Piaggio’s charming and iconic three-wheel hauler is converting to electric power! The name of the new model is Ape E-City.
Rickshaws are a staple in South East Asia where they are used as taxis, delivery vehicles, or even as street food stalls. Now, thanks in part to India’s Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) program, the Ape is becoming electric. FAME encourages the sale of electric vehicles, specifically two and three-wheeled electric vehicles. To encourage that, they offer a decrease in sales tax from 12% to 5%.
The Ape E-City will have a battery swap system with big, flattened batteries low in the vehicle, which you can replace at automated service stations. This will keep the little Piaggio vehicles working longer, a task that is important considering their role in the economy.
The E-City is on sale for 197,000 Indian Rupees ($2800) which compares well with the gas-powered version. The Ape is now available as a 50cc two-stroke, 197cc four-stroke, 395cc four-stroke, and 435cc single-cylinder diesel. Prices vary from just $2,000 for the Ape 50 to approximately $3,500 for the Ape Plus diesel.
Battery swap technology is the most intriguing part of this release. It allows you to quickly and conveniently turn on a fully charged battery and resume functions. That eliminates the downtime and range anxiety that blights electric vehicles. It is also noteworthy that nations like India are driving this campaign.
Piaggio’s effort to streamline this years-old format is praise-worthy. It is likely to result in further technological developments that make electrification a more viable alternative for an increasing range of motorcycles. We’re living in exciting times for sure!