Car & General unveils electric three-wheelers


Car & General staff (driving) Saumil Vyas, head of digital marketing, and Nilesh Taleker the national sales manager. PHOTO | COURTESY OF C&G

Car & General has introduced electric three-wheelers in the Kenyan market as it diversifies into the "green" mobility business amid a global push to address climate change and pollution.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm on Monday evening unveiled the electric three-wheelers in partnership with Piaggio Vehicles Pvt Ltd (PVPL), a subsidiary of Italian motor vehicle manufacturer, Piaggio Group.

The launch marks a new line of business for Car & General, which has been selling motorcycles and three-wheelers with internal combustion engines for decades as part of its diversified operations.

The three-wheelers, called Piaggio Ape Electrik vehicles, will be sold in two versions — Ape E-City FX Max for the passenger segment and Ape E-Xtra FX Max for cargo.

PVPL is also India’s leading manufacturer of small commercial vehicles as well as a pioneer in three-wheeler electric mobility. Car & General is the appointed sole distributor of Piaggio three-wheelers in Kenya since 2002.

Car & General Group CEO, Vijay Gidoomal, said the launch of electric three-wheelers is in response to the needs of customers and aligns with the values of the company in making returns while minimising emissions.

“With low maintenance costs, warranty, advanced technology and long range, the FX Max range will definitely maximise the earnings of our customers even as we lead Kenya’s three-wheeler EV mission,” Mr Gidoomal said.

The electric three-wheelers are also expected to appeal to customers looking to switch from the use of fuel, especially with prices of petrol and diesel remaining elevated.

Mr Dhiraj Tripathi, the vice-president of exports and electric vehicles at PVPL, said the two electric three-wheelers have been hugely successful in other markets.

“Our engineers have designed the Apé FX Max range to ensure optimum value for customers through better range, grade ability and load-carrying capacity, as well as providing a competitive total cost of ownership. We feel the new range is an entrepreneur’s best bet to reap maximum benefits,” said Mr Tripathi.

Car &General said the passenger electric three-wheeler can go for 145 kilometres on a single charge while the cargo one can do 115 kilometres. They also come with advanced telematics to give drivers better navigation and allow fleet owners to track and manage the three-wheelers.

The firm said the Piaggio electric range has a 12-inch tyre size and also comes with a fixed battery solution but plans to introduce a swappable battery solution later on.

The global shift to electric mobility is expected to impact local motor vehicle dealers and motorists, with scores of automakers and governments announcing they will completely phase out diesel and petrol-powered vehicles by 2040.

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