Piaggio Ape electric three-wheeler range explored
Published On Feb 11, 2022
An early adopter of new technologies, Piaggio now offers Ape branded E Xtra-cargo and E-City-passenger auto-rickshaws in the full-electric, battery-operated powertrain. Are you planning to switch to an e-rickshaw? We help you with all the details.
India is rapidly moving towards electric vehicles in the last-mile cargo and passenger three-wheeler segment. The ubiquitous three-wheelers are ripe for EVs as they’re affordable and mostly operate in a limited geographical area, thus electric powertrains become a practical and viable option.
Over the last few years, across urban, semi-urban and hinterland demand for e-rickshaw has skyrocketed. The sudden spike is due to the operating economics working in favour of these battery-operated vehicles. Besides offering much-needed relief from the spiralling diesel/petrol prices, which have substantially dented the monthly income of these micro-entrepreneurs.
And to cater to this rapid shift in the market, all the key brands in the three-wheeler segment geared up to offer compelling value for money vehicles. Piaggio, which sells the popular Ape branded conventional auto-rickshaws is an early mover into the full-electric battery-operated three-wheeler segment. The company has introduced its Ape branded three-wheeler in their EV avatar and is also expanding its network across the country to cater to wider customers and also capture leadership in this emerging market.
So which are the key electric auto-rickshaws from Piaggio that you can buy right now? There is Ape E-City and Ape E Xtra, and Piaggio has adopted fixed and swappable battery solutions to offer a choice to customers. This is a welcome step as these are early days and the segment is evolving. Let's find out more about these electric Ape e rickshaws.
Ape E Xtra FX
Piaggio Ape is a strong brand in the cargo carrier segment in India for a long time. What has helped the Ape Xtra to maintained leadership in this competitive segment? The strong capability of carrying a higher payload, big cargo deck, lower operating cost and superior mileage. And to do exactly that in the EVs cargo three-wheeler segment, Piaggio has introduced the Ape E Xtra.
Take a look from any profile, and the Ape E Xtra, the electric version appears similar to the IC engine one. Yes, from the exterior there isn’t much difference. However, being an electric version, the Ape E Xtra is a green vehicle that doesn’t make any sound and enables you to carry a higher payload with high power and torque. The key feature of this cargo three-wheeler is a powerful modern fixed type, lithium-ion 8kW battery, that produces a power of 9.55 kW and 45Nm of impressive torque. The cargo deck is 6ft so that means you can carry a bigger volume of logistics at a top speed of 45 kmph and a real-life driving range of 90-100 km in a single charge. Ape E Xtra starts from an attractive ex-showroom price of ₹ 3.12 lakh.
Ape E City FX
In the passenger carrier e-rickshaw segment Piaggio is offering you the Ape E City FX, with the fixed battery options. This 3-seater full-electric auto-rickshaw is ideal for all your daily mobility business needs. On the exterior, this electric version appears quite similar with a large passenger that has a spacious cabin with adequate leg and shoulder room, a comfortable driver seat and superior built quality.
The motor of this electric auto-rickshaw is 5.44 kW and 29Nm of torque to carry your passenger with speed. The lithium-ion battery gets 7.5kW of capacity, and the gradeability of this e-rickshaw is high, which means no worry navigating city traffic, climbing flyovers or steeper curves. The best part of the Ape E City FX is the lowest operating cost 39 paisa per kilometre, and besides lower maintenance cost as there is no gear, clutch or engine. On top of it, you don’t need to pay road tax, spend on permits or registrations. The Ape E City FX start from ₹ 2.84 lakh with options to choose the right configurations that suit your business/applications.
Ape E City Swappable
As the name suggests, the Ape E City Swappable is an electric passenger carrier sans a fixed battery. If you prefer a flexible model and don’t want range anxiety issues, then a swappable battery works better, not needing to find a charging station but changing the battery does the job.
The battery swapping is hassle-free and quick, and to help you with easier usability, Piaggio has developed a mobile app that makes the entire process effortless. With the help of this App, you can monitor the rickshaw in real-time to find the distance travelled, total mileage, distance to empty, charging percentage and nearest battery swappable location, etc. After swapping the battery, the payment is seamless and you’re ready to go, perhaps with less time and effort than filling a fuel tank at any fuel station.
With the introduction of an all-electric range, Piaggio is gaining customers' confidence. As the technology matures and battery costs drop with rising volume, the e-rickshaws are going to become more popular vehicles. Piaggio aims to stay ahead of the competition with its proven vehicles portfolio in the electric segment.