Japan venture to bring electric tuk-tuks to Asia


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TOKYO—A Japanese company is hoping to win a big slice of Asia’s tuk-tuk market, it said Wednesday, betting battery-operated buggies could cut burgeoning city pollution.

“There is no single company in Asia that mass-produces electric bikes or tricycles,” said Terra Motors president Toru Tokushige.

“I think it could have a big impact if a Japanese company is the pioneer in the market with products of such a futuristic design.”

Terra Motors unveiled the prototype of their electric tuk-tuk, a sleek-looking blue and white machine that can carry up to six people, including the driver.

The vehicle, 3.3 meters long and 1.47 meters wide, is powered by a lithium battery, and can run 50 kilometers on one full charge, the company said.

Terra Motors is hoping to win the bid for part of a Philippine government contract that is expected to see 100,000 electric tricycle taxis on the country’s streets by 2016, using a $300 million loan from the Asian Development Bank.

The Japanese firm is aiming to become the world’s number one seller of electric tuk-tuks over the next two years, the company said, without providing precise figures.

Tuk-tuks, a cross between a motorbike and a tricycle, are a common form of transport in urban areas across Asia. They usually have small, petrol-powered engines that are blamed for causing serious air pollution.

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  • drivin98

    50 kilometers of range is not enough for a working Tuk Tuk. Great idea, but need to figure out how to get a decent range and keep the price low. (I’d suggest using 18650 commodity cells or even CALB prismatics.)

  • Marcos5

    Nice ! I would like to order 35,000 units first phase. Spread them to Palawan, Batanes, Boracay and Makati. Warranty and service included with transfer of technology to the Philippines and build manufacturing plant between Japan -Phil owned in Luzon or Mindanao areas.

  • kismaytami

    Kakayanin ba niyan ang maputik, binabaha at lubak-lubak na mga kalsada dito sa Pilipinas? OK sana ang ganyang mga sasakyan, bawas polusyon.

  • calipso_2100

    Add in solar panels on the roof and a wind turbine generator which can be used to charge the tuk when parked.

  • Chris


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