Surge S32: A hybrid of electric auto-rickshaw and detachable scooter

Surge S32 Electric Auto-rickshaw Detachable Scooter Hybrid
Detaching the scooter from the Surge S32's rickshaw frame is a swift process, requiring roughly three minutes. Images courtesy Surge Automobiles

In the realm of urban mobility, the Surge S32 stands out as a unique combination of an electric auto-rickshaw and a detachable scooter, designed to offer the best of both worlds in terms of functionality and convenience. This innovative vehicle, manufactured by India’s Surge Automobiles, represents a significant leap towards adaptable transportation solutions in crowded city environments.

The Surge S32 is distinguished as “the world’s first segment-adapting vehicle,” requiring users to hold an LMV (light motor vehicle) license to operate it in its rickshaw form, and a two-wheeler license for the scooter mode. This dual functionality underscores the vehicle’s versatility and its potential to cater to diverse transportation needs within urban landscapes.

At the core of the S32 is the Advanced Modular Scaleable Electric Platform (AMSEP), which not only forms the chassis of the rickshaw but also houses essential components such as the removable batteries, rear-axle motor, drive system electronics, and rear wheels. This platform facilitates the seamless integration and separation of the scooter, enabling the vehicle to transform according to the user’s requirements.

The integration process of the scooter into the rickshaw is both quick and user-friendly, taking approximately three minutes and executed by simply pressing a button and rolling the scooter in or out of the docking area located at the front of the AMSEP. This process retracts the scooter’s rear wheel, lifting it off the ground, and positions the scooter to serve as the cockpit for the rickshaw. Notably, the scooter’s front wheel doubles as the front wheel of the rickshaw, highlighting the ingenuity behind the vehicle’s design.

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

Another significant feature of the S32 is its Smart Switching Multi Powertrain (SSMP), which allows the scooter to operate with its own batteries and 6-kW motor when detached. While docked, the rickshaw’s motor and batteries power the combined unit, ensuring efficient energy use and providing flexibility in how the vehicle can be utilized.

Surge Automobiles has announced plans to offer four distinct rickshaw body types, each designed to be compatible with a specific AMSEP. These variations include the PV body for passenger transport, the LD with a pickup-truck-style cargo bed, the HD featuring an enclosed cargo box, and the FB model with a flat bed, catering to a wide range of cargo and passenger transport needs.

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

Both the rickshaw and scooter configurations boast impressive speeds, with the rickshaw reaching up to 45 km/h (28 mph) and the scooter capable of speeds up to 60 km/h (37 mph), providing efficient transit options for urban dwellers.

As of now, Surge Automobiles has not disclosed specific details regarding the battery life, pricing, or availability of the S32. This anticipation builds as potential users and enthusiasts await further announcements, hoping for an innovative solution that combines flexibility, efficiency, and sustainability in urban mobility.

Surge S32 Prototype Electromechanical Lock
An electronic locking system ensures the scooter and rickshaw remain securely connected during operation, preventing unintended detachment.

The Surge S32 represents a forward-thinking approach to transportation, promising a versatile and adaptable option for the bustling streets of cities worldwide. As the details unfold, the potential impact of such a vehicle on urban transport and environmental sustainability remains a topic of keen interest.

Source: Surge Automobiles