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Piaggio Ape at the indian market. The Piaggio Ape is a three-wheeled light commercial vehicle first produced in 1948 by Piaggio. In 1947 the inventor of the Vespa, aircraft designer Corradino D'Ascanio, came up with the idea of building a light three-wheeled commercial vehicle to power Italy's economical reconstruction, an idea which found favour with Enrico Piaggio, the son of the firm's founder, Rinaldo. The vehicles comes in various configurations such as vans and pickups for load carrying and an autorickshaw (Tuk-tuk) for human transportation.