In the midst of all the new players and startups in the lightweight electric motorcycle scene, bigger, more established brands are also trying their hand in creating the ideal lightweight, two-wheeled electric runabout. With the likes of KTM, Husqvarna, Yamaha, and many others with exciting plans for the electrification of motorcycles, Benelli isn’t one to let itself be left behind.
Launching its first electric scooter, the Dong has made its debut in Indonesia, and is likely going to make its way across the pond into other Asian markets. The launch of the Dong in the U.S. and European markets isn’t a far-fetched notion, however, I’m certain that Benelli is going to have to think of a different name for this scooter. I’m pretty sure the thought of riding an electric Dong wouldn’t sit well for some people.
From a design point-of-view, Benelli’s Dong is clearly trying to tower over the crop of entry-level electric scooters. It gets a very unique design—one which gives off an illusion that the rear end is floating, thanks to the scooter’s split, asymmetrical design. The scooter’s rear section, which houses the motor, battery, and seat, adopts a cylindrical shape. While the little Dong’s styling can be rather polarizing, it can’t be denied that it comes with some nifty tech. For starters, it gets a 1.56kWh lithium-ion battery which boasts a 60-kilometer range. Full LED lighting and an LCD dash come standard, too.
It’s clear to see that Benelli designed the Dong as a short-distance, around-town commuter due to how small it is, as well as how much power it cranks out. It gets a 1.2kW electric motor which pumps out the equivalent of 1.6 horsepower, which is only good for a top speed of 45 kilometers per hour. Perhaps the Dong’s coolest feature is the fact that you can pretend it has a gas-powered engine, as it comes with an artificial exhaust sound generator. Now, I’m not exactly sure how it sounds like, but it would be totally awesome if you could choose the exhaust sound emanating from your Dong.
Benelli has priced the Dong at a reasonable Rp. 36,900,000, or the equivalent of around $2,500 USD in the Indonesian market. Given the fact that this is Benelli’s first take on electric-two wheelers, it’s more than likely that we’ll be seeing more electric motorcycles from Benelli in the not-too-distant future, especially given the aggressiveness of Qianjiang Motors in China.