Piaggio Vehicles has just announced that it will be unveiling the Ape Electrik series in India on 18th December. Piaggio Ape has been a popular three-wheeler in India that has served as a last-mile connectivity solution for decades. In October this year, Piaggio Ape received BS-VI compliance for its CNG engine. And now, the Ape will have an all-electric version. Last month, Piaggio said that it would take the swappable battery route for its electric commercial vehicles. The first of these battery swapping stations will be set up in Pune and Bengaluru.
The unveiling of all-electric Piaggio Ape will be attended by Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog.
Piaggio has announced plans to convert its passenger and cargo range of commercial vehicles into electric but has not given a time frame for it. The company has a range of 17 auto-rickshaws, cargo vehicles, and special purpose vehicles.
Piaggio Vehicles MD & CEO Diego Graffi said earlier this year that the manufacturer sees immense growth in demand in small electric commercial vehicles both for cargo and passenger segments in the near future and that Piaggio intends to be prepared well in advance. While the company will be importing lithium-ion battery cells, powertrain and battery management system would be fully localised, he added.
Nearly a year ago, Mahindra Treo became the first all-electric auto-rickshaw to launch in India. Mahindra has a modular assembly line from which electric three-wheelers and electric cars can both be rolled out. Mahindra Treo price starts at Rs 1.36 lakh for the Treo Yaari e-Rickshaw (ex-showroom, post FAME benefits). The electric auto Mahindra Treo costs Rs 2.22 lakh.
In related news, Shado Group unveiled its electric three-wheeler under Erick brand name in August this year. Erick has a range of 70 km and the manufacturer claims that the proprietary ultracapacitor battery installed in the vehicle can be charged in just 5 minutes.