Dutch auto rickshaw (or 'tuk tuk') manufacturers, The Tuk Tuk Factory, have signed anagreement with American company, eTuk, tosell electric rickshaws in Denver,Colorado. They hope that America will join the likes of India and Thailand, as lovers of the little three-wheeled runabouts. They have already startedselling electric autos for both private and commercial purposes and are mainly targetting last-mile public transport services. eTuk is hoping that the 'cooler' looking autos or TukTuks will catch on as a trendy way to get around the city.
While eTuk were able to get clearance from the Colorado Public Utilities Commission tosell their autos, they are facing some issues inother American states. As expected, mostof the problems revolve around safety, though interestingly, as per the US Department ofTransportation, they also fall under three-wheeled motorcycle regulations. This wouldmean that drivers would have to wear eye protection and get a motorcycle licence. Also, any passenger below the age of 18 would have to wear a helmet. This means thatpassengers would need to carry a helmet or the driver would have to make them available.
That's not going to increase the popularity of the concept. But eTuk are hopingfor some leniency on the matter considering that the Tuk Tuks are enclosed and don't govery fast - 40 kmph tops.While this matters little to the Indian market, the autos that eTuk make are quiteinteresting. They are based more on the lines of the public transport from Thailand andnot the bland black and yellownumbers you find on our streets. They're instead colourful and full offlair - that's bound to be a hit with the hipster crowd.
Thee-rickshawscome in a number of different sizes, colours and configurations - from a morefamiliar three-seater configuration to cargo and vendor configurations.