Piaggio MP3 Hybrid Scooter Launched In Europe

Tony O'Kane | Jul 8, 2009

ITALIAN SCOOTER COMPANY Piaggio has taken launched the world's first commercially-available plug-in hybrid scooter, the MP3 Hybrid.

Based on the company's innovative three-wheeled large scooter, the MP3, the MP3 Hybrid marries a 2.6kW electric motor and a small lithium-ion battery pack to a conventional 125cc petrol engine.

Able to be plugged into a mains outlet and be fully charged within three hours, the Piaggio MP3 Hybrid can also be used without sparing a single drop of petrol.

A full charge is good for 20km of travel, which should be more than adequate for the average scooter-riding commuter. Unfortunately, top speed under electric-only power is limited to 30km/h - not an issue in the peak-hour grind, but not exactly convenient on clear roads either.

piaggio_mp3-hybrid_01

When used in conjunction with the petrol engine, Piaggio says the electric drive system gives the MP3 three-wheeler the acceration of a 250cc scooter, and boosts performance and range markedly.

How economical is it? Piaggio says if the MP3 is used in hybrid mode 65 percent of the time and electric-only mode for the remaining 35 percent, it should return an astonishing 1.67l/100km on the combined cycle.

The Piaggio MP3 Hybrid is on sale now in Italy for a hefty €9,000 (AU$15,900), however an Australian release has yet to be announced. If it does come here don't count on it being cheap, but steep price or not, we're certain there's bound to be more than a few buyers that'll be enticed by such astounding fuel economy.

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Filed under: hybrid, CO2 solutions, Latest News, Motorbike News, scooter, motorbike, hybrid scooter, News, piaggio, piaggio mp3, piaggio hybrid scooter, piaggio mp3 hybrid

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  • Zaffod says,
    5 years ago
    The NSW team of crooks (RTA/MAA) charge the same to register/3rd party insure, bikes over 99cc as ones up to 299cc, so it makes 125cc a bit redundant around here! Pity
  • Ilsa says,
    2 years ago
    I think you should check your sources before stating its "the world's first commercially-available plug-in hybrid scooter".

    As an Australian expat living in Beijing, China for the past 8 years, I can tell you there are a great many plug-in hybrid scooters for sale.

    In fact the variety is quite staggering, with scooters available in a wide range of sizes and speeds (some have their wattage and motor tricked our and are capable up to 80km per hour - when switched to the electric setting).

    And the buyer also has a choice of the cheaper lead acid battery / petrol hybrid to the more expensive lithium battery /petrol hybrid.

    Prices for hybrids are more expensive than electric only or petrol only, but still very affordable for the average Chinese worker (prices range from one months to several months salary (of a home helper, rubbish recycle worker, small corner store employee etc).

    Electric scooters are very common and very cheap, prices range from AUD$250 (for the cheapest Chinese brand) to AUD$680 for a top of the line Yamaha (which of course is actually also made in China).

    The Japanese brand scooters tend to be very limited in the km/hour (usually around 20km/hour max)but most dealers are able to snip a small cable inside which allows the bikes to run at a top speed of 35 - 40km/hour.

    Hybrid scooters start at approx AUD$300 and go upwards from there depending on how much speed you want and how much battery power you require.

    Most of the electric and electric/petrol scooters allow you to plug your power cord directly to the bike , however some of the larger bikes require the batteries to be removed (the battery packs all come in a plastic casing with a handle) and taken indoors to plug in for charging.

    Personally I find it more effort to drive my bike into my apartment lift and into my house to plug my bike in directly and prefer just to carry my battery pack into my apartment and charge it there.

    Just thought I should clear this up as I was very surprised to read an article from 2009 saying Piaggio has made the first commercially available hybrid scooter... many millions of Chinese and foreigners would beg to differ!!!

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