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Last Updated : Jun 14, 2019 03:49 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Piaggio to invest up to Rs 300 crore; electric three-wheeler launch later this year

The Italy-headquartered company will start pilot production of the electric three-wheeler, powered by a 4.5 kW motor, in September this year.

Swaraj Baggonkar @swarajsb
 
 
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Piaggio Vehicles, India's second largest three-wheeler maker, will invest Rs 200-300 crore over three years on product and technology development, including the launch of a fully electric three-wheeler in the December quarter.
With the launch of the electric three-wheeler, Piaggio will become the fourth manufacturer to enter this segment after Mahindra, Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor Company. The Italy-headquartered company will start pilot production of the electric three-wheeler, powered by a 4.5 kW motor, in September this year.


"The price of the electric three-wheeler should be the same as the on-road price of the CNG three-wheeler which ranges between Rs 1.45 - Rs 1.95 lakh. This is because the cost of the battery is not involved as we will be offering swapable battery service in association with Sun Mobility," said Diego Graffi, CEO & Managing Director, Piaggio Vehicles.


Swapable means the owner can either charge the battery when needed, or go to a service centre and swap the present battery with a fully charged one.


Sun Mobility is headed by  Chetan Maini, who had founded Reva  Electric Car Company, which was later acquired by Mahindra & Mahindra.


Race against time


Manufacturers who are racing against time to meet the deadline of April 1, 2020 to transition to BS-VI may be asked by the government to fully shift to electric platorm by 2023 as far as three-wheelers are concerned.


New investments of Piaggio will go into upgradation to Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) emission norm, expand capacity, making fresh investments for electric technology, and production lines, development of new engines and development of alternate fuel technology such as hybrids.


While Mahindra was the first to launch electric three-wheelers powered by a lithium-ion battery pack, Bajaj Auto and TVS will follow suit later this year. The cheapest Mahindra electric three-wheeler Treo is priced at Rs 1.36 lakh having a certified range of 170km.


Graffi said that Piaggio's electric three-wheeler will have a range of 80-100km.


Piaggio has forayed into the mid-body segment of three-wheelers with the launch of new Ape City+. Built on a new platform and equipped with a new 230cc engine, the Ape City+ will be available in four fuel options - LPG, CNG, petrol and diesel. The diesel engine is powered by a 436cc engine.


Piaggio has priced the City+ at Rs 1.74 - 1.9 lakh, in line with the competition. The model will be available only in BS-IV variant now and will get upgraded to BS-VI before end of the year.


The company is expanding its engine capacity to 100,000 per year. Its vehicle making capacity is at 380,000 units per annum.


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First Published on Jun 14, 2019 03:49 pm
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