Piaggio Vehicles (PVPL), a 100 percent subsidiary of the Italy-based Piaggio Group, today entered the cargo electric three-wheeler segment with the launch of Ape’ E-Xtra FX priced at Rs 312,137 (ex-showroom).
This is the second product in the EV space by the company with the first being the passenger electric three-wheeler Ape’ E-City which was launched in late 2019 and came with swappable battery technology.
These small commercial vehicles are powered by the FX (fixed) range of battery solutions. The Ape’ E-City is priced at Rs 283,878. Both prices are introductory in nature and carry the subsidy under the FAME -II (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric and Hybrid Vehicles) scheme.
Piaggio claims that the new Ape’ E-Xtra FX is the most powerful electric cargo in the segment with 9.5 kW power output. It comes with a full metal body fitted with a 6 ft cargo deck length and has a payload capacity of 506kg.
The top-speed of both E-Xtra FX and E-City FX is 45km/hour. The drive range of the cargo variant is around 90km while that of the passenger variant is around 110km. The charging time for both the vehicles is 3 hours and 45 mins on a 48V charger.
Both of Piaggio’s EVs come equipped with features like blue vision headlamps, automatic transmission, hill hold assist, regenerative braking, dual tone seats, multi- information instrument cluster, boost mode to name a few.
Diego Graffi, Chairman & MD Piaggio Vehicles, said, “Post the launch of Ape’ E-City with swappable technology in 2019, we are now introducing the fixed battery technology solutions to serve the varied needs of customers.”
Fixed battery vehicles do not allow the vehicle owner to take out the battery from the vehicle like cell phones. Whereas, the other type is the swappable battery technology in which the battery can be taken out of the vehicle for charging purposes.
The Ape’ E-Xtra FX can cater to segments like e-commerce, gas cylinder delivery, mineral water deliveries, FMCG sector, fruits and vegetables, garbage collection and a host of others. Piaggio claims that the running cost of the E-Xtra FX is less than 50 paise per kilometer. Typically, a petrol-powered three-wheeler costs Rs 4-5 per kilometre to run.
Due to the large presence of unorganised players in India who import electric three-wheeler parts from China, the exact market size of electric three-wheelers in India is not known.
In FY19, the segment sales of electric three-wheelers at 6.3 lakh overtook even the fossil-fuel powered three-wheeler sales at 5.72 lakh, as per data shared by the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicle (SMEV).
After a delay of two years, Bajaj Auto will commercially launch its first electric three-wheeler in the second half of the 2022 financial year. The Pune-based company is the market leader in the passenger three-wheeler segment also known as auto rickshaw that is powered by petrol or CNG.
Euler Motors, Omega Seiki and Terra Motors are some of the new start-ups who have entered the electric cargo three-wheeler space. Mahindra & Mahindra, Kinetic Green and Atul Auto are some of players from the organised market.