Piaggio launches their first electric three-wheeler
But what about range anxiety? They have a clever solution
While there is enough encouragement for four-wheelers to go electric, why should the humble three-wheelers be left behind. Making its way into the electric segment, Italian automaker Piaggio recently announced the launch of its first range of electric three-wheelers called the Ape Electrik.
Launched at an introductory price of INR 1.97 lakh (or $2,766), the company will be offering this three-wheeler in various trim levels, catering to both passenger and goods segment. The first vehicle to be launched under this range is called the Ape E-City, which also happens to be the first E-auto by Piaggio in India.
Housing a 4.7 kWh lithium-ion battery at the rear, the Piaggio E-City is capable of offering 70-80kms of range at full charge. As auto-drivers can’t wait hours for their batteries to top up, Piaggio has collaborated with Sun Mobility to come up with advanced swappable batteries.
Customers can simply swap the depleted battery core with a fully-charged one from the station. The automaker claims customers can exchange their batteries in under two minutes, addressing concerns around the range and recharging time. Along with the batteries, Sun Mobility will also be the supplier of a Quick Interchange Station network present across the operational cities.
Any information regarding the battery such as range, temperature or nearest interchange station can be availed via the Sun Mobility app. If that weren’t too digital for auto-drivers, the fully-digital instrument cluster would certainly fascinate some. The E-City will be the first-in-class to feature a digital console, providing information like speed, state of charge, drive modes and service alerts.
The company plans to launch the E-City in Chandigarh, Mohali and Gurugram, constituting the first phase of launch. The partner company, Sun Mobility, has further devised a schedule of coming up with about 50 such charge stations across ten cities by March next year. Also unveiled at the event was Ape E-city FX prototype, a fixed battery cousin to the E-City, set to be launched in 2020.