Surge S32 is a combo of an electric auto-rickshaw and a detachable scooter

In the bustling streets of urban landscapes, the Surge S32 emerges as a novel solution to the challenges of transportation, blending the utility of an auto-rickshaw with the agility of a scooter. This innovative vehicle, conceived by India’s Surge Automobiles, is a testament to the evolving dynamics of urban transit, promising a versatile and efficient mode of travel.

The Surge S32 is heralded as the world’s first “segment-adapting vehicle,” a designation that underscores its unique capability to transform from a robust auto-rickshaw to a nimble scooter. Operating the vehicle in its rickshaw configuration requires an LMV (light motor vehicle) license, while its scooter form necessitates a two-wheeler license, accommodating the legal frameworks for road vehicles in many jurisdictions.

Central to the S32’s design is the Advanced Modular Scalable Electric Platform (AMSEP). This foundational element not only provides the structural integrity for the rickshaw but also houses critical components such as removable batteries, a rear-axle motor, drive system electronics, and the vehicle’s rear wheels. This modular design is key to the S32’s adaptability and ease of use.

Surge S32 Electric Auto-rickshaw Detachable Scooter Hybrid AMSEP
A top-view schematic of the Advanced Modular Scalable Electric Platform (AMSEP).

A notable feature of the S32 is its recessed docking area, situated at the front of the AMSEP. This ingenious design allows for the two-seater scooter to be seamlessly integrated into the rickshaw, transforming the standalone scooter into the rickshaw’s driving cockpit. The process of docking and undocking the scooter is remarkably efficient, requiring a mere three minutes and the simple act of pushing a button, demonstrating a user-friendly approach to vehicle transformation.

The scooter itself is equipped with its own set of batteries and a 6-kW motor, engaging automatically when the scooter is detached from the rickshaw. When connected, however, the rickshaw’s motor and batteries power the combined unit, thanks to the Smart Switching Multi Powertrain (SSMP) system. This dual-power approach ensures optimal energy usage and flexibility in operation.

Surge S32 Prototype LD Rickshaw Body
A Surge S32 prototype, outfitted with the LD cargo bed variant.

Surge Automobiles has announced plans to release four distinct rickshaw bodies, each tailored to specific use cases: the PV body designed for passenger transport, the LD variant with a pickup-truck-like cargo bed, the HD model featuring an enclosed cargo box, and the FB version offering a flat bed for versatile cargo needs. This range of options speaks to the S32’s adaptability to various urban transport requirements.

Performance-wise, the rickshaw configurations are capable of reaching speeds up to 45 km/h (28 mph), while the detached scooter can accelerate up to 60 km/h (37 mph), offering competitive speeds for urban commuting. Despite the detailed specifications, Surge has yet to release information on battery life, pricing, and availability, leaving potential users and industry watchers eagerly awaiting further details.

Surge S32 Prototype Electromechanical Lock
A sophisticated electronic lock keeps the scooter and rickshaw firmly attached while in use, safeguarding against accidental separation.

The Surge S32 represents a forward-thinking approach to urban mobility, promising a blend of efficiency, versatility, and sustainability. As cities worldwide continue to grapple with the complexities of transportation in densely populated areas, the S32 offers a glimpse into a future where modular electric vehicles could play a pivotal role in shaping urban transit.

Source: Surge Automobiles

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