Piaggio MP3 Hybrid 300

 

 

 

Make Model

Piaggio MP3 Hybrid LT 300ie

Year

2012

Engine

Four stroke, single cylinder, SOHC, 4 valve

Capacity

278 cc / 17.0 cub in.

Bore x Stroke

75 mm x 63 mm

Cooling System

Liquid cooled

Induction

Fuel system: Electronic fuel injection (with Ride By Wire control)

Ignition

Port Injected Alfa/n type with closed loop system, Lambda sensor in exhaust pipe and three-way double catalytic converter

Starting

Electric

Clutch

Automatic, centrifugal dry clutch

Max Power

18.6 kW / 25 hp @ 7500 rpm + 3 kW / 4 hp electric motor

Max Toque

23.2 Nm @ 6500 rpm

Transmission

CVT with torque server

Frame

Double cradle in high strength tubular steel

Dimensions

Length: 2180 mm / 85.8 in.

Width:    760 mm / 29.9 in.

Wheelbase 1550 mm / 61.0 in.

Front Suspension

Articulated quadrilateral consisting of four aluminium arms sustaining two steering tubes, and pull rod suspension geometry with offset wheel axle

Front Wheel Travel

85 mm / 3.3 in.

Rear Suspension

Double dual action hydraulic shock absorber with adjustable spring preload

Rear Wheel Travel

110 mm

Front Brakes

2 x 240mm discs 2 piston caliper

Rear Brakes

Single 240mm disc

Front Tyre

2 x 120/70 -12

Rear Tyre

140/70 -12

Seat Height

780 mm  /  30.7 in.

Dry Weight

257 kg  /  566.6 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

12 Litres / 3.2 gal

Reserve

1.8 L / 0.5 US gal

Consumption Average

1.7 L/100 km / 60 km/l / 141 US mpg

Colours

Pearl white with two-tone saddle or black saddle, Red

The Hybrid 300ie pairs a 278cc gasoline-powered engine with a synchronous brushless permanent magnet motor in a parallel hybrid drive system with an automatic CVT transmission. The hybrid scooter has four drive modes, two hybrid and two electric.

The Hybrid Power mode optimizes performance, which Piaggio claims is comparable to a 400cc gas-powered scooter. The electric motor supplements the power of the combustion engine, offering immediate response from a standing start. Hybrid Charge mode sacrifices some performance while using the engine to charge the MP3 Hybrid’s lithium ion batteries. The batteries also receive a charge from regenerative braking.

In the full electric mode, the combustion engine is disengaged, turning the MP3 into a zero emission electric vehicle. The electric motor is also used in reverse mode, used mostly for parking and maneuvering in tight spaces.

The vehicle can switch between full electric and either hybrid mode at the press of a button mounted on the right handlebar, even while moving.

The MP3 Hybrid 300ie uses a ride-by-wire throttle system which moderates how much power is drawn from both the engine and the motor.

Based on Piaggio's research, the MP3 Hybrid 300ie can meet the average European scooter user's needs.

Piaggio claims a range of 20 km (12.4 miles) on a full charge of the lithium ion batteries in electric mode. Riding in Hybrid Charge mode will extend that range. According to Piaggio, the average European GT scooter user rides about 6,000 km (3,728 miles) per year, translating to 30 km (18 miles) per day with an estimated 200 days of riding per year.

According to Piaggio, the MP3 Hybrid 300 offers 141 mpg, about twice the fuel economy of an equivalent gasoline-powered scooter, while producing less than half the amount of CO2 emissions. Piaggio produced those figures based on 65% use in Hybrid Power mode and 35% use in electric mode.

The batteries can be charged through a 12V power socket. According to Piaggio, it takes three hours to provide a full charge, though two hours of plug-in time is enough to provide an 85% charge. The battery pack is located under the saddle which takes up some storage room. Piaggio says there is still enough space for a helmet and other objects however.

The lithium ion battery pack is located under the seat.

Like a regular gas-powered MP3, the Hybrid 300ie offers the improved handling and braking from having two front wheels instead of one. A quadrilateral front suspension layout allows the MP3 to tilt into corners like a conventional two-wheeled vehicle. The hybrid powertrain does add some weight to the MP3, with Piaggio claiming a dry weight of 257 kg (566.6 lb.), which would make it about 30 lb. heavier than the 492.7cc Piaggio MP3 500 (known in other markets as the Gilera Fuoco 500). The Piaggio MP3 Hybrid 300ie will be offered in a pearl white color with two-tone saddle.

The Piaggio MP3 Hybrid 300ie is now available in Europe for 7,990 euros (US$9,790). According to Paolo Timoni, president and chief executive officer of Piaggio, American availability for both the 300 and 125 versions is awaiting homologation with the EPA.

Overview

A year after launching the MP3 Hybrid 125, the world's first hybrid motorcycle, Piaggio have sold (drumroll) almost none! It's simply too slow, too heavy and too expensive. The Italian scooter giant is confident all of this will change with the launch of a new 300 cc version. Signs are they could be right. 

The MP3 itself has been a huge success, mostly due to the European only LT-version. The regular Piaggio MP3 requires a motorcycle driving license, but by increasing the front wheel track by an inch or so - to 465 mm - the two front wheels on the LT morphs from "twin front wheels" to "two front wheels" according to EU regulations. The significance being that it allows you to ride the LT on a regular car license, at least in the European Union.

Suddenly European car drivers had the option to switch to a more efficient and more fun commuter without the hassle and cost of getting a motorcycle license. And they did. In France alone, Piaggio sold almost 14,000 MP3 LTs in 2009! To put that in perspective, the best selling motorcycle was the Kawasaki Z750 with a sale of just over 6,000. If you wondered where Peugeot got the sudden urge to make the HYmotion3, look no further. 

Last year Piaggio also added a bit of green to the MP3 range with the MP3 Hybrid 125. Despite a lot of press, sales have been slow. Or rather non-existent. The number quoted by Piaggio is 80, most of them probably parked in their national importers' press fleets. The lesson Piaggio has learned from this is that even the most eco-friendly Europeans aren't willing to go green if it's too slow, too heavy and too expensive. 9,000 Euro for a 125cc that struggled to reach 55mph just wasn't good enough, even with green "Hybrid" stickers and a 4bhp electric motor to help you accelerate or drive in electric only mode.

Enter MP3 300 Hybrid - also available in the EU-regulations avoiding LT-edition. (Apparently the choice fell on the 300 because it's more similar to the 125 than the 400 cc version). With the same hybrid drive and 4bhp electric motor, but with a 25bhp engine and the same 9,000 Euro price tag the 125cc sported in its first year (the 125 itself dropping to 6,500 Euro), Piaggio now hopes to start actually selling their green flagship.

In brief, the MP3 Hybrid can be driven in three modes: Electric only, Hybrid Power, where the electric motor assists the petrol engine and finally Hybrid Charge, where part of the energy produced by the petrol engine together with energy recovered during deceleration and braking recharges the battery. If used 35% in electric mode and 65% in hybrid mode, Piaggio claims the MP3 300 LT Hybrid will do 117.6mpg, while the range in electric mode only is about 12 miles. Not much, but enough to take you conveniently through the areas and streets closed to petrol engines that are starting to appear in European cities.

It still remains to be seen if this is enough to convince regular customers to pay the added cost for the Hybrid, but there are other, possibly even more lucrative markets opening up for Piaggio. Both local and national authorities all over Europe are setting up quotas for "clean vehicle" purchases. With no need for a motorcycle driving license and little or no competition, Piaggio is all set to get a decent piece of this potentially huge market, possibly making the MP3 Hybrid the workhorse Vespa of the 21st century.

Source Hell For Leather