The Italian Almanac

solar scooter

Italian News - March 4

A group of young Italians has come up with a solar-powered scooter you can put under the desk or stairs after it helps you beat inner-city traffic. Nicknamed 'Sunny', the three-wheeler has a top speed of a nifty 20 kph and sufficient oomph to keep weaving through the logjams for a full working day - with enough power left for a night on the town.

"We've really come a long way since Sunny was launched as a prototype in October," said project leader Domenico Iacurto, who heads a five-man team working in a small town north of Rome, Fabrica di Roma near Viterbo. "We've upped the power and the operational range as well as improving the design".

After it has tooled you round town, Sunny can be packed away like a trolley bag, Iacurto says. "The panels fold up like a book, the front wheel disappears and the saddle retracts into Sunny's body". The Italian invention, which weighs a mere 30kg, is one of the stars of a Rome show this weekend on eco-friendly vehicles.