Piaggio Ape-Inspired Dispatch EV Promises to Be the Next e-Fleet Cargo Solution

Ever since humans started trading and bartering, there’s been a need for logistics. Nowadays, logistics are starting to look a bit different than what people are used to.
Dispatch Cargo EV 13 photos
Photo: Springtime Design
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Cargo vehicles are among the factors that add to the pollution currently floating around your local town. Lately, there has been some attention on this industry, so much so that as I walk around town, I'm seeing more and more logistical services implementing EV fleets.

With such a movement, you’re bound to see endless designs promising to be the next green logistics solution. Springtime Design has just released a rendering showing their plans for the future of inner-city logistics.

The project has been dubbed the Dispatch and is inspired around a widely used delivery vehicle, the Piaggio Ape. Since 1948, the Ape has been the go-to vehicle for nearly any delivery or cargo need. Based around a trike design, with one wheel at the front and two at the back, the Ape also included a cargo tray on the rear. That tray could also be enclosed and even converted to carry human occupants.

Piaggio Ape
Photo: Piaggio Commercial
Using the Ape as inspiration, Springtime set out to create an EV suited to the modern age. Unlike the Ape, the Dispatch comes with four wheels instead of three. Honestly, that is a smart move. If you’ve ever ridden an ATC, you know how tricky it can be to control your vehicle during speedy turns. To solve the stability issue three wheels may pose while carrying cargo, the obvious choice is four wheels.

Now, Springtime is a team that’s been in the news before. Why? Simply because they do one heck of a job designing vehicles; some might call them thorough. As I mentioned earlier, the Dispatch is an EV, and so the crew went beyond just the visual design you see and included actual specs.

For example, the drivetrain for the Dispatch consists of a set of swappable batteries that seem to be hidden right behind the driver, also acting as a backrest. Because the battery can be swapped, it means that your e-fleet will experience little to no downtime as a full charge is only a swap away.

Dispatch Cargo EV
Photo: Springtime Design
This battery then feeds energy to two rear hub motors running under 2 kW (2.7 hp) each. Overall, these motors can propel the vehicle up to 50 kph (31 mph).

One thing that I liked about the idea is that the team also designed a power-assist version of the Dispatch. For this version, the floor is cut away, and two pedals are implemented. Obviously, it’s meant to work like an e-bike.

Another neat trick the Dispatch is capable of is having a swappable cargo unit. Let’s say you have to deliver cargo that needs to be protected. Just attach the enclosed cargo box, and don’t worry about theft or anything like that. Aside from offering protection, the box unit can also be equipped with an AC unit used for carrying perishable goods. This unit is also available in 1,500-liter (396-gallon) and 2,000-liter (528-gallon) capacities.

Dispatch Cargo EV
Photo: Springtime Design
If your fleet is required to move goods that can be left exposed to the elements, there’s a unit for that; a pick-up bed option is available. One advantage of having different units such as these is that they can be pre-loaded as the main vehicle is still finishing its rounds.

To get an idea of how serious this team is, they are currently looking for partners to help get their idea off the ground. Whenever such a request is made, you can be sure the design team is ready to kick things into production. All that’s needed is a bit of cash.

I feel this design may be one that I’ll see rolling down the street one day. Why not? It's minimalist, modular, and best of all, eco-friendly.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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