We've been anxiously awaiting more news and especially an estimated arrival date for Piaggio's hybrid scooters, which include scooters from the Vespa brand as well. Perhaps Piaggio was reading our last post on the subject, because we've noticed more and more news on the HyS (hybrid scooter) models. Now, we can share a few pictures with you as well. Best of all, Cycle World is saying that they have been told by Piaggio that the MP3 HyS will be in production by the end of 2008! Although Piaggio has been testing a version of the MP3 hybrid which sports a 250cc engine, the production model is expected to use the 125 instead. However, that is not all bad, because the electric motor adds up to 85 percent better acceleration and possibly a bit more on the top end too, at least we hope. There is a cool switch on the dash of the scooter which allows for more economic travel or for more performance. Currently, three 12-volt lead acid batteries are being used, but lithium ion batteries are being tested as we speak.

Also of note is the 50cc version of this powertrain, which is installed in the Vespa LX model. This beast gets only 24 volts of power, but can still perform like its 125cc larger sibling. Best of all, the machine can return up to 142 mpg while emitting only 40 grams of CO2 per kilometer. The 50cc model can travel at 15 mph for 12 miles on electric power alone while the larger 125cc version can do 25 mph for 12 miles on battery power.

This is great news for anyone (like me) who's been waiting to purchase one of these vehicles. Waiting until the end of 2008 could prove to be a challenge!

Go past the break for more pictures.

[Source: Piaggio and Cycle World]

Here is a shot "underhood" of the Piaggio X8 125cc Hys

Here is a shot of the motor integrated into rear hub, which is also the back of the CVT transmission.

The entire engine, motor and transmission is a single unit which hinges at the front and acts as a swingarm.

Here you can see the charging unit at the back of the X8 HyS.

The three lead acid batteries are stored under the seat of the 125cc models.

Now, let's take a look at the smaller 50cc version.

The charger is in the "glovebox" of the Vespa LX 50cc HyS.

Only two 12 volt lead acid batteries for the smaller model.

Here is the dash.

A close up of the plug.

Lastly, a shot of the entire engine complete with the motor and transmission.