Italian auto major Piaggio on Wednesday made its foray into the electric vehicle segment in India with the launch of a three-wheeler model in the country.
The electric three-wheeler, Ape E-City, is priced at Rs 1.97 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) and comes with a swappable lithium-ion battery.
The company has tied up with Chetan Maini-led Sun Mobility for battery and charging infrastructure.
"Piaggio group has a rich heritage of developing electric technology over the last 15 years which we have leveraged to develop these class leading products for India," Piaggio Vehicles Pvt Ltd MD and CEO Diego Graffi told reporters here.
The company has developed both swappable and fixed battery technology solutions to serve various needs of customers, he added.
"We plan to introduce a three-wheeler with fixed battery as well in the second quarter of the next year. There would also be electric versions in passenger and goods carriage space," Graffi said.
The company will launch the Ape E-City in Chandigarh, Mohali and Gurugram in the first phase in partnership with Sun Mobility. The partners plan to have 50 quick charging stations spread across 10 cities by March next year.
Graffi said the electric three-wheelers would be manufactured at its Baramati-based manufacturing facility. The plant has a capacity to roll out 3.5 lakh three-wheelers annually.
When asked about the company's investment in the electric vertical, Graffi said Piaggio has earmarked a total capital expenditure of Rs 300 crore for four years, between 2018 and 2022.
"The investment on the electric products would be part of this only," he noted.
He said that besides the domestic market, the company is also looking to export its electric product range to countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh as well as some locations in Africa.
The three-wheeler was launched by Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.
Speaking at the event, he said the central government has come up with policies to promote green mobility in the country.
He said it was great that the companies are now developing and launching electric products even without the government mandating them to do so.
Gadkari also asked the companies to launch electric rickshaw models.
The Ape E-City comes with digital instrument cluster and a warranty of three years or 1 lakh kilometers (whichever is earlier).