Europe is about to get an electric version of the auto rickshaw, or tuk tuk. The Dutch company Tuk Tuk Factory says it will market the first fully electric version of the well known Asian Tuk Tuk there.
A tuk tuk is generally an open frame resting on three wheels, often with a canvas roof and drop-down sides, with a small space in the front of the vehicle for the driver and seating for up to three passengers in the rear. The gas-powered versions are generally fitted with an air-cooled scooter version of a two-stroke engine, with handlebar controls instead of a steering wheel. The original design was the Piaggio Ape C, from 1956, which was originally based on the Vespa.
The Tuk Tuk Factory plans to deliver a three-seater, a six-seater and a cargo version in the EU. Prices range is expected to be between 11,000 and 14,000 euro. The vehicles sit on 13-in. wheels and will go about 30 mph at top speed.
Tuk Tuk designers say they basically designed the car around a large 15 kWh lead-acid battery weighing about 880 lbs. Designers figure there is enough battery capacity to power the vehicle for eight hours of city driving with a range of up to 50 miles.
Options include a lithium battery and a solar-charging roof. No word yet on whether these vehicles will come to the U.S.
More info: http://www.tuktukfactory.eu/