After launching a 124cc version of its three-wheeled MP3
last year, touted as the world’s first hybrid scooter, Piaggio is upping the ante by introducing a more powerful version that still offers incredible efficiency. The MP3 Hybrid 300ie has a 278cc engine claimed to get 141 mpg in ‘Hybrid Power’
Piaggio continues to lead the charge in hybrid scooter technology with the introduction of the MP3 Hybrid 300ie that is claimed to perform comparably to a 400cc scooter powered by a standard combustion engine.
mode while emitting half of the CO2 emissions of a comparable combustion-only powered scooter. But don’t think its riding experience is watered-down as Piaggio reports that the powertrain of the 300ie performs comparably to a conventional gas-powered 400cc scooter while distributing the output between 65% ‘Hybrid Power’ mode and 35% electric. During standing starts or whenever riding situations call for quick acceleration, the electric motor supplements the power of the combustion engine to provide a claimed 30% boost in power.
The MP3 300ie combines lithium ion batteries located underneath the seat with plug-in convenience for recharging the power source. The scooter charges via a power cable that plugs into a standard electrical socket. It charges fully in three hours, and juices up to 85% in only two. The batteries also recharge using part of the energy of the gas-burning engine and by recovering energy created when braking. It can also run solely as zero-emissions electric vehicle for limited spurts of approximately 20km.
The MP3 Hybrid 300ie mates a 278cc gasoline-powered engine with a synchronous brushless permanent magnet motor for propulsion. Its parallel hybrid drive system takes the power from both the electric motor and the internal combustion engine and transfers it to the automatic CVT transmission.
The 300ie features a ride-by-wire throttle system that sends signals to the onboard electronics of the Vehicle Management System which decides how much power to draw from the electric motor and combustion engine. The techno-scooter offers four drive modes – two hybrid and two electric. Switching to hybrid or fully electric mode is as easy as pushing a button on the right handlebar. Riders can toggle between modes even when on the move. It also has a reverse gear controlled by the electric motor.
The new MP3 Hybrid 300ie still features Piaggio’s quadrilateral front suspension layout that consists of four aluminum arms and two steering tubes. This allows the MP3 to tilt into corners and provides a ride comparable to a standard motorcycle. It also has an electronic front suspension lock system that allows riders to stop without the need to put their feet down and to park without using a kickstand.
Right now it’s only available in Europe, but hopefully we’ll be seeing it soon in the States as well as it already passes stringent Euro 3 emission standards. Initially, it is offered in one color, pearl white with a two-tone saddle. The storage compartment under the seat is said to be big enough to hold a helmet with a little space left over for other gear. Two new buttons have been added to its cockpit, a horn on the left and a ‘Hy Tech’ button on the right for toggling through the four operating modes. Piaggio is also producing a variation called the MP3 Hybrid LT 300ie, with more space between the front wheels. It can be operated by owners with only a license to drive a car, expanding its potential customer base.
MSRP: $7999 Euro; $9,790 US
Piaggio Mp3 Hybrid 300ie: Technical specifications
Internal combustion engine capacity - 278cc
A three-wheeler that performs like a two-wheeler, is ecologically friendly and efficient without being neutered - meet Piaggio's MP3 Hybrid 300ie.
Bore/Stroke - 75 x 63 mm
Thermodynamic cycle -Otto cycle – 4 stroke
Valve gear - Single overhead cam, four valves
Cooling – Liquid-cooled
Ignition system - Inductive discharge digital electronic ignition
Hybrid powertrain power - 18.2 kW (25 HP) at 7500 rpm
Hybrid powertrain torque - 27.5 Nm (2.8 kgm) at 3,500 rpm
Electric motor - Synchronous brushless permanent magnet motor
Power supply voltage - Three-phase alternating current
Electric motor control - Digitally controlled inverter
Electric motor cooling system - Air
Electric motor power - 2.6 kW (3.5 CV)
Electric motor torque - 15 Nm
Drive modes - 4 modes: 2 hybrid, 2 electric (including reverse)
Battery charge modes - During braking and deceleration on the move, and from the mains
(battery charger integrated in on-board electronics)
Traction batteries - Lithium ion batteries
Twist-and-go CVT with torque server
Engine control system- Ride-by-Wire with closed loop fuel injection system
Exhaust - Catalytic converter
Chassis -Double cradle in high strength tubular steel
Front suspension - Articulated quadrilateral consisting of four aluminium arms sustaining two steering tubes, and pull rod suspension geometry with offset wheel axle
Rear suspension - Two dual action hydraulic shock absorbers with adjustable spring
Front brake - Two 240mm stainless steel discs and floating calliper with two 30 mm Ø pistons
Rear brake - 240mm stainless steel disc and calliper with horizontally opposed 30 mm Ø pistons
Front wheel rim - Die-cast aluminium alloy 12" x 3.00
Rear wheel rim - Die-cast aluminium alloy 14" x 3.75
Front tire - Tubeless 120/70-12”
Rear tire -Tubeless 140/60-14”
Length/Width - 2140mm (84.25 in.) / 760mm (29.92 in.)
Wheelbase - 1490mm (58.66 in.)
Seat height - 780mm (30.70 in.)
Fuel tank capacity - 12 liters (3.17 gal.) (including 1.8 liter reserve)
Dry weight -257 Kg (566.59 lbs)
Consumption (2/3 of cycle in hybrid mode – 1/3 in electric mode) 60 km/l
CO2 emissions (2/3 of cycle in hybrid mode – 1/3 in electric mode) 40 g/Km
Emissions compliance - Euro3