Surge S32 combines an electric auto-rickshaw with a detachable scooter
While auto-rickshaws are certainly useful for hauling cargo or passengers in urban settings, scooters are much nimbler and easier to park. The Surge S32 combines both forms of transit in one modular vehicle, as it features a scooter that can be detached from a rickshaw body.
Manufactured by India's Surge Automobiles, the all-electric S32 is touted as being "the world's first segment-adapting vehicle." As such, users require an LMV (light motor vehicle) license for driving it in rickshaw mode, and a two-wheeler license for driving in scooter mode.
At the heart of the S32 is its Advanced Modular Scaleable Electric Platform (AMSEP). It serves as the frame of the rickshaw, and contains that vehicle's removable batteries, rear-axle motor, drive system electronics, and rear wheels.
A recessed docking area in the front of the platform allows the two-seater scooter to be slotted in, rear-end-first. Once in place, its rear wheel retracts up towards its seat, pulling it off the ground. The scooter then serves as the cockpit for the rickshaw, plus its front wheel doubles as that of the rickshaw.
The vehicle-joining/separating process is claimed to take just three minutes, and simply requires users to push a button while rolling the scooter in and out.
It should be noted that the scooter does indeed have its own batteries and 6-kW motor, which automatically come into use only when it's disengaged from the rickshaw – otherwise, the rickshaw's motor and batteries do all the work. This system is known as the Smart Switching Multi Powertrain (SSMP).
Surge plans on offering four different rickshaw bodies, each of which will only be compatible with an AMSEP designed for that particular body. The PV body has space for two passengers behind the driver, the LD features a pickup-truck-like cargo bed, the HD has an enclosed cargo box, and the FB has a flat bed.
All of the rickshaw configurations have a top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph), whereas the scooter can travel at up to 60 km/h (37 mph) on its own. There's currently no word on battery life. We're also still waiting to hear back from Surge regarding pricing and availability.
You can see the S32 in transforming action, in the video below.
Source: Surge Automotive