If you’ve been anywhere near Thailand, the Indian sub-continent or other parts of the Far East, you’ll recognize the distinctive Tuk Tuk (or auto rickshaw) shape when you see it. These cute little vehicles unfortunately have a pretty bad reputation in these places because of the typically high levels of noxious fumes they give out, even when converted to gas as is the case in parts of India.
Well now some enterprising souls have gone all eco on the product and developed an all electric range of three-wheeler vehicles designed to combine the cute form factor of the original but with the smooth eco-happy smiles of electric power. The basic Tuk Tuk Classic features space for 3 passengers, a max speed of 50 km/h and a range of up to 80 kilometres. It has a charge time of 12 hours standard (2.5 hours fast charge) and comes with optional goodies such as a solar panel roof, rain covers and a radio.
More commercially minded folk may want to take a look at the Tuk Tuk Vendo, which is another in the range, and which is designed for those who fancy setting up their own portable kitchen, shop or cafe. The Vendo has a similar specification, but instead of passenger seats, the rear is a self-contained food preparation area, completely with a dinky little folding outboard breakfast bar feature.
The Dutch have apparently already fallen in love with the little things as urban taxis and judging by the photos, they’re also being used as special event vehicles, rather like Hummers and limos are in the rest of the world. The vehicle prices start at around €12,000.
Our local authority (in the Netherlands, yes) has bought a number of these and they are free to use for trips to the shops etcetera. They will not take passengers past the boundaries of the authority which measures 17.3 square kilometres. You can hail one as it goes by or phone ahead and make an appointment to be collected. At last something useful from our council taxes.
They have zip-on covers for cold and wet weather as you can see in the last few pictures on the link provided above.