|The MP3 hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
The Piaggio Group has introduced the MP3 Hybrid, a plug-in hybrid version of its MP3 three-wheeled scooter. With a grid-chargeable Li-ion battery pack, the Piaggio MP3 Hybrid reduces both fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions by more than 50%. The MP3 Hybrid has a Euro 3 emissions rating.
The Piaggio MP3 Hybrid incorporates a parallel hybrid drive in which the 124cc combustion engine and a 2.6 kW, 15N·m synchronous brushless permanent magnet traction motor are mechanically and electronically linked and simultaneously supply power to the wheel. The hybrid powertrain offers combined power of 11 kW (15 hp), with combined torque of 16 Nm (12 lb-ft).
|Energy flow in the MP3 Hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
The MP3 Hybrid manages the power delivered from the gasoline and electric units with a Ride-By-Wire system: the torque requested by the rider via the throttle and brake is processed by the integrated electronic management system (VMS, Vehicle Management System) which, on the basis of a number of parameters (such as battery charge, for example), splits the power delivery between the power plants. When decelerating and braking, the management system recovers energy and accumulates it in the battery.
Under startup and acceleration, the electric motor can supplements the gasoline unit to provide up to an 85% boost in performance. The electric motor also offers the Piaggio MP3 Hybrid an ultra-quiet reverse mode, which is handy for parking and for manoeuvring out of tight spaces.
|Two CAD renderings of the MP3 Hybrid drivetrain unit (engine, motor and transmission). Click to enlarge.|
The Piaggio MP3 Hybrid offers fuel economy of up to 60 km/L (141 mpg US, or 1.7 L/100km), compared with an average of 26 km/L (61 mpg US, or 3.8 L/100km) for gasoline scooters with mid-sized engines. CO2 emissions are 40 g/km compared with 90 g/km for a conventional internal combustion engined scooter (figures for the MP3 Hybrid calculated considering 65% use in hybrid mode and 35% use in electric mode).
The Piaggio MP3 Hybrid can also run on electric power alone; pressing the button on the handlebar disengages the gasoline engine. The rider can switch between the full electric and hybrid mode even while on the move, by simply selecting the desired mode by pressing and holding the "Hy Tech" button for a few seconds. The MP3 offers four operating modes:
- Hybrid Charge for maximum battery charge
- Hybrid Power, for maximum performance
- Full electric mode
- Reverse mode
|CAD rendering of the battery pack location. Click to enlarge.|
The battery pack, with integrated control electronics, is hidden away in the compartment under the saddle, which still has enough room to accommodate a helmet and other objects. An indicator integrated into the dashboard lets the rider keep a constant eye on the battery charge level. The vehicle is charged easily from the mains with a normal electrical cable, plugged into the relative socket with the panel switched off. The full charge cycle takes approximately three hours, although 85% charge is achieved in just two hours.