Dutch auto rickshaw (or â€˜tuk tukâ€™) manufacturers, The Tuk Tuk Factory, have signed anÂ agreement with American company, eTuk, toÂ sell electric rickshaws in Denver,Â Colorado. They hope that America will join the likes of India and Thailand, as lovers of the little three-wheeled runabouts. They have already startedÂ selling electric autos for both private and commercial purposes and are mainly targetting last-mile public transport services. eTuk is hoping that the â€˜coolerâ€™ looking autos or TukÂ Tuks 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 toÂ sell their autos, they are facing some issues inÂ other American states. As expected, mostÂ of the problems revolve around safety, though interestingly, as per the US Department ofÂ Transportation, they also fall under three-wheeled motorcycle regulations. This wouldÂ mean 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 thatÂ passengers would need to carry a helmet or the driver would have to make them available.
Thatâ€™s not going to increase the popularity of the concept. But eTuk are hopingÂ for some leniency on the matter considering that the Tuk Tuks are enclosed and donâ€™t goÂ very fast â€“ 40 kmph tops.Â While this matters little to the Indian market, the autos that eTuk make are quiteÂ interesting. They are based more on the lines of the public transport from Thailand andÂ not the bland black and yellowÂ numbers you find on our streets. They’re instead colourful and full ofÂ flair – that’s bound to be a hit with the hipster crowd.
TheÂ e-rickshawsÂ come in a number of different sizes, colours and configurations â€“ from a moreÂ familiar three-seater configuration to cargo and vendor configurations.