|The just-introduced Piaggio MP3—a three-wheeled scooter with dual front wheels. 54 mpg US and Euro-3 level emissions.|
A new national survey found that 30% of consumers in the current climate of rising gas prices would be extremely or somewhat likely to consider using a motor scooter for their everyday transportation needs.
According to the survey—fielded by ICR on behalf of the Piaggio Group Americas, the manufacturer of Vespas and other two-wheelers—these individuals indicted a willingness to transfer 35% of their weekly mileage to a scooter.
Scooters were defined in the survey as two-wheel vehicles that can reach 40-100 mph, and the average cost of which is $2,000 or above.
The survey found other strong factors motivating consumer’s willingness to consider utilizing a scooter, including environmental concerns and overall cost savings. The survey found that 33% of Americans would be likely to use a scooter to reduce emission harmful to the environment, 35% would be likely to use a scooter to save $25.00 a week on gasoline.
While fuel consumption would drop compared to the majority of cars on the road, emissions are a different issue. EPA studies show that gasoline-powered motorcycles and scooters emit much higher levels of emissions than cars. A motorcycle can emit as much hydrocarbon in 10 miles as a car driven 850 miles.
Nor are the regulations as stringent (although they are tightening). Current EPA regulations for 2006 MY Class I motorcycles stipulate HC emission limits of 1 g/km and 12 g/km of CO. By contrast, the EPA Tier 2 Bin 5 regulations for passenger cars mandate 0.0093 g/km HCHO (0.015 g/mi) and 2.11 g/km CO (3.4 g/mi).