Urban Transport

Piaggio electrifies its Ape three-wheeler for India

Piaggio electrifies its Ape th...
Piaggio describes the Ape E-City as its entry into the Indian electric commercial vehicle market
Piaggio describes the Ape E-City as its entry into the Indian electric commercial vehicle market
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Piaggio describes the Ape E-City as its entry into the Indian electric commercial vehicle market
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Piaggio describes the Ape E-City as its entry into the Indian electric commercial vehicle market
The Piaggio Ape, a versatile three wheeler first introduced 70 years ago, is receiving an electric makeover with the busy streets of India in mind
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The Piaggio Ape, a versatile three wheeler first introduced 70 years ago, is receiving an electric makeover with the busy streets of India in mind

The Piaggio Ape, a versatile three-wheeler first introduced 70 years ago, is receiving an electric makeover with the busy streets of India in mind. The new Ape E-City is a fully electric version of the brand’s storied transporter, and features swappable batteries to ensure it can stay on the move.

Tuk-tuks, rickshaws and vehicles like the Piaggio Ape have come to play an important role in the day-to-day life of Indian cities. Not only are they used as taxi services to plug holes in public transport, but they also serve as mobile micro-businesses selling street food and other goods.

But with air pollution a growing concern, the Indian government is intent on moving toward cleaner versions of its two- and three-wheeled vehicles. Its Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) program encourages electric mobility through a reduced goods and services tax on these vehicles, among other incentives.

The Piaggio Ape, a versatile three wheeler first introduced 70 years ago, is receiving an electric makeover with the busy streets of India in mind
The Piaggio Ape, a versatile three wheeler first introduced 70 years ago, is receiving an electric makeover with the busy streets of India in mind

Introduced today in New Delhi, Piaggio describes the Ape E-City as its entry into the Indian electric commercial vehicle market. The vehicle will be powered by battery-swap tech from Indian energy company Sun Mobility, allowing depleted batteries to be switched over for charged ones in under two minutes.

These swaps will take place at a network of Sun Mobility’s interchange stations, which is expected to include 50 locations in 10 Indian cities by March 2020. These stations will be capable of handling up to 150 battery swaps per day, with customers gaining access through a “pay-as-you-go” model.

According to Sun Mobility, this “battery as a service” approach was key in lowering the upfront purchase cost of the Ape E-City, putting it on par with an internal-combustion version.

"At Piaggio, we believe in providing path breaking solutions in the last mile transportation segment with best in class technology offerings to our customers,” says Diego Graffi, CEO of Piaggio Vehicles. “Our partnership with Sun Mobility will enable customers to experience a very innovative, smart and unique swappable smart battery eco-system in India.”

Sources: Piaggio, Sun Mobility

5 comments
guzmanchinky
You have to wonder if the US is the problem with it's 300 million people driving mostly newer vehicles or India and China's billions driving smoke belching two strokes?
neoneuron
Maybe they will come to the US. But then again our "corporate politicians" want gasoline instead. Oh well..
ppeter
The two strokes belch lots of poison, but not much of CO2. The opposite is true for a modern SUV - lots of CO2, not much of poison. The poison from the two strokes stays more or less in the place where it's created, people driving two strokes basically hurt their neighbours in the same city. The CO2 from the SUVs changes the word climate, which hurts You, me, and essentially everybody around the world. So unless You happen to live in a two stroke infested city, the US and their SUVs are the problem that hurts You and Your family, not the poison belchnig two strokes.
KiwiME
Not only is it the CO2 emissions but it is >accumulated< CO2 emissions. The US by a long way has contributed the most of any country to climate change today, about 27%. China may have the highest annual emissions but has not caught up yet. The prior USSR was also a big contributor.
Imran Sheikh
I understand that peoples are not smart enough "not to buy this half a century old design". At least Piaggio should use some "smartness" and upgrade the design so that, its "easy to put luggage" in these things and the rods between the driver and the passenger doesn't injure passenger in accident. This is a serious design issue as these things are "Mini School Bushes in India". Just google image search "indian auto rickshaw school". https://live.staticflickr.com/91/232711342_ac1dcf7b4b_b.jpg