We leave our island of Nosy Komba, Madagascar to take a boat ride to the main land of Nosy Be every weekend. Upon arrival we usually make the decision of whether to walk to the local restaurant or take a tuk tuk. I would describe this fascinating vehicle as a small, 4 passenger, gas-powered trike. Here in Madagascar and other developing countries, such as Thailand, tuk tuks are primarily used for taxi rides or short trips to a local restaurant or grocery store. It was a few days ago I began wondering how much it would improve the environment here in Nosy Be (and all other towns that use these vehicles) if the tuk tuks were electric powered by solar panels or even hybrid- gas and electric. I put some thought into this idea and how beneficial it would be for both the environment and for those paying for gas for tuk tuks, I discovered that someone had already beat me to the punch. It turns out that a company called Tuk Tuk Factory has been in business since 2011. Shortly following a business trip to Thailand in 2009, a prototype was started based off of Dutch engineering. Since the start, the Dutch-Thai partnership has designed and released various models of the e-Tuk including: the e-Tuk Classic, the e-Tuk Limo, the e-Tuk Cargo, and the e-Tuk Vendo. I definitely commend this business and hope it flourishes in Thailand and hopefully spreads to other developing countries to start battling the pollution found in areas with abundant public transportation.
To read more about the Tuk Tuk Factory click here.