They’re small, cramped, loud, stinky, smoky, and weird. They’ve probably caused as much black lung as a Kentucky coal mine, too, if we’re being honest. Nevertheless, my love for the Piaggio Ape trikes seems to grow stronger every day that I’m not allowed to buy one. It’s hard to justify that kind of irrational love for something, but Piaggio is making it a little bit easier by launching new CNG and LPG versions of its venerable little three-wheeler.

“The emphasis on alternate fuel technology is growing every day in (India). And hence, we introduced an improved range of alternate fuel vehicles to cater to the markets needs,” said DiegoGraffi, managing director and CEO of Piaggio vehicles. “The customer initiatives and improved range of alternate fuel vehicles are a part of the company’s strategy to further consolidate and strengthen Piaggio’s presence in the small commercial vehicle industry.”

The CNG versions of the Piaggio Ape are powered by a small, 435cc single-cylinder engine that produces “just” 8.04 hp. It’s not going to win any drag races, in other words, but that’s not what these little tuk tuks are all about.

Instead, the Piaggio Ape is about getting people from here to there. Sometimes the way is muddy, dirty, and treacherous- sure! But these little trucklet deals will get you where you need to be. And, despite the fact that there are now more than 2.5 million of these on India’s roads now, they’re still rare enough to be seen as special here in the US.

Check out the pictures, above, then let us know what you think of Piaggio’s venerable little worker bee’s latest emissions-friendly upgrades (“ape” is “bee”, in Italian) in the comments section at the bottom of the page.


Source | Images: Times of India, via Ride Apart.