Monday, March 09, 2009

Piaggio Confirms Plug-In Hybrid for 2010

The FOX Car Report snagged an interview with Paolo Timoni where he confirmed that Piaggio plans to next year sell a plug-in hybrid based on the MP3.
According to Piaggio, the three-wheel scooter will travel several miles on battery power alone, and get up to 141 miles per gallon overall, which would make it one of the most fuel efficient vehicles ever made. Timoni misspoke during the interview when he said it would go 40 miles on battery alone, a Piaggio spokesperson saying that final specifications won't be known until the scooter is officially homologated for sale. Previous statements from the company regarding the European version have pointed toward an all-ele[c]tric range of about 12 miles.

The parallel hybrid design combines a 125cc engine and an electric motor in a similar way to the powertrain in the Toyota Prius, and should be capable of accelerating the scooter from 0-60 mph in about 5 seconds. It can be charged from a standard 110 volt electrical outlet, and uses a combination of regenerative braking and several adjustable hybrid modes to charge the battery on the move, balancing performance and efficiency to the tastes of the rider.

Watch the video interview and imagine what Timoni is thinking about fielding all of these rudimentary questions. It's as if scooters were entirely new and not sold int his country for 50+ years... ;-)

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