reserve. U.S. fuel economy in hybrid mode is up to 141 mpg.
In Electric mode the IC engine is turned off and the vehicle operates on its electric motor only with a top speed of 30 km/hr. The vehicle uses its electric motor to provide reverse, allowing for easier parking. Electric-first range is 12 miles.
There is no data on the size of the battery, but explanatory video on the company's dedicated Piaggio MP3 web site would suggest that it isn't large enough to qualify for U.S. tax incentives under the American Restoration and Reinvestment Act 2009, which requires a minimum battery capacity of 2.5 kWh.
When the vehicle will be sold in North America is open to speculation at the moment with some reports suggesting as early as the first quarter of 2010. Pricing is also subject to speculation ranging from $7000US to $14,000US.
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