Piaggio Vehicles Pvt. Ltd. (PVPL) India is planning to set up 100 special experience centres in India for its electric vehicles in the country. The EV experience centres, which will be under the company's Ape' Electrik brand, will be different from Piaggio's existing dealerships that sell the internal combustion engine (ICE) three-wheelers. The new EV experience centres will have a different setup and will use digital tools to give customers a first-hand experience of the company's electric three-wheelers and technology. The company already has about 10 such experience centres across India, and it plans to launch 20 more by the end of March 2021. The company's larger goal is to reach 100 touchpoints by the end of this calendar year.
Talking about the company's plan to set up these new EV experience centres Diego Graffi, Chairman and MD, Piaggio Vehicles Pvt. Ltd. (PVPL) said, "For purpose of launching this vehicle (electric three-wheelers) we are thinking also to implementing a separate kind of infrastructure, under the brand Ape' Electrik, that more than a dealership will be an experience centre. Where the consumer can enter the dealership and see-through digital tools the advantages of the vehicles. So, it would assist more in terms of the purchase process because it requires a different kind of mentality, different kind of mindset with respect to normal, conventional ICE engine vehicles. We already have 10 of these experience centres, specifically for Ape Electrik, we are going to launch another 20 by the end of March, and the plan is to, if the pandemic will allow us obviously, to reach 100 specific experience centre under the Ape Electrik brand by the end of 2021."
Piaggio India recently launched two new electric three-wheelers, and both are part of the company's FX range, which comes with fixed Lithium-Ion batteries. While the existing model is the Ape E-City that was launched in 2019 and comes with swappable batteries, recently the company has launched the new Ape E-City FX and E-Xtra FX, which come with fixed batteries. The updated Ape' E-City FX electric rickshaw comes with a 7.5 kWh Lithium-Ion battery, whereas the new Ape E-Xtra FX, comes with a bigger 8 kWh battery and both are IP67 certified. While the Ape' E-City offers a maximum electric range of up to 110 km, the E-Xtra gets a range of up to 90 km; both come with a top speed of 45 kmph.
Right now, Piaggio India has around 450 main dealerships for three-wheelers, and more than 1,100 touchpoints, across India. And the addition of the 100 EV experience centres is expected to further strengthen the company network in India.