• Jul 28th 2009 at 5:58PM
  • 17
Piaggio Ape - Click above for high-res image gallery

According to reports coming out of Europe, Italian scooter maker Piaggio has just unveiled a new fully electric version of its iconic Ape Calessino three-wheeler, a beast of burden normally powered by a 422cc diesel engine. Separating the new EV from its fossil-fueled variants is a new white paint job with burgundy doors and canvas top (not shown). The new electric Ape is powered by a lithium ion battery pack and an electric motor that reportedly allows for a range of up to 75 kilometers (just under 50 miles). A full recharge of the battery pack will take less than four hours, but that's surely dependent on the type of outlet the electric Ape's plugged into.

There's no indication on horsepower, torque or top speed that we've been able to suss out yet, but Piaggio is apparently claiming the battery pack is good for 800 recharge cycles. It seems an initial run of just 100 lithium-powered Apes are slated for production, all intended for European consumption. Want one? Better get out the checkbook – the lithium-powered Ape is expected to sell for €19,900 (over $30K in U.S. funds) plus Value Added Tax (VAT).

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'd just like to point out that the original is called "Ape" because that's Italian for "Bee". Which describes the buzzing sound the legendary ICE-powered original makes.

      Maybe they'll come up with another aptronym... any suggestions?

        • 6 Years Ago
        And it's pronounced 'ah-pe', not 'ape' as in bone crunching furry critter.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What will Tony Jaa do if these things won't blow up spectacularly!!!???

        • 6 Years Ago
        Wow. You must be terrified everytime someone uses a laptop near you, and considering the fact that practically everyone carries a cellphone, I can barely imagine the constant state of mortal fear you must live in.
        • 6 Years Ago
        With lithium batteries on board, if they rupture, it will be just like special effects in the movies.

        Huge, near explosive, very hot fireball.

        Good idea for a rickshaw, NOT.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's a rickshaw? (I won't mention India for fear of being labeled a racist)
      • 6 Years Ago
      $30,000 for a golf cart that's missing a wheel? I'll pass.

      Seriously, how in the world can they justify charging €19,900 for that? I'd rather drive a Tata Nano.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's a logical step forward.
      These vehicles have been common in large parts of Europe for much of the last century, providing utilitarian, no-frills efficient transport, they're practically an icon for it.
      They helped rebuild our ravaged countries after WW2 and to bring prosperity to hard working people. Maybe the electric version can do the same as we struggle to overcome a century's worth of economical an ecological irresposibility.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Umm, with the $30K projected price... I think that keeps this from being transport for the masses. Not to mention they're only making 100 of these. It's like making an original Beetle with a $50K hydrogen-fuel cell. It's a futuristic powertrain on an icon, but who would shell out $50K for a Beetle?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Just a couple of notes:

      1) Ape here in Italy is still used for light-duty transport, much in rural areas and little, medieval-age towns.

      2) Diesel-engined Ape Calessino is a (Not cheap) limited re-edition of the Ape used in the sixties as a "beach car", not unlike Mini Moke and Citroen Mehari. It's meant to be used in places like Capri or Portofino, by private (Likely rich) tourist, municipalities or tourism agencies. Given that, I don't think that the price tag is much of a problem, to be able to move in the centre of seaside towns, thanks to electrical power
      • 6 Years Ago
      Good for 800 charge cycles. So the battery is toast in about 2-3 years, just like every other li-ion battery. I bet replacements are cheap...
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'd roll in one on 24's.
      • 6 Years Ago
      In my country, Peru, these type of "scooters" are called Taxi-Cholo. So! they haven't invented nothing new here.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I suppose that I am going to start hearing now how cool these are and how I am a dumb, clueless American driving too much car and I should think that these are cool and be driving one of these.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Projecting much?
        • 6 Years Ago
        LOOK It's the new GM Obamamobile
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why do I get the feeling it won't be as fun as this...


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