Aprilia reveals its future with Electrica project announcement

Aprilia has revealed the Electrica, its first electric project which will be aimed at providing an accessible two-wheeled option for young people.

Aprilia Electrica.

Aprilia has revealed its first electric project, handily called Electrica, which will be aimed at younger riders. 

Aprilia, as part of the Piaggio Group, has an advantageous position when it comes to adventuring from combustion to electric power. Piaggio began working on electric power almost 50 years ago, and produced the world’s first hybrid scooter, the MP3 Hybrid, which was first launched in 2009. 

A press release from Aprilia reads: “The Electrica project uses all the know-how made available from the Piaggio Group, which has been working on electric propulsion since 1975, having introduced a long line of vehicles [over the years] such as the MP3 Hybrid, the first hybrid scooter in the world.”

Aprilia sees the evolution of global society into an increasingly digitised reality as one that introduces “enormous possibilities,” it says, but also that this evolution brings changes in the way people live their lives. 

Digitisation has created greater possibilities for activities - both recreational and otherwise - to be completed remotely. Video games, for example, mean that you can have fun with your friends without leaving the house; and more recently the internet has been harnessed by many companies to mean that people can work from home, too. 

It means that people live in a different way, and surely that is only going to continue. The world changes, and with people able to do more things without having to travel, transport needs to adapt, too. 

One argument could be that personal transport should become social, rather than private. In this case people would share transport rather than own their own vehicle, but such a degradation of autonomy hardly seems like a simple thing to implement, and from the perspective of the enthusiast - in this case specifically the motorcycle enthusiast - it hardly seems like a desirable thing to implement. 

Aprilia, who would presumably benefit from personal transport remaining a private matter, make the assumption that socialised personal transport will not be a major aspect of human society in the near future. 

The Electrica “represents Aprilia's vision of mobility for the youngest riders of the near future,” Aprilia says.

Part of that vision is to ensure that barriers to personal transport remain low, and that the vehicles people use to get around are fun to pilot. 

“The thrilling riding experience that only a bike can provide cannot be virtually replaced or reproduced,” Aprilia says. “The Electrica project is a new concept - a lightweight, zero emissions bike with a fun and satisfying ride to provide maximum freedom and riding pleasure even for use in the cities of the future: the fun and freedom of riding will, therefore, not be lacking and they will always be the cardinal principle at the base of all vehicles built by Aprilia.”

Speaking about the Electrica itself, as it is in its present form as seen at EICMA, it maintains an appearance which is definitively associable with the Noale factory. Besides the large, lower-case “A” on the side of the motorcycle, the front bodywork of the bike around the triple clamp is reminiscent of that found on a Tuono, for example, while that at the tail does not wildly differ from the RSV4. 

Not entirely dissimilarly to the electric naked Kawasaki that was shown at EICMA, and previously also at Intermot, the size of the Electrica is noticeably small. Added to that, a low seat height makes it accessible, as does the presence of both brake controls on the handlebars. The justification for this, Aprilia says, is to make the transition from scooters to motorcycles easier. Aprilia, then, moving to provide the stepping stone for a new rider who feels they have outgrown their Piaggio One.

The Electrica will also feature electronic riding assists and LCD instrumentation. 

Further, it will be driven by chain, which itself will be powered by a centrally-positioned motor. It should be assumed that the battery will also be positioned in the centre of the bike, and the Piaggio Group’s position as one of the four founding members of the Swappable Batteries Motorcycle Consortium (SBMC) would also lead to the assumption that the Electrica’s battery will be exchangeable. 

There is currently no timeframe given in which we can expect the Electric to go into production, but the path here seems clear. Aprilia will start with something small and low-powered, before growing their electric roster to include larger bikes with more power which, presumably, they intend to replace the 1100cc V4s that currently headline Aprilia’s range.

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