In the future, tuk-tuks will fill up with sunshine
Canadian Solar is always looking for new markets to innovate in. Because advances in solar technology keep opening up exciting new opportunities.
“We’re now producing solar panels so light and efficient that they could effectively be used to power solar tuk-tuk taxis in Asia and elsewhere,” said Insan Boy of Canadian Solar Singapore. “We’re currently looking at the market and there’s no doubt the opportunity is attractive,” he said.
The biggest operating cost tuk-tuk taxi drivers face is fuel. Little wonder that the prospect of vehicles powered entirely by free solar energy puts a smile on their faces. Cambodian tuk-tuk owner and driver, Boran Pang summed up the impact of solar-power on his business by saying: “Around a quarter of the 60 to 80 dollars I make every day is burned up by fuel costs. I will be first in line for a solar taxi.”
Meanwhile an innovative young clean-energy activist in India has decided not to wait for a production model solar tuk-tuk to become available. He has built his very own and intends to do a 10000km road-trip to raise awareness for solar energy’s role in sustainable living. Naveen Rabelli and friend, Raoul Kopacka, plan to drive the tuk-tuk from Bangalore, India, to London. “It will be quite challenging for both of us to fit in this tuk-tuk and to travel 10,000 kilometers, but I think that’s a whole part of the journey to understand the problems and make flexible solutions,” Rabelli said.
Facebook photo stream of Project Tejas - The Solar Tuk-Tuk:
In an interview with Reuters Rabelli told how he spent two years and his life savings of $6,000 to make the tuk-tuk. Its battery can go 53 miles on a single charge and he’s calling the solar-paneled tuk-tuk “Tejas”, the Sanskrit word for radiance. “As Naveen Ravelli has demonstrated, it is possible to successfully power a tuk-tuk with solar panels. Other technically-minded tuk-tuk owners could even follow his lead using our versatile CS6P-P solar modules,” said Boy of Canadian Solar.
The tuk-tuk of the future offers great potential benefits for the environment. “It’s good news for air and noise pollution. The tuk-tuk in its current form produces quite a bit of both, especially in cities where these taxi’s are used in large numbers,” said Boy.