Piaggio HyS MP3 Hybrid to US in 2010

March 12, 2009
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

With eco-friendly two-wheeled concepts on the rise  Piaggio may beat everyone to the production punch with its HyS gas electric hybrid scooters.
The HyS hybrid system slated for the US in 2010 uses a regular gas-powered scooter engine, mated to an electric motor attached to the rear wheel hub on the swingarm.

The gas/electric Piaggio HyS hybrid drive scooter made waves when it was announced back in 2007. Then the innovative system was promised to enter 2008 production, where it was put to work in scooter-loving Europe. The system was to be employed on a number of Piaggio Group designs, most notably the popular three-wheeled MP3. Now it is reported that the HyS MP3 hybrid will come to American shores in the first quarter of 2010.

The announcement was made by Piaggio Group America CEO Paolo Timoni on the Fox Car Report. To watch the segment, which focuses on the Piaggio Group’s incredible scooters sales success for 2008, follow the link below (which also features host Gary Gastelu and moto-journalist Wes Siler).

Piaggio MP3 HyS Hybrid Announcement on Fox Car Report

The gist of the HyS hybrid drivetrain is relatively simple, with Piaggio describing the system as a “parallel” hybrid. A conventional four-stroke engine operates with internal combustion regularity, but is supplemented by an electric motor located directly on the rear wheel hub.

The electric juice transmitted to the rear wheel is sourced when quick acceleration is needed. Riders can also switch the HyS to an all-electric setting.
The electric motor on the Piaggio HyS hybrid scooter is placed directly on the rear wheel hub.

Drive-by-wire electronics control the two power sources, optimizing the efficiency of each one. While the gas engine runs at higher conventional speeds, the electric motor delivers surges of immediate torque when advantageous – like during acceleration. Regenerative braking charges the batteries powering the electric motor.

All told the efficiency of the dual drives delivers a claimed 141mpg. The HyS MP3 can also be ridden in electric-only mode for up to 12 miles and is rechargeable from a plug-in outlet – making the expected Piaggio HyS MP3 the first large-scale production plug-in hybrid motorcycle for sale in the United States.

For more information on the Piaggio HyS hybrid scooter design, check out Motorcycle USA’s Piaggio HyS Hybrid Scooter First Look article.

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