The Piaggio Group announced two new scooter projects at the EICMA Motorcycle Show in Milan, with both touting aspirational goals. The (VESPA 946) RED scooter partners with (RED) to donate money to fight against AIDS in Africa, with the Vespa Elettrica project aimed at collaborating with other organizations to develop an electric motor.
(VESPA 946) RED
The (VESPA 946) RED takes the standard 946 scooter, with its sleek styling, and turns it red. And while that color is quite a familiar one for Vespa scooters, this special edition 946 goes red in more ways than one, as it bears the honor of being the first automotive product chosen to carry the (RED) branding.
(RED) is a philanthropic brand-licensing initiative, founded by Booby Shriver and U2 singer Bono, that raises money to fund the fight against AIDS in Africa. (RED) partners with the world’s leading companies, like Apple, Nike and Coca-Cola, to promote products carrying the (RED) brand with part of the sales going to charity. Since its inception in 2006, (RED) has donated $360 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, with 100% of its resources targeted to combatting HIV/AIDS. To date, (RED) donations to this noble cause have impacted more than “70 million people and been used to provide preventive measures, treatments, counselling, HIV tests and assistance services.”
Every (VESPA 946) RED scooter sold will see $150 donated to fight against AIDS in Africa. Each donation is enough money for “(RED) to guarantee over 500 days’ worth of life-saving medical treatments for HIV and help prevent mothers infected with the virus from passing it on to their unborn children.”
This new (RED) product is Vespa’s latest charitable initiative, with the Italian brand having also started the “Vespa for Children” charity. That program helps pediatric patients in Hanoi, providing assistance for children requiring surgery, dialysis and kidney transplants.
Vespa Elettrica Project
Piaggio cites the “epoch-making challenges” created by urbanization of the world population as the driver for its Vespa Elettrica initiative. Since 4 billion of the world’s 7 billion people now live in urban centers (a figure that will continue to rise), Piaggio notes innovative transportation solutions are necessary to deal with congestion and pollution. One of these solutions will be more electric-powered transportation, like the planned Vespa Elettrica scooter.
This new Elettrica project is Piaggio’s call to collaborate on the electric motor that will power this new Vespa scoot. Piaggio’s press materials on the Vespa Elettrica Project states: “Because of the excellence of this project, the Piaggio Group is assessing the most advanced players in the sector on a global level to develop innovative technological electric motor solutions together. This concept will be translated into the final version of the Vespa Elettrica, for which production and sales are planned for the second half of 2017.”