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Italy's iconic Vespa goes electric

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Italy's iconic Vespa goes electric
A Vespa Elettrica on show in Milan. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP
09:58 CET+01:00
The Vespa, an iconic 70-year-old design classic and Italy's most famous scooter, will be available in an electric version by the end of next year, according to its manufacturer, Piaggio.

A prototype of the greener two-wheeler will be unveiled this weekend at the Milan bike show.

For now, there's nothing under the engine housing and scooter-maker Piaggio has revealed no details about the motor of the Vespa Elettrica nor about its price.

The new model retains the wasp-like shape that lent the scooter its name, but a blue trim distinguishes it from its gasoline-fuelled versions, which retail in Italy for between 3,500 and 5,500 euros ($3,800 to $6,000).

IN PICTURES: The history of the Vespa

"It will be a real Vespa," Piaggio said in news release. "The style, agility, ease of use and driving pleasure will be the same."

Some 18 million Vespas have been sold over the past seven decades, according to Piaggio.

The scooter became an international symbol of the "dolce vita" with the 1953 film "Roman Holiday" in which Gregory Peck pursued Audrey Hepburn on one.

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