The Piaggio MP3 Hybrid 300ie

Last year Piaggio released the MP3 Hybrid, a 3-wheeled scooter that featured a hybrid drive-train, largely in the hopes of alluring eco-concious buyers who were looking for an alternative to their daily driver. The first incarnation of the scooter failed pretty miserably, only 80 of the hybrid 3-wheelers were sold compared with 72,000 of the gas only variant (sold since 2008). Most have put the low sales figures down to the relative cost (9,000 Euros/11,500USD), the weight and the relative lack of power from the 124cc engine.

Piaggio have decided to beef up the offering this year with a far more powerful 300cc version and have brought the price down to 7,990 Euros/$10,000USD, this is still about 2,000 Euros more than the gasoline only variant and a 30% price hike to go green is a big ask, especially with the European economies collectively tightening their belts. On the bright-side, it is possible to run the Mp3 300ie in electric only mode with a range of 20 km (12.4 miles), this is more than enough to handle the daily commute for over 90% of city dwelling Europeans and as such Piaggio may be able to justify that extra cost by up-selling the ultra low-cost of gasoline free daily transport. Most European cities have policies in place to offer free parking to hybrid vehicles, reduced road tax and no congestion charges which could make the hybrid scooter a smarter long term investment.

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Steve in Alabama

One item of importance omitted from both the narrative and the spec sheet is the range of this new Piaggio MP3 Hybrid 300. Using the spec mileage of 50 kilometers/liter and the stated tank size of 12 liters produces a range of 600 kilometers.

Let me repeat that in case you missed it: 600 kilometers or about 360 miles. That’s good for almost any vehicle and simply incredible for a scooter.

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