It has all the ridiculousness of the Segway, and none of the romanticism of the classic Italian scooter.
Here's why you always lock your scooter and your Segway separately: Left to their own devices, they might get frisky and pop out one of these things, a weirdly shrunken, automatic-balancing Franken-Vespa.
The goofy-looking "Zero Scooter" is made from real Piaggio parts and retails for a little more than $4,000, which in fact is cheaper than a Segway available online but more expensive than a 2013 Vespa. Looking like a scooter rammed into a Segway and knocked off the front handle and the rider, as well as many other parts, the personal-mobility device is being marketed by Barcelona-based Bel & Bel. The company's fabrication department is something of a specialist in making these surreal automotive products, such as swanky chairs that incorporate vehicle bodywork and this "Monowheel" reminiscent of the humiliating (but super-green) "IT" from South Park.
Bel & Bel knocked out the first Zero Scooter for an electric-vehicle conference in late 2013 as an experiment in the creative reuse of motor parts. It has since released a limited series that's on offer at Maxihobby. The specs aren't half-bad: The contraption whirs along at 12 mph and has a range of roughly 20 miles on a battery charge. It can also power up slopes of up to 30 degrees, quite a helpful ability in hilly cities.
The problem is that the design drops the main point of owning a Vespa – riding in pairs in a romantic European fashion – and replaces it with the inherent ridiculousness of the Segway. Imagine the disappoint on the face of your lover when you approach from the front looking like you're on a classic Italian scooter, only to pull up in something that turns out to be twice as short and built like a metal giraffe: