Here, at ScootaCo, we are continually on the hunt for good quality and value for money electric bikes. We have trialled several brands but alas have been far from impressed in terms of quality to price. You can imagine how thrilled we were following contact from Piaggio regarding their Electric Bike Project. In typical Piaggio style this bike goes beyond the common notion of a pedal-assisted electric bike with technologically advanced components and a visual appeal second to none. Piaggio’s Multimedia Platform (PMP) enables user/vehicle and vehicle/environment at a level never seen before. The ease of sharing of information is simply amazing. No release date as yet, but we wanted to share with you the future of electric bikes and thankfully we are told the wait is not long.
Following is a press release from Piaggio:
PIAGGIO ELECTRIC BIKE PROJECT: PRESS RELEASE
PIAGGIO INVENTS A NEW WAY TO MEET THE MOST ADVANCED MOBILITY NEEDS. ELECTRIC BIKE PROJECT GOES WELL BEYOND THE CONCEPT OF AN ELECTRIC BICYCLE PROVIDING INNOVATIVE FUNCTIONS AND NEW LEVELS OF INTERACTION BETWEEN CYCLIST, MECHANICAL VEHICLE AND THE ENVIRONMENT
For almost seventy years Piaggio Group has been a worldwide leader in development, production and sales of newer and newer forms of mobility. The search for solutions that combine freedom and the simplicity of travel with quality of life and respect for the environment is a mission that the Piaggio Group has always pursued. Founded on research and technological innovation, the Piaggio Group’s hold on the number one spot has been strengthened over the decades in products which have provide freedom to entire generations and revolutionised the concept of mobility itself several times, creating not only new means of transportation but inventing lifestyles, because mobility is always synonymous with freedom.
The Vespa legend which was born in the post war era, the most agile and lightweight mopeds of the ’60s and ’70s, and then electric, bimodal vehicles and finally hybrid engines – the only one of its kind in the scooter world – are milestones in a cultural and technological leadership that has always characterised Piaggio Group’s vocation for innovation, with the earliest electric vehicle actually dating back to 1975.
Out of this unique heritage of style and technology, today the Piaggio Electric Bike Project is born, a completely new vehicle that meets the most advanced needs and the most modern mobility trends.
Piaggio Electric Bike Project goes beyond the concept of an assisted-pedal bicycle and approaches the market as a vehicle that interprets the most progressive mobility needs at 360 degrees, no longer intended simply as the ability to move about, but also as the presence and sharing of information over the most modern network and interaction forms with your vehicle.
Thanks to PMP (Piaggio Multimedia Platform) technology, Electric Bike Project has an ultra advanced man-mechanical vehicle interface and guarantees constant data sharing with the world, giving you with the opportunity to interact from any location and with any environment in its physical, social and experience dimension.
A Made in Piaggio electric heart
The heart of the Piaggio Electric Bike is a 250W-350W electric power unit entirely designed, developed and built by the Piaggio Group. It is an ultra modern and extremely compact motor with a shape designed for perfect insertion in the elegant aesthetics of the Electric Bike. In fact, its axial-symmetric shape, in other words, designed around the pedal axle, allows it to include the entire electric motor hidden behind the sprocket in order to greatly reduce the aesthetic impact.
But it is the entire powertrain (the motor, battery and control display assembly) of the Electric Bike Project that stands out for the technology it uses and for the functions it provides.
The electric motor control system is completely innovative and was developed by Piaggio. It works thanks to sophisticated control algorithms which guarantee its reliability.
The latest generation display is “contactless” and automatically powered via NFC near the control unit. The USB connection serves the dual function of being a smartphone charger and software update port. Diagnostics are also possible via smartphone by the rider, whereas for the service centre operations are possible via tablet – thanks once again to Bluetooth technology – for a more complete check.
Piaggio Electric Bike Project, thanks to its technology, also stands out for its high level of safety: the dashboard control unit, batteries and electric motor are connected unequivocally. This means that the three units can operate only if they are connected and communicating with one another. For example, removing the display (which operates as an electronic key) when parking renders the Electric Bike effectively unusable.
A GPS/GSM module is housed in the battery which functions both as a satellite antitheft device and a data transmission element from/for the battery. This way the charge status can be checked with a smartphone and you can receive the alert status on your device in the event of a poor charge, for example after a long period of disuse.
The 400 Wh ion and lithium battery is elegantly housed under the saddle in correspondence to the vertical pipe and provides particularly long range, on average between 60 and 120 kilometres depending on the mode of use and surrounding conditions. The battery guarantees the highest possible level of safety and, as with all of the powertrain components, it is completely waterproof (IP 65).
The Piaggio Electric Bike Project uses a belt drive combined with an advanced continuous variation automatic transmission, electronically assisted to always ensure the best possible ratio between an almost infinite choice of combination. This is technology that takes advantage of the Piaggio Group’s extensive technical experience with this type of transmission.
As a tribute to active safety the powerful braking system is made up of two 180 mm discs on the front and 160 mm on the rear, gripped by hydraulic callipers.
Connected to Electric Bike, connected to the world.
Thanks to the PMP (Piaggio Multimedia Platform) technology, your smartphone integrates functionally with Electric Bike via Bluetooth. PMP allows constantly new functions to be developed from the fine tuning of “classic” services such as navigation up to any number of opportunities for personalisation of the powertrain operating modes over and above the base settings. In fact, conventional electrically pedal-assisted bicycles offer a limited and determined number of pedal assistance level settings with a contribution from the motor that always stays proportional to the energy applied by the cyclist once the operating mode is selected. The Piaggio Electric Bike Project, thanks to the exclusive DEA (Dynamic Engine Assistance) technology, allows the user to program the assistance level provided by the electric motor at a percentage that is always variable in ratio to the power provided by the cyclist.
Thanks to the possibility of varying the motor contribution, Piaggio Electric Bike is a true fitness machine where the cyclist can set his or her physical effort (for example, 100W of effort and a certain frequency of pedalling or maximum speed) leaving the motor free to increase or decrease its contribution based on the altimetric variations in order to comply with the set parameters which are consistent with the training program that the rider wants to achieve.
Also, through PMP you will be able to select predefined power output modes throughout the arc of use, real “motor mappings”.
The PMP system, which can be controlled through your smartphone’s screen, by buttons on the handlebar and with voice commands, is the base for virtually unlimited function developments. For example, the Smart Navigator calculates itineraries based on the routes recommended for cyclists (sourced from the web/communities), the altimetric profile of the route and the remaining battery consumption/range. It is therefore able to modulate on the route in order to obtain minimum battery consumption and to check motor power output to guarantee that you will arrive at your destination with the detected residual charge. Along the route the cyclist can report points of interest, road surface conditions, road work and any other type of information, thereby contributing to a web database that serves as a point of reference for the navigation software used by the riders in a community.
The “Back Home Alert” function notifies the cyclist when the remaining battery range is insufficient to return home or to any preset destination.
But the utilities PMS offer go far beyond this: it ranges from weather forecast information to functions connected to fitness and allows users to use the Electric Bike as a training tool in order to monitor health information and to achieve goals in terms of bodyweight, heart rate and calorie burning. The possibility to compare the stored data provides you with the opportunity to challenge yourself on various routes for the purpose of continuously monitoring the progress achieved in terms of performance and physical fitness.
Connectivity between the bike electronics and heart rate monitors, for example, allows you to manage the electric motor power output based on a heart rate goal (the lower this is the more the assistance provided by the motor will be). This way an athlete can load training programmes and manage his or her frequency on the route, in commuting you can choose not to exceed a maximum heart rate threshold for health reasons, or simply to keep from becoming overheated on your way to work.
Pure Italian Design
The elegantly sport design of the Electric Bike Project is the result of the Piaggio style centre which worked to combine the best and most distinctive Italian design with functionality and operating convenience.
Modern style, refined solutions and simplicity are the keywords that inspired the Piaggio Group designers in their work.
The result comes together in a frame made entirely in aluminium with a clearly sport look (diamond shape) that mounts a shock absorbed fork, also made in aluminium and which is available in various versions of Electric Bike Project starting from the classic male and unisex duo.
From a stylistic point of view the challenge of seamlessly inserting the powertrain parts (electric motor, transmission and battery) into the frame was particularly successful, leaving the bicycle’s lines rationally clean and undisturbed.
In fact, the motor, designed around the pedal axle, remains hidden by the sprocket and the battery, which can be easily removed, is housed under the saddle on the horizontal pipe. And so the Electric Bike Project ‘s attention to simplicity and user-friendliness substantiates in shapes which have been conceived with functionality in mind and as a tribute to the elegance of Italian design.