Lambretta’s sleek new electric scooter is sexy, but repeats Vespa’s big mistake

Lambretta's sleek new electric scooter is sexy, but repeats Vespa's big mistake

Lambretta, an icon of retro-inspired scooter design, showed off a stylish electric model at the EICMA 2023 Milan Motorcycle Show. The new model, known as the Lambretta Elettra, mixes vintage vibes with the latest electric vehicle technology.

Lambretta’s name has long invoked a certain style and nostalgia in the scooter world. Originating in Italy in the late 1940s, Lambretta became synonymous with European chic and post-war mobility.

Lambretta scooters were not just a means of transportation but often times a fashion statement among the youth of that era. Over the decades that Lambretta has evolved, the brand has maintained its classic aesthetics. Now, that same design ethos is on full display with the newly unveiled Lambretta Elettra.

I had the chance to see the new model up close at the show, and it’s quite impressive how the company managed to channel its legacy designs into a futuristic offering. The entire rear bodywork even tilts up to allow access to the mechanicals underneath.

lambretta elettra electric scooter

Lambretta also did a great job with the specs, eschewing the trend for slower urban scooters by offering a top speed of up to 110 km/h (68 mph), meaning this would be a highway-capable scooter – even if it spends most of its time in the city.

To achieve that speed, the Lambretta Elettra uses a fairly powerful 11 kW (15 hp) electric motor, giving it powerful acceleration and a higher top speed than many other models on the market.

To supply that power, the scooter uses a fairly large 4.6 kWh lithium battery, though it appears the company has made a similar design move as its rival Vespa in opting for a single non-removable battery.

Most electric scooters have multiple smaller removable batteries that allow riders to charge the batteries remotely from the scooter. But when Vespa first launched its Vespa Elettrica scooter, it used a single non-removable battery. A built-in coiled charging cord allowed owners to charge the scooter as long as they were within reach of an outlet. That works fine in a garage or with street-level charging stations, but not for apartment dwellers who lack a place to charge. As it so happens, those are the majority of urban residents in many European cities.

Lambretta has now followed a similar move to Vespa, outfitting the Lambretta Elettra with a single fixed battery.

Piaggio, the parent company of Vespa, eventually followed normal conventions by releasing the Piaggio ONE electric scooter and its removable batteries several years after the release of the original Vespa Elettrica.

In this case, the 4.6 kWh battery in the Lambretta Elettra is somewhat larger than most removable battery electric scooters, but not by much. My first NIU electric scooter had a 4.2 kWh battery divided into two removable units, allowing me to charge the batteries up in my apartment while the scooter stayed on street level.

Lambretta says it plans to bring its new electric scooter to production, so it looks like the brand’s first model will stick with fixed batteries – at least for now. But it wouldn’t be surprising to see subsequent models follow in Piaggio’s footsteps by eventually incorporating removable batteries.

As for when exactly we’ll be able to ride around on an electric Lambretta or how much the experience will cost us, those details still remains a mystery.

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