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Archive for the ‘Scooter’ Category

University develops hybrid scooter

Posted by Car Geek on October 21, 2007

Hybrid scooter. Image from the University of Tasmania. Engineers at the University of Tasmania have developed what is believed to be Australia’s first hybrid scooter, which is capable of running on both electric power and ethanol fuel.

The scooter, built by the university’s School of Engineering, is able to reach a top speed of 80 km/h and uses just 1.7 L/100km when operating in hybrid mode. The vehicle also uses regenerative braking to charge the batteries in operation, according to Steven Ambrose, a scholar at the School.

Chief investigator Dr Vishy Karri extolled the virtues of Australia developing its own expertise in alternative fuels. “The pilot program has reinforced our capability in building yet another solution to alternative fuels,” he said.

“We need several, parallel efforts to build alternative energy sources. Hydrogen technologies, biodiesel as an alternative fuel and now the plug-in hybrids are our efforts to reduce our dependency on petrol in the future. I am extremely proud of our technical team, their capabilities and their enthusiasm for new challenges.”

(S0urces: University of Tasmania, ABC News)


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Oops: Piaggio’s marketing eco-cred doesn’t live up to its vehicles

Posted by Car Geek on October 13, 2007

On the slightly more humourous side of green transport, The Age’s Full Disclosure section has written about Piaggio’s somewhat unusual marketing methods for its MP3 scooter. The short version: promoting an eco-friendly scooter with rather wasteful methods, requiring private couriers and masses of non-recyclable materials, is not perhaps the smartest of ideas. Perhaps their marketing department hasn’t been paying attention to their own message?

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Piaggio launches a hybrid scooter

Posted by Car Geek on August 12, 2007

The MP3. Image from, licenced under CC 2.0. Yeah, I want one too. For many of us, a car simply isn’t necessary for many of the trips we make. Smaller vehicles, such as bicycle, motorbikes or scooters, are particularly well-suited to urban areas which currently have to deal with the dual problems of pollution and congestion. Unfortunately, many of the smaller powered vehicles aren’t exactly environmentally friendly for their size, with relatively few emissions regulation measures onboard when compared to their larger four-wheeled counterparts.

Enter Piaggio, the makers of the universally known Vespa, who have developed a hybrid drive for some of their range of scooters. The HyS system, as it is known, operates in three modes: standard petrol, hybrid (in much a similar way to Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive), and pure electric. The battery pack can be charged through both regenerative braking and conventional mains power through a plug-in capability, and has a range of up to 20 kilometres in pure electric mode. When operating in hybrid mode, the combined petrol engine and electric motor provide up to 85 per cent extra performance over a conventional petrol engine.

The HyS system will be available on the Vespa LX, the Piaggio X8 and the three-wheeled MP3 (pictured), and will be introduced in Australia at a date to be determined.

(Source: Piaggio Australia)

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