Electrification in the Indian sub-continent first started with commercial vehicles. It is a bit tough to understand but as Diego Graffi, MD and CEO of Piaggio Vehicles says,
Last mile transportation, both cargo & passenger, form an important part of the overall transportation ecosystem which clearly impacts the life of most citizens. Last-mile transportation in addition is a very important source of employment for a large mass of population particularly in counties like India. With EVs offering better drivability and overall competitive total cost of ownership with zero-emission, the impact on last-mile transportation is high. In addition, in large metro and city areas, the nation struggles with heavy air pollution. EVs are thus a win-win option for both consumers and the environment in which last-mile transportation plays a major role.
Speaking of which, Piaggio is one of the most reputed as well as organised players in this vastly unorganised commercial three-wheeler segment, especially the electric one. Here, the customers will mostly prefer a new entrant with a lower price tag than a reputed one with a premium attached to it. We had a quick chat with Diego on the emerging trends in the electric auto segment in India. We also checked on how the adoption of EVs in Piaggio India’s portfolio has been. Diego told us that
Piaggio is focused towards being fuel agnostic. We would like to give customers the choice to choose based on their requirements & application. In so far as the Ape’ Electrik range is concerned, customers stand to gain a lot. They come with superior driving pleasure due to its extremely low NVH levels and no clutch & gear experience. In addition for the electric range we are offering unique service solutions to ensure confidence and peace of mind for our customers. The vehicles are covered with a 3 year/1 lakh kilometre “Super Warranty”. In addition to this, we are offering a three-year Free Maintenance package as an introductory offer to all our customers. The Piaggio I-Connect telematics solution offers real-time vehicle data tracking for our customers and for PVPL service initiatives.
Being the two-wheeler enthusiasts we are at heart, the question eventually veered to electrification of bikes, scooters. Diego commented
As an organization, we have always delivered superior products to our consumers and would not launch anything without extensive research, consumer insights and market conditions. We are investing heavily in Europe in terms of electric, design and engineering and we have an R&D in our headquarters in Pontedera focused on electric mobility not only for 2-wheelers but also for commercial vehicles.
Piaggio India’s plans for 2021 are very much on track, says Diego. He added that
As a brand, we have always believed in providing path-breaking solutions in the last mile transportation segment with best-in-class technology offerings to the customers. In spite of the pandemic, we have continued to invest in new technologies & launched new products every quarter. We are going to introduce a completely new powertrain in the alternate fuel space in 2021 with a more powerful engine. For 2-wheelers, Piaggio launched its new scooter, Aprilia SXR 160 and the initial reactions from consumers and dealers have been overwhelming. We feel Aprilia as a brand is going to make waves in India along with our flagship product Vespa.
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