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Piaggio Introduces Li-ion Electric Version of Ape Calessino As Part of 2009 Refresh

Ape
Ape Calessino Electric Lithium. Click to enlarge.

Piaggio has introduced the refreshed 2009 range of the Ape Calessino, including a new electric version powered by lithium-ion batteries. The three-wheeler Ape has been on sale for more than 60 years, and has sold more than 2 million units in five continents.

The Ape Calessino Electric Lithium is powered by the AEnerBox system from Archimede Energia, including a liquid-cooled, 222V, 6.88 kWh Li-ion battery pack built with 3.7 V, 31 Ah cells and an 18 kW AC motor. Range is 75 km (47 miles) on one charge. Top speed is 50 km/h (31 mph).

The AEnerBox system offers gravimetric power density of 500 W/kg. The Ape Calessino Electric Lithium can be fully charged in less than 4 hours directly from a normal 220V household socket. Calendar life of the battery is 15 years—more than 800 recharge cycles for a total of approximately 60,000 km (37,000 miles).

The limited edition electric version (100 units) has its own unique livery, with an blue and white two-tone color scheme for the bodywork and canvas elements. The same two-tone scheme is echoed in the interior, with cream colored upholstery trimmed with blue piping.

The bodywork of the new Ape Calessino Electric Lithium is given a double cataphoresis painting treatment, making it even more resistant to the corrosive action typical of the humid, saline conditions of a seaside environment.

Ape Calessino Electric Lithium is on sale, on Italian market, at €19,900 (US$28,000), VAT not included.

The Ape was developed in the reconstruction period following World War II, designed for small businesses and ideal for transporting goods even in the narrowest city streets. Ape later became an alternative choice for personal mobility.

In 2007, Piaggio relaunched the Calessino model, initially conceived as a limited edition of 999 units. Powered by a 422 cc direct injection diesel engine, the conventionally-powered Ape Calessino is on sale with the new 2009 trim level, on the Italian market, at €9,150 (US$13,000), VAT not included.

Comments

ToppaTom

When will they import them.

As the brainwashing fades, Joe 6-pack will view this as a reasonably priced upgrade from his massive, 150HP 1 1/2 ton Prius or hybrid Accord.

I would buy one in a minute if they added thin film PV panels on the roof and offered a microturbine-genset trailer and kept the price below $99,000.


But why so many seats?
This was designed as a cargo vehicle - doesn't the world have enough people driving trucks as personal vehicles?

If they downsized this properly they would increase top speed, increase mileage, reduce weight and reduce costs.
An ideal cross country cruiser.

Think how great this vehicle would be if Piaggio had continued to develope it over the last 60 years.


ai_vin

Shirley[surely] you can't be serious? lol

But TT's got a point this is what the third world calls a SUV. And it's a heck of a lot more practical than the 3ton monsters we drive.

SJC

We in the U.S. tend to think in terms of our way of life, but with other parts of the world growing in a global economy all forms of energy savings pay off.

The U.S. has 3% of the oil reserves, 5% of the world's population and uses 25% of the daily production of oil world wide. We can certainly do more to make this a more balanced picture.

I know there will be those that say we have the largest economy and need to use the most oil, some even say that they will not "apologize" for that, as if someone is asking them to. We can do a better job and we need to do that ASAP.

ai_vin

The problem with people saying "we have the largest economy and need to use the most oil" is that they don't see the trap in it. If your economy is that dependant on oil how quickly will it fall when peak oil hits? We saw what happened when oil went over $150/barrel.

SJC

That is a good point. I do not want to be vulnerable to anyone changing the rules whenever they want to, that is a weak position to be in.

The more we can get free from imported oil, the better off we will all be. This should be SO obvious as to preclude so called debate. The "drill baby drill" crowd misses the whole point, but given their intellect, I am not surprised.

arnold

The last I saw this was 'classic' Italian movies They say fashion goes in cycles a case of back in fashion?
I'll bet that any part still working 60 years on will find a use.
The saving on manufacturing costs could be as much as a replacement vehicle.
If we assume the cost of spares and repairs must be negligable.
A photo gallery of body style adaptions would reveal the uses evolved.

India, Philipines and China have similar units.
In many such countries, passengers are pleased to 'ride in style'

arnold

The last I saw this was 'classic' Italian movies They say fashion goes in cycles a case of back in fashion?
I'll bet that any part still working 60 years on will find a use.
The saving on manufacturing costs could be as much as a replacement vehicle.
If we assume the cost of spares and repairs must be negligable.
A photo gallery of body style adaptions would reveal the uses evolved.

India, Philipines and China have similar units.
In many such countries, passengers are pleased to 'ride in style'

HarveyD

With the EEStor's ESSU just around the corner (late 2010) and the AIST lithium-air battery around by 2015 or shorthly thereafter, Americans will not have to adapt to this type of 3-wheelers.

Affordable small, medium, large and very large extended range BEVs will be around before 2020.

By 2020/2025 Hummer++ style BEVs will be bumper to bumper on most USA roads and streets.

Unless very unpopular limits are applied to curtail size and speed, 4+ tonnes BEVs will be common place. My BEV is bigger, heavier and faster than yours will be the IN thing to do and talk about. Young and not so young teenagers with 600+ HP, 4+ tonne BEVs, riding on 30+inch wheels will crush small cars just for fun, just like in many video games.

An army 30+ tonnes e-tank may be the only safe vehicle to drive the kids to school with.

Tourists and small cars watch out.

SJC

Well, we do have vehicle safety laws that try to keep the passengers from being injured, why not extend that to others. If a huge SUV can render harm to a small car, why not say that is not acceptable.

Bumper heights and other factors come into play. If I have a side beam in my fuel efficient car that is useless because the huge SUV goes over that barrier, something needs to be done. We do not have to fall victim to all the A.D.D. video game idiots, this is OUR country.

HarveyD

SJC:

Have a closer clook at the latest major car crashes with or without fatalities and you may find very odd driver behaviors.

Drivers cause the majority of all major road accidents. People with the smallest cars often get crushed by much heavier vehicles. To survive or to increase their chance of survival when being hit by wild drivers, people will have the tendency to buy larger vehicles. Have you seen the latest International Truck extended cab pick-up? It is sitting high on huge wheels and it looks much bigger than the largest Hummer. A very scarry vehicle to come close to, specially with a very young, very brave driver behind the wheel.

It seems that there are no laws or regulations on how big a pick-up or an SUV can be. As long as it is no wider than 8 feet and no higher than 12 feet and bumpers hang as low as the average car (about 17-inch - no max height limits) it can weight 5+ tonnes and have 30 inch wheels and roam the streets.

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