For the record, I’m not a scooter guy – never have been, never will be. I think scooters are for college girls who can’t afford a Jetta. I am also not a trike guy either. I think trikes are a saving grace for the disabled who otherwise wouldn’t be able to enjoy riding but are ridiculous for those who are competent and able. It’s like leaving the training wheels on your two-wheeler as an adult. So why then am I writing a blog about a scooter trike? Well, I’m glad you asked!
Despite the fact that it has one to many wheels, the riders knees touch while riding and it is underpowered, I still can’t help but be impressed by recent concepts of vehicles that promise to skyrocket fuel efficiency into orbits we previously thought were non-existent. Because aside from my love of power and greed for speed, I also love breathing clean air.
Italian scooter manufacturer Piaggio, mainly known for its legendary Vespa series, has said it will be rolling out a hybrid version of its three-wheeled MP3 scooter, which promises gas efficiency as high as….wait for it, 141 mpg! To put that number into perspective, someone could do my daily commute (not me, but someone) to work and home again using less than a gallon of fuel. Fabulous!
The new MP3 Hybrid, which was unveiled at EICMA 2008 in Milan, Italy, promised to be commercially available within a year and become the world’s first mass-produced plug-in electric hybrid “motorcycle.” The three-wheeled scooter combines a 125 cc gasoline engine combined with an electrical motor. The concept is similar to that of the upcoming 2010 Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid. Piaggio representatives say that the scooter will be able to do zero-60 mph in about five seconds.
The four-stroke gasoline engine of the hybrid runs at an almost constant speed and will aid in lowering emissions and achieving an improved fuel economy. The hybrid system is also capable of traveling about 12.5 miles on nothing but electric power. Do I want one? No. Would I ride one? No. I do however think that there is a real consumer market and metropolitan need for this kind of vehicle. I think everyone else should buy one so that I don’t have to.