Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Italy Attempting to get Rid of 2-Stroke Scoots

Gary Norris, of Dag Scoot, commented on a recent post about scooters as green transportation, regarding how un-enviromentally friendly vintage scoots are. And he's right. Old school two-strokes are pretty bad news in the emissions department.

Italy's realizing this too, and implementing some cash incentives to scooterists for trading in vintage Vespas for electric scoots or bicycles.

Italy's environment ministry, which has set aside £10 million for the project, will pay as much as £680 towards the cost of an electric scooter, or £170 towards a bicycle. Smaller incentives are on offer for the latest eco-friendly petrol scooters. Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio, the environment minister, said: "We are doing our best to combat carbon emissions and the fine dust that these scooters create. This will all help us live better."

Reaction from hard-core Italian scooterists?

"Why would anyone want to scrap a classic Vespa for a discount on a bicycle?" said Gianni Massa, of the Vespa Club of Italy. "It would be an offence against humanity."

Silly though it sounds, this is a great dilemma for me. Vintage scoots are such an elegant transportation solution, except for that whole emissions thing. And an average Joe, with little mechanical skills or experience could do maintenance and repair on them. Modern four-stroke automatics? Not so much.

I got nothing against modern scoots, heck, I even think CVT is pretty freaking elegant as an engineering feat. But it is sad, that soon two-stroke manual scooters are gonna be like classic cars, only pulled out of the garage for sunday rides and shows.

Maybe this will prompt Piaggio to really make an electric Vespa a reality?


Robert said...

I'm on the same tip - I really dig how scooters work for me as transportation. And I love my modern LX150 for a daily driver. But my (new) vintage bike belches the blue smoke, and I've sort of been on a "green mission" right now.

So I'm being a little hypocritical telling people to be more green then choosing to ride a vintage scooter for looks and style alone.

Hmmmm. At least it ain't a hummer?

Orin said...

While the 1000 euro for yer beater (scooter, Ape, Fiat Nuova 500) has been in effect for a while, Italy's Lombardy region has banned scooters not meeting the Euro 1 emissions standards as of sometime early next year.

So far, I've left the stock pipe on my PX 150 because it's got the catalytic material in it, and I like complying with emisssions standards. I remember how smoggy Seattle was during my high school days...

Orin O'Neill
Scootin' Old Skool