The Classic Italian Scooter Electrically Re-Defined
Roman Holiday, starring the very young Audrey Hepburn and a mature Gregory Peck, introduced American moviegoers to the charm of the Italian motor scooter. Cheap to operate and nimble in traffic, Italians have bought millions of them over the decades. They still define the category.
So, it's not all that surprising that the Italian design studio, Emo, has revisited the scooter, giving it a clean, quiet electric propulsion system. Commissioned by the Askoll Group, the two-wheeler features LED lighting and an easily removable battery pack under the seat.
While performance specs aren't known, it is interesting to see how the design evolved, literally from a cardboard and masking tape mockup to a beautifully finished, full scale prototype like the one featured above.
Motor vehicles is not what the Askoll Group does: they are into heat pumps, home appliances, industrial automation, even aquariums. So, the ES1 project would suggest they are exploring new market opportunities. And maybe not coincidentally, in Italy, Enel Energy, a large, multinational energy provider, sells electric bicycles and allows them to be financed over three years through customer monthly power bills. They reason, according to a source within the company, is to diversify its revenue stream as more distributed solar enters the market.
Could the Askoll Group be thinking along similar lines? Whatever their reason, here's hoping they move the ES1 beyond prototype stage.
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