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Piaggio Launches Hybrid Scooter

Piaggio scooter engine

Italian manufacturer Piaggio, the maker of Vespa, has launched an environmentally friendly hybrid scooter by mechanically and electronically linking a traditional combustion engine with an electric motor.

The new design, which has a working title of HyS (Hybrid Scooter), allows the petrol engine to work as 'normal', but whenever the rider needs to accelerate more aggressively, the electric motor kicks in, providing about 85 per cent extra performance. The grouping of petrol and electric provides significant reductions in fuel consumption and C02 emissions.

In this dual drive-by-wire type system, a sophisticated electronic management system interprets the rider's request for more power, and selects the level of assistance based on the current level of battery charge. During deceleration, the battery is then recharged, which can also be achieved via a regular electricity source, taking about three hours.

As well as the hybrid set up, riders can also toggle between two other modes on a HyS scooter: electric and petrol. In electric, the combustion engine is completely shut down, and allows a range of up to 20km.

"Scooters already enjoy a low environmental impact and soon owners will be able to further reduce their footprint on the earth," said Piaggio's Brand Manager Simon Gloyne. "Our studies have revealed that potential owners want to do the right thing, but are reluctant about electric-only scooters due to their limited range and inability to take on fresh energy at the drop of a hat. The HyS models will enable owners to have their environmental cake and eat it too."

Piaggio has already produced prototypes of the HyS, based on the Vespa LX and Piaggio X8 and three-wheeled MP3 scooter families. The HyS versions are visually identical to the standard scooters, with the batteries housed in the underseat storage space. There is a battery charge indicator on the respective dashboards.

Piaggio Australia is planning to introduce these new models, although a release date for the revolutionary HyS scooter is yet to be determined.

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